10 signs of depression in dogs – Dogs can be depressed and what are the signs. Depression in dogs does exist, but the signals are sometimes difficult to notice. It may not happen overnight. You will probably realize some time after the symptoms start that something is wrong with your dog. The most common causes of depression in dogs is the daily interaction with a depressed owner, the loss of a family member, a traumatic experience.
10 signs of depression in dogs
You should not underestimate depression in dogs. There are really only two things we owners should do when it comes to dogs and depression. First identify the change in personality and make the association with depression. Second, do something about it. It is actually the first point that can take time and it is actually the most important point because once we understand what’s going on, we can move on and try to fix it.
These are 10 signs that can tell you that your dog is depressed.
1. More tired than usual
If you notice that your dog is more tired than usual, it could be a sign that something is not right. This may not happen overnight, and you may suddenly realize that they are not as energetic as a few weeks or even months ago.
You have to be careful here and not just assume that the reason they are tired is because of depression. There can be many reasons why dogs are sleepy and it is something that should not be ignored as it may indicate other health problems.
2. Crying or making unusual noises
Depressed dogs can also suddenly start crying or make strange noises without feeling pain. This could be a sign of depression in dogs. This can happen at any time of the day or night and seems to be an almost involuntary response to how they feel.
3. Dogs walk with their heads down
Walking head down is similar to how we walk when something weighs on us. In addition, other symptoms will probably also be noticeable.
4. Your dog does not want to play
One of the most noticeable symptoms of depression is the sad look and no longer playing. They just ignore games that normally make them happy. You take a ball, show it and throw it away. Instead of wagging their tails as soon as you get close to them, they barely lift their heads and look like they want to be left alone.
If you manage to get them out to practice, they won’t show enthusiasm for it. No matter how hard you try to get them interested in playing, they really don’t care. This behavior can manifest itself at different levels. For example, they may wag their tail initially, but it will stop after a few seconds. It is as if they forget for just a few seconds how sad they are,.
Your instructions for them to sit, stay, walk, etc… may be due to their stubborn behavior, which can occur in perfectly healthy dogs. Or they can hear and process what you say but choose to just ignore it. Either way, it can be a sign of depression when they choose to ignore your orders. This is likely to be accompanied by other symptoms, especially fatigue.
5. They just look sad
The movements will be slower and if you look into their eyes you won’t see that old sparkle you loved. This is not the only sign of depression they will display and will usually also be related to a lack of energy and the desire to play.
6. Lack of appetite and weight loss
One obvious one is the lack of appetite and weight loss, but what most dogs have in common is that they will eat anything in front of them no matter how hungry they are! So, for a dog to refuse food or show no interest in food is unusual. Normally they find it hard to resist tasty dog treats. They can approach it, which is more customary than anything, but once they smell it, you see them slowly turn around and walk away.
This is an important point and an area that can quickly affect the health of the dog. You need to make sure they get enough fluids and if they haven’t eaten for a few days then you really need help from a professional. Never assume that they are okay in the morning. If you are concerned, call the vet.
7. Dogs that are depressed can hide
Dogs usually like to be in the same room as their owner. Although they are not always on your lap, they would like to know where we are. This is just as we want to know where they are. This image makes it strange when they cannot be found. If you look around, you might see them in the corner of a room or hide under a table or somewhere else where they don’t normally lie. This is not normal behavior for a dog and should not be ignored. Actually, none of these points should be ignored.
8. Licking or chewing the legs
You may notice your dog licking or chewing on its paws or scratching for no apparent reason. Especially when licking this can become almost obsessive and can make their paws quite raw as a result. Often this is associated with separation anxiety and depression. Do not ignore this behavior, as it may be related not only to depression, but also to other dog diseases and health problems such as mites, injuries etc.
9. Aggression in dogs can also be a sign of depression
This is where we need to be careful and especially when children are involved. If a dog is feeling sick, physically or mentally, it can show signs of aggression. Even your typically quiet little innocent dog can become vicious if he doesn’t feel well. Especially when provoked.
10. Go to the toilet inside
Going to the toilet indoors maybe because they don’t feel they have the energy to actually go outside. They don’t care where they go or they just don’t know they are doing it. Your dog should not be punished for this because you will find that it only makes him further depressed. This behavior is most likely but not always a symptom of the underlying problem and will most likely disappear once they get better.
There may also be other reasons why your dog may not be able to control his bladder or bowel movements. Don’t take any chances with this and talk to your vet if it persists.
Why do dogs get depressed and what can you do?
The first thing to do is to have your dog checked by a professional, your vet, and make sure they are healthy and that there are no other underlying problems.
If so, then your job is relatively easy. You have to spend time with them. As much time as you can. Sit with them, be happy and try to get them out of the house at least twice a day for some fresh air and exercise.
1. Your dog is part of your family and should be treated accordingly
Sometimes things take over in our lives and our concentration is diverted to other things. This is very natural and it happens to all of us. However, if you no longer pay attention to your dog and do not play with it or spend time with it and do not train, then this is only one way. Remember that your dog is part of your family and should be treated as such. They only get one life and it is much shorter than ours, give them the best life you can.
2. Being left alone and separation anxiety
This is the point most owners should focus on as this is often why dogs start to show signs of depression. The simple fact is that a dog should not be left alone all day. Dogs are social animals and need attention from us or possibly another dog. This allows a dog to show signs of separation anxiety quickly, which can lead to a destructive personality and other health problems quite quickly.
Fortunately, not everything is lost. The vast majority of cases are short-term depression in dogs because their owners realize what’s going on, find out the cause, and fix it. It doesn’t have to be permanent.