Many people may be unaware of this, but dogs can get depressed, and sure signs indicate that your dog is struggling. You must know where to look. Check out three signs that your dog is depressed and how to treat it below.
Low Activity Levels
Some dogs are more active than others. However, in general, most dogs are active. They jump on you in joy when you walk in the door. They get the zoomies—where they run in circles to release pent-up energy—and their excitement is often palatable. If your usually rambunctious dog won’t get up from their bed or resists going for walks, this is a sign of canine depression, and you should take it seriously.
Loss of Interest in Things They Once Enjoyed
If your dog loves a specific toy but hasn’t been playing with it, there’s a chance that they’ve gotten bored with it. But if they don’t seem excited by any of their toys, this could signify canine depression. This is especially true if combined with low activity levels, as mentioned above. If your dog seems disinterested in everything they used to be enthusiastic about, depression may be the culprit.
This could result from the winter months, so be careful with diagnosing your dog with depression during that time. Dogs are incredibly active and typically get cabin fever when they can’t get out of the house for daily activity. Cabin fever can result in destructive behaviors like ripping the couch or tearing up household items during this time. It can also manifest as anxiety. Increased agitation also indicates something isn’t right with your pup.
What Do You Do?
Now that we’ve discussed the signs that your dog is depressed, we’ll discuss how to treat it. Like humans who are depressed, sometimes it just helps for you to be present. Allow your dog to sit on your lap or lay on you. Dogs are very touch-oriented, so having them near you is a plus. Suppose their behavior changed because another dog in your household passed. In that case, this might be why they’re depressed. If this is the case, get them another companion and see if that will help. You may also try to train your dog to run with you, as cardio can help lift them out of depression.
In short, canine depression is real, and you should be prepared for it. Luckily, it usually goes away on its own after a few days. It’ll go away even quicker if you use the tips above to improve your dogs’ health and wellbeing.