You will always want a dog company that smile, happy and healthy everytime you come back home, a source of joy, and a stress reliever. Not a depressed one. Despite our love of dogs, we humans sometimes do forget that dogs could feel depressed too. In some situations the emotional situations of our dogs is quite obvious. Tough we could not speak dog language but we can predict dogs feeling by reading signs from their behavior and body language. To presume your dog condition, there are 10 warning sign that your dog is depressed.
In the past, it was presumed that dogs had very rich mental lives, with feelings much like humans have and even the ability to understand human language almost as well as people. However, with the rise of science things began to change. We learn things that living organisms were also governed by systems that followed mechanical rules and chemical processes. But we do know that there is more to human beings than simply mechanical and chemical events. Our virtue as humans gives us ability to perceive that depression needs psychological approach. But first, we need to know 10 warnings signs that your dog is depressed.
Depression can occur for a wide variety of reasons and it has many different triggers. For some dog, an upsetting or stressful event, such as loss of an owner, less attention, new pet or human companion, and moving to a new house can be the cause. Different causes can often combine to trigger depression.
1. Oversleep or Sleep Deprivation
Normally, dogs need at least 14-18 hours` sleep for a day. Oversleeping dogs is a warning signs to a depressed dogs. This could be manifestation of loneliness. For social animal like dogs, to be alone is burdensome for them. Depression because of loneliness can lead to oversleeping. Spend a great time with your dog to help him cope with loneliness. Maybe he wishes for something but you are just busy with yourself.
Not enough sleep can be as bad as oversleep. Sleepless dogs indicate many things, such as health symptoms or depression. Sleep deprivation as in humans can be either chronic or acute and it may cause fatigue and lethargic, daytime sleepiness, clumsiness and weight loss or weight gain.
2. Changes in Appetite
He have not eat for a couple of days even if you give him his favorite treats. The main reason he lost his appetite is anxiety. Anxiety causes the stomach to stop breaking down food and make the food unappealing. Because this sign is just a sign of elevated stress, it does not need to be a cause for concern. It will subside when you reduce your dog’s stress and give him times to calm down.
Some cases with depression might come up with emotional eating. Emotional eating is your dog would eat a lot to make himself feel better -eating to satisfy emotional needs, rather than to satisfy physical hunger. Consult with your vet for more information.
3. Loss of Interest
You know there is something wrong with your Terrier when he start to retract himself from you, likes to be alone, and his favorite toys is meant nothing to him anymore. He is just not his old self who`s lively, playful, and smile a lot. For social animal like dogs, when they are depressed they will lost interest in socializing -they will hide and withdraw themselves- regardless their breeds. I still remember my last dog acting weird and all. I was at my porch when he take a last eye contact with me that afternoon. Found him rest in peace near a river with rolled body. Anyway, do not take depression lightly.
4. Paw Licking
Dogs lick their paws to soothe themselves when they are in pain, stressed, or depressed. As in puppies, their mother licks them to make them feel safe, comfort and affection. If your dog happens to feel unloved they would lick themselves to cope with that. Some people just not ready to have a pet or lack of preparation. Learn what you need to prepare before having a dog.
5. Crave for Affection
Great news if your dog wants your attention -beg to be petted, they sleep on your lap or following you around.
“Then how come this is a warning sign of depressed dog?”
For a attentive pet owners that spend their time with their dogs is a normal thing. But for someone who barely touch his dog tough he crave for attention and beg for affections, this is the sign of depression. Dogs need love too. A new home with someone who cares about dogs is a best option.
6. Good Girl Gone Bad
If your dog is a calm dog -well behaved, listen to your cue and submissive. Then one day she is going rampant -barks on everything, biting stuffs and ramming all over the house. No question about it. It is a big warning your dog is depressed.
“How does a good girl gone bad when you care so much about her?”
When clinging on you, grabbing your attention or avoiding you don`t give you the message then aggression is her last resorts. She growls, display her tooth`s, snapping even biting you (me when i got rejected). She could use some vacation to the park (not a crowded one), to reach a calm state. If she happens to experience any traumatic events, consult with your vet for further approach.
Luckily, there are lots of thing you can do to help your dog. Give your dog more attention especially when he is feeling down and sad than usual. Taking him play outside would cheer him up. You see, affection will always break through a broken heart and heal it.