Is Your Dog Depressed?

Has your dog seemed blue lately? Does Fido have that sad, soulful stare, and a half-hearted tail wag? Although Man’s Best Friend has a reputation for being happy, bouncy, and full of enthusiasm, this isn’t always the case. Our canine buddies are very emotional, and, just like people, can feel scared, sad, or even depressed. Here, a local Covington, GA vet discusses depression in dogs.

Causes of Depression in Dogs

Fido can get depressed for many reasons. Change is the most common one. The loss of a beloved owner, for instance, can be emotionally devastating for dogs. Other major changes, such as moving; the arrival of a new pet, baby, spouse, or roommate; changes to daily routines; or even a child going off to college can be hard for our canine companions. Dogs can pick up on our feelings of grief. They also sometimes suffer stress after a traumatic event. Sometimes, medical problems are at the root of this issue. If you aren’t sure why your furry best friend seems sad, have your vet give him a thorough examination.

Symptoms of Doggy Depression

Signs of depression vary from pooch to pooch. Just like people, dogs often withdraw when they are depressed. Fido may lose interest in his favorite toys, and/or may become a bit lethargic. He may also act anxious, morose, or even aggressive. Whining and barking can also be indicative of depression in dogs.

Treatment

Generally, dogs come out of depression naturally. This may take days, weeks, or months. Offering your beloved pet lots of TLC will help things along. Make sure that your four-legged friend has plenty of fun toys, and keep him occupied with lots of walks and playtime. Take time to throw a stick, ball, or Frisbee for Fido, or hold a laser pointer for him to chase. If you suspect that your pooch is sad because of the loss of a furry companion, consider getting another pet. (Note: this is a huge decision, so we only recommend it if your household, schedule, and budget have room.) You can also try taking your canine pal to a doggy daycare or a dog park, so he can socialize with other pups. If the depression persists, ask your vet about medication.

Please feel free to call us, your Covington, GA vet clinic, with any questions about caring for your dog. We’re here to help!

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