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Signs, Symptoms, and Treatments of a Depressed Dog

When your dog turns from a usually energetic and lively creature to a lethargic and withdrawn canine then he might be depressed. Not only do humans fall prey to depression, but dogs can also develop signs of depression and anxiety.

It’s difficult to identify what truly is bothering your pooch, because they can’t communicate their feelings. Although they aren’t human and can’t say when they are emotional, it is evident through many studies that dogs feel emotions just as strong as humans. They are very intuitive. Even though it is uncommon for dogs to suffer from depression, there are a few things that can cause them to feel a bit blue.

As an owner, it’s important to be wary of the signs and symptoms of canine depression and anxiety. This will give us the tools to cope with the condition before it results in serious medical conditions.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

When your dog is depressed they can experience the same kind of symptoms that humans do. The only difference is that they can’t communicate these feelings. Therefore, owners should be aware of the physical and external signs of the condition.

Here is a list of the most common signs of doggy depression:

Withdrawn and Isolated

Your once playful and sociable canine has become withdrawn. They don’t show enthusiasm or excitement anymore and it doesn’t seem like they are enjoying activities like they use to.

Drastic Changes in Behavior

Showing sudden aggression, being overprotective, moody, and change in toilet behavior are all behavioral changes that is an indicator of something that’s wrong. When your pooch feels threatened or scared, they will act in a way that they didn’t use to before.

Tired and Sleepy

In the same way as we would feel without energy and drive when we are sad, our dogs will feel lethargic. They might start sleeping more than they usually do.

Shivering and Hiding

Instead of being its usual approachable and loveable self, your pooch is now hiding away from everyone. Shivering and shaking can indicate anxiety caused by something external.

Certain dog breeds are especially great in providing emotional support to humans. If your pooch were usually very intuitive when it comes to your emotions and now are withdrawn, then they might be suffering from depression. If you do feel under the weather, you might consider checking out this post about dogs that are great at giving emotional support.

There are many different things that can cause doggy depression. Some of these factors might include:

  • Change in scenery
  • Moving from one home to another, or moving cities
  • Losing a family member or another pet
  • A fear of loud noises like fireworks or construction
  • Being bored and not getting enough exercise throughout the day
  • When their social group changes

If you do suspect that your pooch is suffering from anxiety or depression, you should always consult a vet first. It could be that your furry friend has an underlying medical condition. So, before you jump to conclusions, let your vet do a thorough check to rule out any medical conditions.

Treating Dog Depression

So, what can you do when your dog is down in the dumps? After visiting the vet, you can implement any of the following treatment measures:

Add Exercise

Even though your pooch might seem lethargic and sleepy, it could be that they are bored. Take them out on a daily walk or play catch. Dogs who are kept alone in an apartment throughout the day needs daily exercise to keep them mentally stimulated. If you aren’t able to walk them daily, there will be a Dog Walking Kingston service that can give your dog the exercise they need.

If you are away at work for most of the day, you could consider leaving them with a dog sitter or at a doggy day care. Invest in quality toys that they can play with when you are busy. There are loads of cool brain stimulating toys available for pets who live in apartments.

Give Attention

Just like humans, pets need attention too. This is one of the easiest tips you could do for helping your furry one relieve their stress. Neglecting your pet and not petting them or giving them love can result in depression. Spend extra time with them, where you calmly pet them and rub their bellies. Give them loads of kisses and see how they come out of their shell once again.

Natural Supplements

CBD oil is a great natural supplement to give to cats and dogs who suffer from anxiety and depression. It’s an excellent alternative to chemically induced medication and has been proven to hold great benefits. Learn more about how cannabis oil can treat anxiety in dogs here:

It’s a great idea to give a dog with anxiety and phobias CBD oil. This will help calm them down when they are faced with their fears.


Training is part of giving your dog enough attention and mental stimulation. Teaching them how to perform a few tricks will make them feel great. What makes training even better is that they can be rewarded with a treat. This is a special time that you can use to bond with your furry friend.

Introduce a Friend

After losing a family member or another pet, your canine might be sad and lonely. Introduce another pet into the home with whom they can play with and share a space.

When you have tried treatment methods and your dog’s mood hasn’t turned back to normal, then you should visit the vet once again. Doing everything you can ensure that your pooch lives a happy and healthy life.

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