John Ciribassi, DVM, past president of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior; founder of Chicagoland Veterinary Behavior Consultants near Chicago. Symptoms of depression in dogs can vary from dog to dog. Most dogs bounce back from depression within a few days to a few months with just a little extra TLC, said Ciribassi. Out of the blue, your usually energetic pooch is withdrawn and listless. A dog that is sent to the pound or loses his master shows signs of depression. It's no secret that dogs sleep a lot, particularly when their owners are gone. “Dogs pick up on our emotions, so if the owner has died, the dog could be responding to the grief of others,” Beaver said. Depressed dogs will often lick or chew their paws to soothe themselves. My smaller (60 lb), higher energy dog used to harass our larger (130 lb) dog all day, every day. We suggest signs and changes to look out for in your dog and ways to help them through. In order to tell if your dog is depressed, pay close attention to how he acts. Alternatively, there are dogs that seem to use food as a kind of solace when they are depressed and want to eat more, leading to weight gain. And reward them when they show signs of happiness, Beaver said. Is a question sometimes we ask ourselves. By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the WebMD, Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts. Then she wouldn’t go on walks. It may be hard to understand how your tail-wagging, playful pooch might experience days or even weeks feeling down in the dumps, but dogs can suffer from depression just as much as their caring human parents do. Maybe you’ve just moved, or you’ve brought home a new baby. All rights reserved. “It’s hard to know because we can’t ask them,” said Beaver, who also is a veterinary specialist in animal behavior at the small animal clinic at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine. Yes, this is depression. If the hiding has also come up recently and is accompanied by some of the other signs, itâs very likely that your furry friend is suffering from dog depression. But the two most common triggers of severe dog depression are the loss of a companion animal or the loss of an owner. “Benji walked in, ran up the stairs, found Terrace behind the mirror and when I got up there he was lying next to her and licking her,” Richer said. Most dogs will eat less and lose weight when depressed. They become inactive. And be careful the dog isn’t simply responding to the reactions of other people in the home. The dog will think you’re rewarding them for that behavior. How Long Does Coronavirus Live On Surfaces? “By the time cases get to me, they’re bad. “Within a week, she was better. Learn about symptoms and treatments for dog depression. With patience and understanding, most dogs can recover from depression on their own. Depression is not more prevalent in one breed over another. Your dog is suddenly aggressive or destructive. Any sudden changes in behavior or mood could be a sign that thereâs something wrong. Changes in a dog's environment or living circumstances can trigger depression and anxiety. If your dog has suddenly gone from a total softie to lunging at every person or animal â¦ Although dogs do not have the same capacity for reasoning as we humans, it doesn't mean they cannot experience depression. If your once low-key dog is â¦ Is My Dog Depressed? Tags: is my dog depressed, is my dog depressed quiz. “But in clinical practice, there are a few situations where that is the only explanation.”. Then she stopped drinking. Now she’s the happiest dog ever.”. “It’s important that people deal with the problem before it gets too bad,” Sueda said. Environmental Changes As with people, events going on around your pet can cause him to feel depressed and anxious. Get Some Extra Sunshine. Bonnie Beaver, DVM, executive director of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, said veterinarians don’t really know if dogs suffer from depression the same way people do. However, dogs can certainly experience depression. Although there isnât enough data to prove whether dogs can experience depression, there is anecdotal evidence to show that dogs may have feelings of depression or sadness. As soon as you identify Fidoâs depression symptoms, you â¦ A pet that mopes around and no longer wants to go for walks could simply have pain from arthritis, Beaver says. Sitting out in the sun will make you and your dog happier. Dogs, like their human counterparts, can get depressed. Yes, say experts. Although there isnât enough data to prove whether dogs can experience depression, there is anecdotal evidence to show that dogs may have feelings of depression or sadness. Sometimes, if the dog is depressed because of the loss of a companion, getting another pet can help, said Ciribassi. Beaver said it can take up to two months for drugs to become effective. Instead it was a friendly rescue dog she agreed to foster for a week. But there are times when a dog doesnât need to go through such a drastic event to become depressed. Dogs, just like us, can suffer from issues such as obesity, allergies, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Beaver said major changes in a dogâs life could lead to periods of depression. Beaver said although it’s not uncommon for pets to get down, especially during periods of change, it’s rare for dogs to suffer from long-term depression. “We were all sad, but we got through it,” said Richers, of Roswell, Ga. “We did lots of car rides and dog parks; all the things they enjoyed.”. But unlike people, who often remain on antidepressants for years, most dogs can get better in six to 12 months and then be taken off the drugs, she said. Dogs, just like their owners, get depressed at times. Yes, your dog feels really sad. If your dog suddenly loses interest in playing, going for walks, and other things that would normally excite her, take note. With the right support and treatment, you can help your beloved pup through a period of low mood. Dog depression symptoms are very similar to those in people, said John Ciribassi, DVM, past president of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior. Loss of Interest. Is My Dog Depressed? Aggression. Karen Sueda, DVM, diplomat, American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and president elect of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior; founder of the behavior service at VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital, Los Angeles. Pretty much any health issue a human can have, so too is there a doggie counterpart. Those include moving into a new home, a new spouse or baby in the household, or adding another pet. Unlike other conditions that can be diagnosed, depression cannot. Signs That Your Dog is Depressed There are many signs of depression in dogs. Noticing that your dog is depressed is heartbreaking because unless youâre fluent in canine, you canât talk to them about it. Because depression symptoms mimic many illnesses, the first thing to do is get your pup to the vet. Roswell, Ga. Bonnie Beaver, DVM, executive director, American College of Veterinary Behaviorists; veterinary specialist in animal behavior, small animal clinic at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine, College Station, Texas. But when Pumba died in 2007, nothing could bring Terrace out of her funk. Some dogs will even stop eating or showing any sign of affection because theyâre so depressed.. Dogs, like humans, can suffer from depression. Take your dog out more often. It is easy to pinpoint sadness in our pups, however, determining the exact reason for this melancholy can be a challenge. Get â¦ “Dogs will become withdrawn. “Keep them engaged, do more of the things they like to do, get them a little more exercise, and they should be fine,” he said. Take this short quiz to find out! As a result, it will cause the aggravation of chronic diseases, most often allergy. Causes of Dog Depression. Dog depression can be adjusted with the right techniques. While depression isn't typically diagnosed in dogs, vets and behaviourists want owners to become more aware of the signs to look out for. It's important to verify whether or not your dog is sick or has a chemical imbalance that should be treated with medication. “Or the dog may not be getting the attention he’s accustomed to, which is stressing him out.”. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Even dogs can get the blues. So how do you know if your dog is depressed? If your dog is not greeting you as excitedly when you come home â less of a tail wag, less energy and movement â or loses interest in activities they once enjoyed, they may be depressed. Is my dog depressed? On the other hand, just like humans, some dogs may eat more as a form of comfort.Watch for: © 2020 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved. Noticing that your dog is depressed is heartbreaking because unless youâre fluent in canine, you canât talk to them about it. Is my dog depressed? She also uses Clomicalm, an FDA approved drug for the treatment of separation anxiety in dogs. Thereâs nothing quite like that feeling, which makes the rare occasions when your dog reacts in a more subdued wayâor doesnât react at allâstand out so much.