While it may be hard to believe, dogs can experience depression. And like humans, it can be caused by many different reasons. It could come from a major shift in your dog’s life like; environmental changes, stress, fear, and grief.
While every dog owner wants to provide their dog the best life possible, sometimes depression can be hard to prevent. If it does occur, don’t get too worried as there are some steps you can take to cheer your dog up again.
First, know the symptoms of dog depression
Although it can be hard to detect, there are some telltale signs of a depressed dog. Generally, they will appear to be tired, lethargic or not as active. A depressed pooch will eat less, lose interest in playing, and not drink as much water. If this is the case, you’ll need to address the issue quickly before your beloved pup develops physical issues.
The good news is that dogs can overcome depression on their own. However, your help is very much needed. If you think you cannot handle your pup’s depression on your own, always consult the help of a dog professional or veterinarian.
Engage with your dog in fun activities
The easiest way to fight off your dog’s depression is by having some fun together. In times where they may be ‘down in the dumps’, strengthening the bond between you and your dog should be the focus. There are many fun activities you can do with your dog, but you should choose the ones your dog enjoys best. If your dog loves to play Frisbee, bring them with you to the local park or beach. The key is to keep your dog active, entertained, and show them that you really care for them. The endorphins released during these activities are a sure-fire way to reduce negative feelings associated with dog depression.
Exercising your dog can fend off sad thoughts
Staying active is one way to distract your pooch from being sad and gloomy. Create an exercise routine that is fun for your dog. Make sure you create an exercise program that is suitable for your companion’s size, age, breed, and temperament. An older dog, for example, should have less strenuous physical activity.
Be patient with your canine companion. Remember that getting over depression will take some time, and won’t happen overnight.
Bring your pooch to a doggie daycare
Dogs can become easily depressed when left alone for 8+ hours a day. Separation anxiety can lead to depression over time because of the constant loneliness. Consider bringing your pooch to a doggie daycare where they can play with other dogs and be handled by a caring professional.
Doggie depression is a serious condition and should be addressed once noticed. It’s important that they have constant care and stimulation and aren’t being left alone for extended periods. If you’re worried about your dog, check in with a helpful member of staff from The Dog Stop, as one of our team will be able to advise special exercises, training or toys to help with your dog’s condition.