Depression is the most common mood disorder among adults worldwide. You might be surprised to know that depression can affect even your cute canine friends. You should know that depression doesn’t discriminate and can affect dogs on quite a significant level. Dogs are extremely emotionally intelligent creatures. Any emotional disruptions in their life or even major life changes can seriously hard their mental health. Mood shifts are a bit different in dogs, they will stop playing and they will not respond to your call as eagerly as they used to. If you notice such behavioral changes, there are certain steps that you can take in order to help them out.
Break up their boredom
Often, a routine that does not stimulate your dog mentally and physically can cause them to go into a rut. This can quickly move from mere boredom to severe melancholy. In order to avoid such a situation. It is important to bring about certain changes and surprises in their routine so that they have something to look forward to. Dogs have this innate need to spend all their excess energy and to be curious. Introducing new things such as a food puzzle or a new toy can help them get out of their funk.
Reward them for their positive behaviors
Do not start praising your dog as a mere ploy to get them to cheer up. Instead, start rewarding them by reinforcing their good behavior. You can use praises, toys, bully sticks for dogs, or even their favorite meal. Do not make them associate snacks and affection when they are low. Instead, get them to be a little more active and then reward them for a job well done.
Increase their level of socialization
More often than not, dogs tend to become depressed if they do not have enough interaction with their peers. Dogs have a tendency to be pack creatures, which is why it is important to let them spend time around other canines. Try including play dates for your dog or better yet, just take them to the dog park. If they are grieving due to the loss of another pet, they definitely need some company.
Teach them new tricks
It is vital that your dog finds a way to spend its excess energy. Teaching them a new trick is a great way of increasing their focus and attention. This can also lower down levels of boredom and can even give you a way of spending more time together.
Try using natural supplements
Supplements such as omega-6 and omega-3. These are known to support a number of functions such as the immune system and brain function. There has been a ton of research suggesting that the anti-inflammatory properties of these essential fatty acids have been known to enhance mood. You can try looking for an all-natural dog food that has adequate nutrition and can be paired with high-quality fish oil to help your dog.
It is important to help your dog get better if they are suffering from depression. Consult a doctor if it gets too severe, and remember to keep offering unconditional love.