Is My Dog Depressed?

As we begin to ease back into normality, we should ask ourselves, what has this experience been like for our pets?

Since March 2020, many of us have either been working from home, furloughed, or made redundant due to the current pandemic. Although this has not been without its negatives, we have been able to spend more time with our beloved pets. Spending more time at home has meant that your pooch has had their best friend by their side and enjoyed fuss, love, and attention throughout the day.

It is important to consider the impact on your dog as you return to work and how this may affect their ‘new normal’.


What are the symptoms of Dog Depression:

Symptoms of Dog depression can mirror those in people. “Dogs can become withdrawn. They become inactive. Their eating and sleeping habits often change. They don’t participate in the things they once enjoyed.” – John Ciribassi, DVM, past president of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviour.

Increased amount of sleep

Dogs tend to sleep more when their owner isn’t around and this is completely normal behaviour, but if your dog continues to sleep and show a lack of interest when you are around and this is a significant change in their behaviour, something may be wrong.

It is always necessary to check for signs of physical illness first, but this could be a sign that your dog is not happy.

Constantly liking paws

Often depressed dogs with soothe themselves by licking or chewing their paws more frequently and restlessly.

Appetite Changes

Extreme weight loss or gain could be a sign that your dog is suffering from depression.

Preventing/treating dog depression

Firstly, rule out if there are any health issues causing your dog’s change in behaviour. If this is not the case, then you can try and alleviate the things that may be causing the issue. If it is that your dog is facing a change in routine post lockdown, help to ease them back into normality.

 

          Increased entertainment

Play more games with dog. Help stimulate them by taking them out to new and interesting places with plenty of smells and areas to run around and play.

 

          More frequent cuddle time

Dogs crave our attention, give them plenty of it! Show them lots of love and affection and make this a priority in your downtime. You are the most important part of their day, so give positive feedback.

 

          Replace what is needed

If the cause of your dogs change in behaviour is due to you returning to work and spending less time at home, ease this transition by getting an experienced dog walker/pet sitter to pop in during the week. This will help to alleviate your dog’s separation anxiety and give you peace of mind that they are receiving care and attention whilst you’re not with them.

 

Find out more about our Dog Walking Services and Home Visits.