Sad Dogs. A Look at Dog
There is little doubt that dogs can and do suffer from the same
emotional problems befalling human beings. Dogs of all types and
ages can exhibit characteristics of several of the more common
problems. These include anxiety, obsessive compulsive order and
phobias. One particular disorder of interest to dog pharmacologists
and behavioral psychologists is dog depression.
Dog depression is, at its simplest, an expression of sadness. The
dog is not content or happy. He or she is nervous, anxious and,
obviously depressed. The canine loses all bounce. He or she may also
lose his or her appetite for food.
A depressed canine does not eat or drink with normal relish. The
depressed dog may sleep more and seem lethargic. The animal is
“down” and not excited by life as he or she would have yesterday,
last week or last month. If this change in behavior often takes
place without any sign of a physical problem or health issue, it may
There are several reasons why your dog may become depressed. The
major causal factors of depression can be divided into 2 categories:
physical and environmental.
There is one major cause of depression in this category. It is a
deficit of serotonin. This is a medical reason why your dog may be
depressed. An imbalance or decrease in this hormone does cause
depression in humans.
Several factors in the environment can cause your dog to become
depressed. They are listed below.
1. Separation from the owner. A dog attached to their person can
become depressed after short or long periods of separation. This is
documented throughout history.
2. Loss of a companion animal, frequently another dog. When a dog
has bonded with another animal, the ties are strong. If the animal,
cat, dog or gerbil, dies, the canine left behind may become
3. Moving. Moving from one home to anther can disorient the best of
humans. Some dogs are often set into a set routine. They are happy
with everything remaining the same. It takes them longer to adjust.
Moving from a house to an apartment or from the country to the city
is enormous. It requires a lot of adjustment. A dog who is set in
his or her ways may become depressed until he or she has settled in
and accepted the new surroundings.
4. Trauma. A serious trauma can alter your dog’s moods one way or
5. A dog that is tethered and kept socially isolated for extended
periods of time, may become depressed. This is particularly true for
certain breeds of dogs.
There are several ways you can treat your depressed dog. There are
medications - antidepressants, which can control the moods. There
are also various forms of behavioral treatments. Many of these are
simple. They include increasing the amount of exercise or making
sure your dog has a greater chance to interact socially with persons
and other dogs.
You should play more with your canine companion. You may also want
to liven up his or her life with another dog. Before you decide to
do the latter, make sure it will be fair to both dogs. Talk to your
vet and a behavioral psychologist to see what is the best solution.
In some instances the advice may be directed to you. Dogs are
empathic. They feel what you feel. The closer they are to their
person, the more likely he or she will react to your own moods. If
your dog is depressed because you are depressed, see and talk to
your own doctors.
Dog, like humans, fall ill to any number of diseases. The health
issues may be social, physical or emotional. One recent concern is
dog depression. Dogs can suffer from this emotional ailment. Talk to
your vet and a behavioral psychologist to see if your dog is
depressed. If this proves true, take the appropriate steps to help
him or her return to the vitality that should be their life.
Information provided by Kelly Johnston of Oh My Dog Supplies,
the top ranked store to find tough dog toys online.