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Can Your Dog Have Depression

Can Your Dog Have Depression

Did you ever wonder if your dogs can feel depressed? Let’s explore dogs and depression, and how to prevent it. Depression is usually brought on by a big change in their life or a stressful event. But a dog can also pick up grief being experienced by family members. For example, if someone in your family died and you are grieving, your dog may pick up on that, or if there is a sudden drop in attention. So if you got a new puppy and are paying the new puppy more attention than your other dog, they may become depressed. Before we continue, please take a moment to pin this post to your dog board.

How to tell if your dog is suffering from depression

Look for these signs to see if your dog is depressed. If at least 3 of these things have been happening, you can be pretty sure they have depression. If you suspect your dog has depression, talk with an adult you trust and ask the vet.

  • Appetite changes. If your dog is depressed, they may either eat like it’s never eaten before, or stop eating. 
  • Changes in behavior or mood. If your dog has been acting more slow, limp or just sad, this may be a sign of depression.
  • Paw licking/biting. If your dog is excessively chomping or licking their paw, they could be depressed, or have something like eczema, dry skin or joint problems. 
  • Excessive sleeping. If your adult dog starts sleeping like a puppy (sleeping around 18 to 20 hours) then they may have depression.
  • Hiding. If your dog isn’t hanging around the family anymore, that can be depression. Dogs are pack animals and are very protective of their families. 
  • Loss of interest. If your dog is suddenly not interested in things they like, they may be depressed.
  • Sudden weight changes. If your dog suddenly lost or gained weight, it could be a sign of canine depression.
  • Peeing inside. If your dog usually pees outdoors and suddenly starts peeing indoors, that is another sign of depression.
  • Aggression. If your dog starts being aggressive, they may be depressed and is taking it out on others. 
  • Growling/grumpiness. If your dog is suddenly growling and grumpy, they may be depressed.

How to prevent your dog from depression

Try to keep your dog active, and replenish toys regularly. If your dog gets bored with his toys, they serve no purpose anymore. But if the toys are in good condition, consider donating them to your local animal shelter. Be aware of your dog’s diet, and avoid foods that are unhealthy for them, like salt. Do not feed your dog salt. It may depress them. I hope this gave you information on dogs and depression. If you suspect your dog is depressed, please tell an adult and bring it to the vet.

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