Is Dog Depression Real?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Is dog depression real? You bet it is! You may at some point note that your dog is not behaving normally and he may in fact be offering you what seem like classic symptoms of depression.

Depression, strangely enough, is not so different in humans than it is in animals. It is possible that your pet may be a victim of canine depression. It’s possible of course that your pet may be suffering from something else. The condition may in fact be medical or physical. As a result, it is prudent to check with your veterinarian to assure that there is no problem with the way that your pet is feeling.

When you first notice your dog behaving as though he or she is depressed, really consider what has happened that may have impacted their moods. Pets, just like humans, can have temporary or short term depression – or they may also have a longer term depression.

The loss of a litter, the family moving, or even the being moved to a different home can have a vast impact on an animal. One family who moved said that their cocker spaniel was not herself for many months afterward, exhibiting all the classic signs of depression.

If nothing has happened that may have impacted your dog in a negative way, then perhaps a veterinary checkup is in order.

Dogs, like people, remarkably can have bad days and good days. They can be in bad moods or good moods. One day they may appear to be unusually moody and the next day is very happy and upbeat. In addition, female dogs that have not been spayed can exhibit mood swings during their heat cycle.

Canine depression can last for an extended period, just like human depression.

Some symptoms that you may see of canine depression will also be similar to human ones.
The signs that you will most likely note:

Poor appetite
Weight Loss
Lower interest in play
Slow or lethargic movements
Apathy
Aggression
Restlessness
Excessive Shedding

The environment around your dog can make a great deal of difference to his or her mood. Just as environmental or personal changes will impact you, they will also impact your dog.

Having a close human relationship change can trigger canine depression. For instance, if their human companion gets ill, dies, moves out, or goes back to school it can cause loneliness in your pet and lead to dog depression.
Believe it or not, pets can also suffer from a chemical depression that is from an imbalance in their bodies. Your dog can be diagnosed as clinically depressed and may be given an antidepressant medication by your vet.

Try to recall the events that preceded the depression and attempt to compensate for them. Try to give the dog more attention and make them feel less alone or lonely during the daytime. Bring in a neighbor dog that the animal gets along with and take them out for the evening together.

As with humans, depression is very treatable once properly diagnosed and treated. The result? A happy member of your family!

Dana Zarcone is a National Certified Counselor. She created www.depression-test.net to provide information, tools and support to those suffering with depression. Learn more about dog depression by going to her website.

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