Canine depression: how to detect and treat

Depression is common in humans, and dog depression can be just as common. How common is depression? According to Healthline, an estimated 16.2 million adults in the United States suffer from depression. The CDC has documented that about 9% of Americans report that they are at least sometimes depressed, and 3.4% suffer from "major depression." Approximately 6.7% of American adults have at least one serious depressive episode during a given year. The definition of deep depression in people "a state of mental health characterized by an overwhelming feeling of sadness, isolation, and despair, which affects how a person thinks, feels, and acts."

A dog’s depression can be just as common, but it’s harder to recognize.

How to determine the signs of a depressed dog

Like humans, each dog responds differently to stress. For example, a person who has lost his job may become depressed, while another person may see opportunities and feel relieved or rejuvenated. One dog may be withdrawn, be less interactive, protected, scared, nervous, aggressive, stop eating or have a reduced appetite, while the other dog may be euphoric. Learn more about how to recognize depression in your dog. Jump to: What are the symptoms of depression in dogs?

What causes dog depression

What causes depression in one dog may be completely different than that of another dog. Just as it is difficult to predict or summarize how people will react to stress or what will cause a person to become depressed, it is difficult to determine or predict what will lead to a dog’s depression.

The most common things associated with a dog's depression are as follows:

  • diseaseDogs that are ill and do not feel well may be depressed.
  • Loss of mobilityJust as a disease can cause depression, loss of mobility can also cause depression in some dogs. If a previously active dog could not run, play, walk or exercise, it can cause emotional damage to some dogs. This can be caused by a back injury, an injury such as a fracture, or a degenerative disease (arthritis) in older dogs.
  • Loss of routineSome dogs can become very depressed due to a change in their routine. This can happen when the children return to school, the owner loses his job or gets a new job, or a change in working time, which leads to a violation of the dog's daily rituals.
  • Loss of owner or guardian, A very common cause of depression in dogs is the loss of a loved one. Loss can be death or from someone leaving or leaving the house. The death of the owner, the child leaving for college, or the passing of a child's divorce can all create a deep sense of loss and emptiness in the dog's life.
  • Loss of a neighborJust as a loss in caring for a child can affect dogs, there can also be a loss of another pet. Most often, the pet is another dog, but can also be a cat or another species. When you think about it, if the dog’s routine is to see another pet, eat with it, walk, play, and suddenly there isn’t, they may become depressed. It is important to note that changes in your dog's behavior may be caused by her depression or a reaction to your sadness. If you mourn the loss of a dog and experience depression, it can affect them.
  • movingMoving can be stressful for both us and our dogs. They suddenly lose their territory and safety net. As a rule, this step is a huge violation of the routine and the environment. Movers, moving boxes, packing, unpacking, etc. Can affect daily walks and time spent with you. This can cause depression in some dogs.
  • RehomingA new home and family may be interesting for some dogs, but depressing for others. They may miss something from their previous life or feel displaced. On top of that, they are trying to understand the new owners, the new rules in the house, the new routine, get new food, new bowls and, well … everything that can be stressful. Stress can cause depression.
  • New pet or manJust as the loss of a pet or the loss of a person can cause depression, some dogs become depressed when a new pet or person enters their lives. This may affect their daily lives. A new pet may divert attention from them.

What can you do for a depressed dog?

Dog depression treatment can be divided into pharmacological (drug) treatment and non-pharmacological treatment.

The best recommendation for treating a depressed dog is as follows:

  1. Find out why. It is best to think about why your dog is depressed. Considering the possible reason, also think about what your dog's life should be in everyday life. How much stimulation? Turn? Exercise? Attention? Or is it boring? Is he ignored? Even tied to a doghouse or in a box for hours?
  2. Optimize your dog's lifeMake sure your dog has an excellent routine consisting of lots of exercise, daily walks, frequent opportunities to go to the bathroom, a predictable meal schedule, rubbing the abdomen and enough confidence that she is the best dog in the world. Here are some tips on how to help your dog. Jump to: Is my dog ​​depressed? How to help your puppy
  3. See your vetMake sure your dog is healthy and that you do not take the symptoms of depression as symptoms of the disease. They may seem similar, and it can be difficult to say. Your vet may want to do a physical examination and perform some kind of routine blood.
  4. Natural remediesSome natural remedies that may help some dogs with depression include the Bach Flower, Ignatia, Spirit Essences Grouch
  5. Remedy, Green Hope on the Farm and Loss RemedyCheck with your vet and see if they have a product that worked well for them.
  6. drugsAs a last resort, you can work with your veterinarian to try the pharmacological treatment of your dog's depression. Most dogs react to playing time, exercise and quality time with you. To learn more about possible drug therapy, go to: How does the treatment of depression work in dogs?
  7. It takes timeIt may take some time for the treatment to work. Relax and enjoy your stay with your dog. Give him some time. In most cases, they come and go back to their normal canine essence.

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