Many dog lovers may wonder about dog depression and the potential symptoms of dog depression. There is a lot of news and information about human depression, so if people are depressed, why can't dogs? In this article we will look at the topic of dog depression and look at the symptoms of dog depression.
Depression in dogs is much harder to define or document than in humans. After all, grief and sadness are normal human emotions, not emotions that we usually learn from dogs. What can make an understanding of depression in dogs even more difficult is the fact that each dog can react differently to any situation.
Common Symptoms of Depressed Dogs
Symptoms of depression can vary not only between dogs, but also between breeds and breed lines. Even dogs from the same litter can react differently, just as children from the same family can react differently to a situation or stress.
Signs of depression in dogs may include:
- Removed and less social – One of the most common symptoms of depression in dogs is abstinence. This is a very common symptom of depression in people. Many people with depression prefer to stay at home and avoid contact with friends and family members altogether. An example of a depressed dog is a dog that is less interactive or less involved in a family. Some pet owners notice that their dog does not greet them at the door or is not sitting in the same room as their family when they are watching TV.
Mike wrote: "My beagle "Grow" began to hide in the laundry after I retired. Growing went to work with me every day, and when my routine changed, he began to hide and not participate in family activities. For example, Rusty was usually in the same room when I was watching TV, and he stopped. He just did not want to talk so much with his family."
- Loss of interest “Some depressed dogs will lose interest in what you know they love to do.” It may not be a game with their favorite toy, or that they do not want to walk, or they do not make their usual walk around the yard to smell everything.
- Changes in appetite – Some dogs with depression have less appetite or stop eating altogether. Other dogs with depression will eat more to calm down.
- Weight changes – Weight loss or weight gain can be the result of changes in appetite. Dogs that eat more calories will gain weight. Dogs that eat less will lose weight. Changes in activity and sleep patterns also affect weight gain and weight loss.
- Changes in sleep patterns – Suppressed dogs can sleep more, and this can be seen by less social behavior or by itself. Some dogs improve their sleep by 10-40% or even more in some cases. On the other hand, some dogs will sleep less and become "restless."
- anxiety – Some dogs with depression seem more nervous. They will be more frightened at loud noises, appear frightened when the company comes, and in general may be more restless. John D. wrote to me: “When I moved across the country, my dog Gus began to get worried. He slept all night, and suddenly he began to walk. He barks at noises that never disturbed him.
- Behavior changes – Some dogs will change their habits. For example, some dogs will not sleep on the bed with their owners or in their favorite bed, although they have been doing this for years. Alexandra wrote: “When I lost my job, my Jack Russell Terrier always slept in his bed on the sofa in the living room. He has been doing this for years. And suddenly she wanted to sleep on the bed. ” Sharon S. wrote: “When my husband died, our beagle "Franny" walked back and forth. She would sit at the door, as if searching for him to return home, and then go some more. It seemed that she could not feel comfortable or relax."
- Loss of destructive behavior – Some dogs with depression may return to earlier behavior and begin to have accidents in the house.
- Self destructing behavior – Some dogs may start chewing or licking themselves. Some dogs will lick areas of the body, such as legs or feet, as a soothing behavior. Some behaviorists believe that self-facing behavior, also known as Acral Lick dermatitis, is due to confusion as movement. Self-healing behaviors that can be caused by depression can become ritual and intrusive.
- vocalization – In some dogs with depression, a new behavior begins – barking or howling.
- Aggressive behavior – A small minority of depressed dogs may exhibit aggressive behavior, such as growling, clicking, biting, or fighting other dogs.
Symptoms that show if depression is severe
All of the above are serious symptoms, but depression symptoms in a dog that affect your dog’s health or may harm you or other dogs are most important.