Owners may not know that dogs can suffer from depression just like humans. Indeed, it is often difficult to know what your furry friend is thinking. However, there are symptoms, causes, and treatments to look out for when tackling this problem. Read on for more information!
Common causes of depression in dogs
Similar to humans who are depressed, dogs may also become withdrawn, experiencing a reduced or increased appetite and excessive or little sleep. One of the biggest things you can look out for is that your canine might start to lose interest in the activities they used to like, whether this is walking, playing tug, or running around the garden.
Owners should keep an eye on the standard social and environmental circumstances that their dog is going through.For example, dogs may grieve the loss of a companion, such as a human family member or another pet. Deeper trauma such as abuse in the past is also very commonly linked to depression.
This condition can be caused by chronic pain, in which case, a medical condition is probably the underlying factor. Additionally, low stimulation is particularly triggering in high-energy breeds, with insufficient physical and mental stimulation not allowing dogs to flourish as they should.
Furthermore, big changes in your pooch’s life can cause depression. This includes major shifts such as moving house or the introduction of a new pet or baby. Something even as simple as a shift in your work pattern could alter your dog’s mental health, with social isolation and disruptions to the daily routine sometimes being very disturbing.
Finally, owners with female dogs should be aware of their dog’s heat cycle. The first stage is when the majority of owners start to notice behavioral changes in which oestrogen peaks and bloody discharge is released. Dogs in heat can display signs of depression during this cycle. The female cat now needs your love, care, and attention more than ever! The depression usually lasts for a few days, but if the dog continues to show behavioral issues, depression treatment may be required.Pet parents should know what to do when a female god is in heat.
How to treat depression in dogs
Social and environmental changes can make a huge difference to dogs’ moods. For example, keeping to a routine and giving the dog sufficient time to rest can work wonders. Additionally, actions as simple as playing with them, going on fun walking routes, or comforting them can be enough. With more attention, dogs usually thrive and move past their depression. However, those going through particularly intense trauma may need more help.
Owners can seek extra help from behavioral professionals such as vets. In some cases, pharmaceuticals are very useful, especially when a dog’s emotional state is starting to interfere with its quality of life. This is especially when the dog’s fear and anxiety are being affected by multiple different stimuli, including unavoidable triggers.
Whilst some dogs may find it harder to overcome their depression than others, helping your dog through the process is the most important thing. Hopefully, you can see that there are many different causes to look out for and approaches you can take to tackle this issue.