Dogs are unquestionably the happiest animals on the earth, but did you know that they can get depressed and anxious as well? They can express a broader spectrum of emotions than humans. So, if you are wondering if dogs can get depressed, then this article will answer all your questions.
Signs that Indicate Depression and Anxiety in Dogs
Every dog has a unique way of expressing himself. Your tiny pal may not be able to communicate, but if you’ve spent time with him, you’ll be able to tell when he’s sad or drained. It’s difficult to explain the type of depression that we, as humans, experience. But dogs, however, suffer from depression or anxiety that only lasts for a short time, according to specialists. It’s important to treat their depression and pamper them just like humans are treated and pampered when sick.
To gain more insight into this, let’s see some signs of depression in dogs that will help you identify if your dog is suffering from depression or anxiety. Many dog depression symptoms listed below are similar to what we humans portray when we are depressed.
- The Isolation mode
Depressed dogs prefer to withdraw from others, whether their owners or other family members. Most dogs try to get lost in tiny spaces in their house. Even though all dogs need attention, a depressed dog will try to avoid being seen as much as possible.
- Continuous Licking of the feet
If you’re wondering why your dog is constantly licking his feet, it’s because that’s a way to settle them down, or it could be an indication that they’re feeling down. According to experts, this is your dog’s attempt at self-comfort.
- Feeling Drained
A depressed dog will appear sleepy and separated from the rest of the household. Although age may play a role, if your dog is sleeping more than he typically does out of the blue, he is most likely distressed.
- No More Long Walks
Dogs who are depressed have less excitement and energy. They may not like to take long walks or play with you. When you grip their leash, they no longer display the same eagerness. You will undoubtedly notice a decrease in their energy levels.
- Evident Changes in Appetite
Anxious dogs may stop eating or drinking altogether, resulting in weight loss. It’s also possible that your dog will acquire weight. This could be because he is not active and thus does not get the amount of exercise and workout required by his body. If you think they are eating less or more than what they should be eating based on their diet and exercise routine, that’s a red flag.
What Causes Depression in Dogs?
There can be numerous triggers that can cause depression in your dog. The first course of action for you is to ask yourself if you have changed anything for them. Maybe their food, schedule, or environment, for that matter. Some of the most observed triggers of depression include:
- Loss of a human or family member: Dogs have strong bonds with humans. Even if their human is gone for the entire day or several days, they can be melancholic; therefore, the separation, death or loss of a family member can be devastating.
- Change of Location: If you recently moved into a new home, this could cause sadness to your dog.
- Past Trauma: If you adopted a street dog, they’ve likely had a difficult life on the streets, which can easily lead to depression.
How Can You Treat Depression in Dogs?
There are pharmaceutical solutions to explore to treat depression in dogs, but they cannot help with mental illness on their own. Rather than depending on just one of these ways to heal your dog, the goal is to use a combination of medications, careful environmental control, and behavior modification. You can:
- Teach dogs to take quick snacks as their health improves and make an effort to spend as much time as possible with them.
- Even if dogs can’t understand what you’re saying, they can undoubtedly read your gestures and expressions. Take them on walks, car rides, or to a joyful spot to distract them from their despair.
- Getting a new pet home can be an excellent choice if your dog is distressed because of the death of a companion. It will divert their attention and keep them occupied.
- Medication can help dogs overcome depression if nothing else helps. Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft are among the drugs used for depressive dogs, according to Karen Sueda, DVM, a diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.
How Can you Make Your Dog Feel Better?
Dogs have a long-term and keen memory, making it challenging for them to forget and go on. Especially if a dog has been rescued or has lived on the streets, they will require a great deal of emotional care to overcome their trauma. Here are a few tips on how you can help reduce your dog’s depression or anxiety:
- Consult Your Veterinarian
Some of the symptoms of depression and anxiety can be due to physical issues that require immediate attention. If your dog appears worried or depressed, the first thing you should do is schedule a checkup with your veterinarian. While some dogs may recover from depression with only a little extra love and attention from their pet parent, if things don’t improve, your veterinarian can prescribe antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs to help soothe their worries.
- Keep Your Dog’s Mind and Body Activity
Boredom can make our four-legged pets uneasy or melancholic. Ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise before you leave for the day, and give them lots of interactive toys or toys that can be stuffed with treats to keep them occupied. This will help to alleviate your dog’s nervousness.
- Time to Mingle
Dogs are social beings who enjoy being around other people and animals. Suppose your dog is suffering from anxiety or sadness. In that case, you should consider getting a companion animal for him or taking him to the dog park, group lessons, or doggie daycare for more social interaction.
- Show Your Furry Friend a Lot of Patience and Love
Of course, your dogs require a lot of love and patience to feel safe and comfortable, especially if they are prone to depression or anxiety. You may be able to alleviate these concerns and restore your dog’s sense of pleasure and enjoyment by giving your dog some extra time and attention.
Anxiety and mental health disorders are complex for both dogs and their owners, but seeking help will put you on the road to seeing your dog happy and comfortable once again. Giving them a portrait of their own might be a good way to go. This would not only make them happy, but it would also make them feel loved and accepted. What if it performs a miracle that medical treatment is unable to achieve? Printmynd has arrived at your doorstep to assist you. Contact today to get incredible digital pet portraits