It is well documented that humans can suffer from depression, but it is less well known that depression can also occur in the dog. When dog is depressed then the symptoms of depression in the dog may be similar to those observed in humans: lethargy reduced physical activity, little appetite, and simply their joy of living has suddenly disappeared.
The classic signs of depression in the dog are quite comparable to those experienced by humans. Dogs may have good mood days and others where they feel a bit irritable and depressed just as humans. If your dog seems particularly tired, slow, and does not seem to want to interact, a possible cause is a depression. However, it’s important not to skip the conclusions and accept it by visiting a trusted vet. Below are some common symptoms of dog depression:
Changes in Behavior:
Your dog may have significant changes in behavior. It could act differently, become introverted, and it looks like it has lost vitality. He may refuse to play, walk and become irritable.
Decreasing excitability: If your dog generally got excited when you came back from work, during a game, a walk, and now seems lifeless, this can be a sign of depression.
Your dog often sleeps? Although frequent sleeping is common for dogs that are left home all day while their owners are at work if they continue to sleep even when they come home this is not normal. If your dog only wants to sleep, this can be a sign of such a disease.
A classic symptom of depression is inactivity. Your dog may decide to sit in his bed or a comfortable home area all day. It can become extremely inactive to the point that you do not want to leave even for daily needs or take a walk.
If the dog’s tail is not as pimping, as usual, this may reflect their mood. If the tail is constantly facing downwards it may be the result of their depression.
A significant absence without obvious motives.
Some dogs can sleep more when they are depressed, but others can actually sleep much less. Changes in sleep patterns are a sign to keep in mind when thinking of dog depression. If your dog was usually used to sleeping well at night and is no longer sleeping, something could have happened at a psychological level.
Your dog stops interacting with you and/or with other animal companions. This is similar to the social withdrawal of depression in humans.
Causes of Depression
Just as in humans, there are many factors that can lead to depression in dogs. Not all depressed dogs are a “chemical imbalance”. In fact, it is much more likely that there are other factors in the game.
If the animal has been abused by its owner in the past. Many dogs that are abused end up showing signs of mistrust, aggression, and depression. This is because they have not been raised in a safe and compassionate environment. This phenomenon occurs in humans as well as with parents who neglect and/or abuse their children as they grow up and lead to psychological problems.
If all other potential causes have been discarded, depression may result from a chemical imbalance. If your dog has experienced depression over a long period of time and etiology is unknown, this may be a case of clinical depression. In other words, your dog may need to take an antidepressant such as Prozac as prescribed by a veterinarian.
If one of the dog’s brothers or their owner dies, the dog may become depressed. Dogs are able to develop strong affective ties with their masters and those around them. If someone dies (for example, his original owner), his soul may be devastated.
If you yourself suffer from depression, you may translate your condition to your dog. Most people with depression try to solve their problem by taking care of a pet. Proper care of animals, however, requires so much energy and time, people who are depressed cannot take care of their pets, and this can lead the animal to feel abandoned and therefore depressed.
Some events that occur in the environment around your dog can make you feel depressed. If you move to a new home or have recently changed your home, your dog might be affected. Also, something as simple as a program change in which your dog is not involved for a while can cause the feeling of depression.
If your pet is home alone almost all day, 7 days a week, the first place you should not be pet owners. However, if you leave a dog in isolation for quite a long time you may be able to experience the sadness that accompanies solitude.
It is always important to consider whether your dog may have developed a basic medical condition that makes it depressed and slim. It is extremely important to go to a good vet for a checkup before taking for granted that your behavior is depressed or is just the result of a chemical imbalance. Many dogs typically appear depressed because of medical conditions – this is the most common cause.
Some dogs can enter a state of depression when there are big storms on the horizon. Dogs are very sensitive to pressure variations that accompany storms.
How to Care
Before veteran diagnosing if you’re pet has depression, make sure there is something you can do to help it without drugs. Talk to your veterinarian to exclude all other possible medical conditions that may cause a feeling of depression.
Keep in mind that treating the dog with an antidepressant should be the last resource – these are powerful drugs that can create unpleasant changes in their brain. Over time, they can become addicted to these drugs and, in most cases, do not need pills to feel better, they just need some love.
Compassionate toward your beloved dog. Make you heard and pamper it. Give it extra attention and this could help improve its status.
Play With Him
Do something new and games or fun; take it out or in a park for animals. You will appreciate the fact that you are giving it love and attention.
If your dog missed one of his companions (e.g. brother or sister) who typically played with him, you can help him bring him out where there are other dogs (like a park).
Antidepressants for Dogs?
Antidepressants (SSRIs) should only be used as the last option. You should try to determine the cause of your dog’s depression and treat it with natural means. Something as simple as spending more time with your dog and giving it a little extra attention.
Just as antidepressants are not effective in all people, they are not effective in all dogs. In fact, they can make your dog’s mood even worse and we cannot say whether they are a miracle cure for dogs. Common antidepressants for dogs include Clomicalm, Prozac, and Zoloft.
SSRIs typically take 4 to 8 weeks in humans. In addition, these medications can make some people more depressed. All other behavioral options should be pursued before using a potent drug such as an SSRI.