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Dog Depression

Dogs seem like they're always full of boundless joy, but the truth is that their mental well being can be of concern at times, just as their humans can sometimes be as well.  Depression being most recently in the spotlight, it feels like a good time to also address dog depression.

Dogs can feel depression for a variety of reasons, but one of the more common causes is the loss of a close dog friend or the loss of their human.  Other reasons might be changes to their routine, their humans going away from them on vacation, or illness.

Surprisingly, dog depression symptoms are very similar to human depression symptoms.  Some common symptoms to look for are: moping around, lethargy, withdrawal from other dogs and humans, eating too much or too little, little to no interest in things that once excited him (walks or play), and sleeping more or less than normal.

There is no quick fix with dog depression.  If you are not aware of the cause of the depression, it's important to see your vet to look for an illness or chemical reasons.  If you know the reason, there are some things that can be done to help your pup through.  Lots of positive reinforcement is important during this time.  Providing time for encouraged play, especially with other dogs if the loss of another pup caused the depression, is a great idea.  If your vet feels it's chemically driven depression, meds are available, but natural solutions are encouraged first. 


  1. We think the little dog who lives behind us is depressed. She is always alone.

  2. Thanks for this spotlight. I've only ever seen depression in my dogs after a canine in our family has died (except Shyla who was a wreck for months after we adopted her). Your suggestions are great.

    Our dog, R (the black lab) has obsessive-compulsive disorder. We can generally control it through lifestyle adaptations (lots of exercise and mental stimulation) but our vet reminds us periodically that there are psychiatric drugs for dogs, if R ever needs them...

  3. Positive reinforcement is so important specially when you have lost a pet and the other is alone.
    Have a terrific Tuesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  4. Yes, we doggies so get sad when we lose somebody we love. And we lose them every time they go out the door!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley
    Mayorz For All Paws
    "Use Your Noodle & Vote For A Doodle!"


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