It could be hard to imagine your tail-wagging happy, energetic puppy sitting sadly and not moving around. Yet, it might happen when you move to a new city, when you get home a new baby, when somebody who lives in the house leaves forever, never to return. Why does it happen? Because just like humans, dogs can get the blues and become depressed. Poor are our furry friends! When they suffer, they cannot verbalize it and tell us about it. As a dog’s owner, you might start feeling worried that if your dog gets the blue, you will not notice it. No need to think that way. As it always does, Pet Barn will educate you more on the matter, and you, as a responsible dog’s owner, you will make sure to read carefully and learn about symptoms of depression in dogs.

10 Symptoms of Depression in Dogs

  1. Low activity level 

You have known your dog for a while and got a good understanding of his personality. If you notice that your dog is lazier these days, then the poor thing could be feeling depressed.

  1. Lost of interest in things he once enjoyed

How does your dog react when you are getting ready to take him for a walk? Energetic and delightful? How much does he enjoy playing “fetch”? How does he feel about you giving him a treat? Happy and ready for a cuddle? If your dog suddenly stops enjoying these things, take him to the vet for depression could be the reason for that all.

  1. Changes in Sleeping Habits 

Dogs do usually sleep long hours, especially when their owner is gone. However, you should watch your dog closely if you leave him for a long time and he continues sleeping when you come back, not showing any reaction to your presence.

  1. Change in diet 

Has your dog started eating less recently for no clear reason? Does he refuse the refreshing treats he used to enjoy? Watch out for that! Most dogs eat less when they are depressed. Nevertheless, some could start to eat more, so monitor both weight loss and weight gain closely.

  1. Paw Licking 

Human babies suck their thumbs to comfort themselves, and dogs lick their paws to soothe themselves when feeling depressed. Therefore, you need to pay attention when your dog starts excessively licking or chewing his paws. This is a sign that he has a physiological or psychological issue.

  1. Losing interaction with people and other dog friends 

Dogs love people, especially if they are from a breed known to be outgoing and friendly. Also, dogs enjoy spending time with other dogs, playing, and having fun. So, when your dog stops interacting with people or refuses to play with his doggy friends, he is probably telling you that he is not ok and depressed.

  1. Flattening the ears 

Usually, when your dog is relaxed, he holds his ears forward and slightly to the side. When he wants to show interest in something, his ears will typically be forward-facing and erect. When he moves his ears backward and flattens them, he is either submissive, anxious, afraid, or depressed.

  1. Avoidance and Hiding 

If you notice that you don’t see your dog for quite a long time during the day only to discover that he has been hiding in a closet, get ready to have him checked. When dogs feel like they want to be left alone, they might be suffering from depression.

  1. Aggression 

When your dog suddenly changes from a softie to a more aggressive creature, be careful. If he suddenly starts lunging at every person or animal during his regular walks, which used to be quiet and happy, take him to the vet as soon as possible. Some doctors think that sudden aggressive behavior in dogs is a sign of depression.

  1. Howling and Growling

Has your dog recently started giving your growls instead of kisses when you hand him a treat? Has he started howling more than usual for no apparent reason, such as an injury? Sorry to tell you that, but your dog might be feeling depressed. Take him to the vet to check and rule out any other possible reason.

Ways to Cheer Up Your Pup

If you have noticed that your dog exhibits some or all of the previous signs, the first thing that you should do is, of course, to consult with your vet. He will examine your dog, make sure that these are not signs of any other physical disorder, and tell you about the best ways to help your dog. Yet, there are simple steps that you can follow, and they all can help cheer up your furry friend. Here are some suggestions:

  • Get some sunshine

Dogs were originally wild animals. This is a fact that we sometimes forget. They love nature and the outdoors, so it is a good idea to take your dog on walks more often. If this succeeded at cheering him up, his depression might be linked to a lack of outdoor activities. Do it more often, and you are sure to get excellent results.

  • Make friends

Because some dogs could get the blues after losing a companion who used to live in the same house, bringing home a new dog friend is a good idea. However, you need to introduce the newcomer carefully and give your depressed dog all the time he needs to adjust.

  • Be Patient and give extra love.

Sometimes all your dog needs to heal is time! So be there for your dog, sit with him, show your support and care but always remember you will not see an overnight change. Just be patient.

Have you ever noticed any of these symptoms in your dog before? What did you do to cheer him up? Tell us in the comments.