Dog Depression - Discussion and Suggestions

Dog depression can strike even though dogs are the most adorable pets and having a pet dog at home is like having your best friend at home. Dogs are always happy to see you and no matter what mood you are in, they have the ability to make you feel good instantly. They seem to read your mind, understand your thoughts and have a calming affect on you.

Spending a little time with your dog everyday can help you de-stress and forget all worries and tension for some time. Dogs are loyal creatures and are great mood elevators, but it is also true that dogs too go through terrible lows and get affected by depression.

While it sounds a little weird, it is very true because dogs, like all other creatures, including human beings, also suffer from depression, where there is a natural decrease or decline in the psychic abilities of the living being concerned. This decline in the natural psychic abilities affects normal behavior pattern and results in a pathological condition called depression.

Dogs are affected by two forms of dog depression. The first one is endogenous and is manifested by a decrease or lack of external motivation. Keeping dogs chained for extended periods, which is considered normal by human beings, can be depressing for the animals. All creatures need to be free and left to explore the environment on their own. Restrictions in movement and chaining dogs without walking them or letting them free is one of the main causes of endogenous dog depression.

Other causes of endogenous depression in dogs can be attributed to certain inherited genes.

The second form of depression in dogs is exogenous depression and the cause here is external, such as change of location, when people move from one home to another, after which dogs tend to feel insecure, threatened and unsafe. Dogs are territorial and consider a certain place or location their territory. Thus, when they are moved to a new location, they tend to suffer from depressive moods, then becoming depressed dogs.

Leaving dogs in a shelter when everyone in the family is traveling also contributes to symptoms of depression in dogs. Other causes of exogenous depression include handing over dogs to new owners, separating little pups from their mothers, and death of the owner or one of the family members. These are all factors which can cause depression in dogs and puppies.

Some of the typical dog depression symptoms exhibited by depressed dogs include:

  • Lack of response to stimulus presented in the form of toys, food, familiar people, and friends.

  • Loss of appetite and increased thirst.

  • Absence of tail wagging when spoken to.

  • Decreased interest in favorite foods like bones and meat.

  • Rapid weight loss.

Unlike human beings, dogs cannot express themselves. Therefore, it is very difficult to assess the severity of depression in dogs. A well-experienced vet can certainly, based on the observed dog depression symptoms, diagnose and treat a depressed dog.

Some very simple tips that can help depressed dogs include unchaining them for extended periods, walking them more often, spending time talking to them, and feeding them a balanced diet accompanied with lots of outdoor activities, sunlight and exercise.

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