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Blues Clues: Is My Dog Suffering from Depression?

Believe it or not, dogs like humans can suffer from depression. Diagnosing depression in your K9 is difficult, but if you have concluded that there is no organic or physical cause for notable behavioral changes then it is very possible that depression may be the answer. Being aware of your pet’s normal disposition is key to determining whether your dog is suffering from depression. 

Dogs feed off of human energy, totally empathizing with your mood, so if you are depressed then it is likely your pet may mimic your behaviors. If you notice a significant change in attitude or behavior over a course of days or weeks, you may want to consider the following:


8 Signs Your Dog May Be Depressed

  • Listless
  • Inactive
  • Not eating
  • Change in sleeping habits
  • Withdrawn
  • Limp tail
  • Not interested in going on daily walks or other activities they used to enjoy
  • Distinct change in attitude/behavior for an extended length of time

6 Reasons Your Dog May Be Depressed

  • Loss of companion pet
  • Loss of owner
  • New child or pet introduced at home
  • Moved to a new home
  • Someone moving in or out
  • Owner care of schedule change

4 Actions to Take If You Think Your Dog Is Depressed
  • Go to the veterinarian to ensure it is not a physical problem and indeed an emotional one
  • Spend more time with your dog and do things you know your dog likes i.e. long walks, dog parks, car rides
  • Reward your dog when he/she shows signs of happiness *NOTE: DO NOT spoil a down dog with attention and treats, this will condone and encourage negative behavior
  • Last resort: There are medications approved by the FDA that can be prescribed by your trusted veterinarian such as Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft or Clomicalm. These medications are usually used on a short-term basis (6 months to 1 year). Always consult your pet care professional before medicating your pet.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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