Ever heard of depression in dogs? Is it a new concept to you? You are not alone.
Many dog owners are not aware that their dogs also face the risk of falling into depression. Same as humans, dogs have their moments where they undergo depression. With this said, the real question would be how to tell depression in dogs.
This is a fairly new concept for many dog owners. However, veterinary doctors agree that it is possible to detect whether your dog is undergoing depression.
Depression can affect pets as much as humans. Dogs are getting overwhelmed living with their owners, with constant stress and fatigue.
Learn about the most common signs and symptoms of depression in dogs and how to treat them.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Depression
Here are some common signs to look out for;
Has Your Dog Changed Its Feeding Pattern?
Do you notice a change in the way that your dog feeds? Is there anything different in your dog’s feeding patterns? A change in the eating patterns of your dog may be a sign of depression for your dog. A change in the feeding pattern particularly refers to the general quantities of food that the dog takes.
It doesn’t refer to the dog starting to enjoy a different snack from the normal. The change may be for the better or a turn for the worst. A dog that used to eat a certain portion of food then suddenly cuts on the food quantity likely has depression.
Such a symptom of depression in dogs is similar to how human beings act when undergoing depression.
Most individuals who suffer from depression have difficulties eating. The difficulties are as a result of lack of appetite and the general reduction in food intake. Dogs are not any different.
Depression may have immense effects on their feeding patterns and their eating levels so much that you can notice. When you witness such a change in your dog, it’s advisable that you book an appointment with a veterinarian for further advice.
Changes in Sleeping Patterns
Is your dog having difficulties with sleep? Does your dog spend most of its time awake and without following its normal routines? This may not be a good sign. Dogs generally have their own sleeping patterns. These sleeping patterns develop either through training also as a general nature of your dog.
Bottom line is that the dogs have their own sleeping times, lengths of sleep and their favorite spots for sleeping.
A change in any of these standard factors may signify that your dog has depression. Depression in human beings may cause a person to have continuous thoughts that deter them from having a good night sleep.
At times, even the day naps become a problem. One of the major effects of depression is insomnia. Such an effect is also dominant in dogs. Dogs undergoing depression can’t keep it calm. They are always overwhelmed by their surroundings. The lack of calmness and change of activity prevents the dogs from having good naps and sleeping through the night.
Majority of the veterinarians, therefore, conclude that the lack of sleep and a change in sleeping patterns of your dog may signify that your dog is undergoing depression. You should consider visiting the veterinary when you notice such changes for a better solution.
The General Loss of Interest
Most of the dog owners can attest that dogs are playful and have high activity levels. Dogs prefer always being on the go with little breaks once in a while. Other dogs may even prefer being always active. Such high levels of activities differentiate the dogs from all the other types of pets.
The cats, for instance, may prefer chilling rather than playing all through. When your dog suddenly loses interest in playing, running around, going for walks or any other outdoor activities, there is a reason to worry.
Many veterinarians argue that the reduction in the activities of dogs beyond the normal levels is a clear sign that the dog is undergoing depression. However, the veterinarians go ahead and clarify that such changes do not mean that the only possible problem of the dog is depression.
There might be other problems associated with the loss of interest, but depression tops the list.
The lack of inactivity of your dog should always worry you as it’s not in the nature of dogs to stay inactive. Does your dog show signs of reduced inactivity? Consider taking him/ her to the veterinarian for a checkup.
Sudden Onset of Aggression
Generally, dogs have their own standard levels of aggression. The standard levels of aggression depending on the dog’s surroundings, upbringing and the general features of the dog. When there is a sudden change in the aggression levels of your dog, you need to worry.
Sudden changes and onset of aggression are two of the easiest ways of determining whether a dog is depressed.
A depressed dog tends to pull away from people and their fellow dogs. Efforts to bring it back together with the other dogs or getting close to it may trigger a reaction. Such a reaction may vary in intensity.
The variation in the intensity may be a measure of depression in dogs.
When the reaction is not too bad, the dog may have minor issues such as lack of sleep or hunger. When the reaction is bad, then it is obvious that the dog’s problem is psychological.
The most predominant psychological problem in dogs is depression. When you notice such onsets of aggression, consider visiting the veterinary doctor for a better diagnosis.
Does your dog lick its paws excessively? Dogs at times enjoy paw licking or chewing, which is normal. However, excessive paw licking is not a good sign. Dogs that lick their paws excessively are trying to soothe themselves. The urge of a dog to soothe itself comes from having psychological problems.
When you notice that your dog keeps licking its paws every now and then, this is a sign that your dog has a psychological problem. The most obvious problem would be depression. Pay the veterinary doctor a visit for a better diagnosis of your dog’s condition.
Treating Depression in Dogs
Having outlined the signs of depression in dogs, it is important to outline the ways to treat depression in your dogs. Treatment of depression is straightforward since it is a psychological problem.
As a dog owner, there are a number of treatment methods. Here are four of the most effective of all.
Take Your Dog for a Walk
Majority of dog owners do not know how far a simple walk with their dog can go a long way in making the dogs happy. Most dogs undergoing depression prefer having a free surrounding where they can go to breathe some fresh air and enjoy some little sunshine.
Such a simple act as walking your dog will boost their mood and cheer them up. If all it takes for your dog to give a tail wag is a simple walk down the block, then go for it.
Keeping Your Dog Engaged
Keeping your dog engaged draws its attention away from the factors that make it have psychological issues. Engaging your dog makes it more playful and active thereby boosting its mood. If your dog likes playing throw and catch, then spare some time of your day and play with it.
Give your dog a treat every time it succeeds in a task that you give it. Awarding the dog for its efforts makes it feel more appreciated hence easy for it to overcome its psychological problem. Can treating depression in dogs get any easy?
Give Your Dogs Some Exercises
Majority of the veterinary doctors encourage dog owners to give their dogs exercises. The body exercises not only help the dog in keeping fit and healthy but may also be a treatment solution for depression.
Without movement and activity, the body purification system of your dog remains in a dormant state. An easy way to counter such a state is to exercise. While selecting the exercises for your dog, ensure that the exercise appears purposeful for the dog.
If the dog doesn’t have a goal or a target, participating in the exercise would be a problem. Focus on ensuring that your dog remains interested in the exercises for better results.
Giving Your Dog Hemp Oil and CBD Treats
An alternative treatment for your dog would be giving your dog CBD for dogs with depression. The same way that hemp oil treats depression in humans is the same way CBD treats and hemp oil help in the treatment of depression in dogs.
CBD contains compounds that help human beings as well as dogs to reduce anxiety and feel at ease.
Such peaceful levels help people and dogs to reduce their chances of falling into depression. CBD treats can also help in boosting the moods of your dog, making your dog active and entirely improving its eating and sleeping habits
Still in Doubt About the Reality of Depression in Dogs?
The sad reality is dogs to undergo depression. Depression in dogs is rampant only that we humans don’t notice it. There are a number of signs and symptoms that help in noticing depression in dogs.
The ones listed above are the most prominent. Knowing how to treat depression in dogs is also essential for every dog owner.
Read more on our blog on other signs and symptoms of depression and how you can reverse it naturally.
- Latest Posts