Everything You Need To Know About Dog Depression

Everything You Need to Know About Dog Depression

Life is full of ups and downs, and it is not uncommon for many of us to go through a phase of depression at some point in our lives. But, no one really considers if our pets can feel the same way.

It is hard to imagine a time that your furry friend isn't jumping up and down when you return home or running around the house when it is time to go on a walk. For some canines, this is their reality, and it is possible that they may be suffering from dog depression.

Dog depression can be brought on from many situations, like the loss of a companion or bringing a new pet home. Whatever the case, it is not a fun time for you or your dog. This article will help you take control of their depression by learning enough about it to get them back in high spirits. Read on to get started.

Can Dogs Be Depressed?

The first thing to discuss before getting into how to cure dog depression is by questioning whether or not they can have it at all. There has been an ongoing debate between veterinarians and animal behaviorists about if it is possible for dogs and other pets to suffer from long-term sadness.

There are some that believe that dog depression can indeed happen, but that it is incredibly rare and that you should check and see if they have any medical conditions that can be contributing to their loss of interest, sadness, and other depression symptoms.

 It is possible that canines can experience the same depression symptoms that we do when faced with hard times or traumatic events that occur. Being there for them to help them get back on the right track is crucial to help them through this time of need, along with a trip to the vet. Thank you for reading.
Dog Eyes Depresion

On the other hand, there are many times that there is no illness or condition that can explain the symptoms that pets go through. They could be reacting to certain events in life the same way that humans do when they go through a hard time, making it possible that they can experience depression.

No matter the reason for why your dog may be moping around the house or has lost interest in the things that they love, there is no proven way to know if your dog has clinical depression. Since they are not able to verbalize how they feel like we can, the only evidence that we have is behavioral changes, making it difficult to determine if they have it or not.

Dog vs. Human Depression

There are many similarities when it comes to depression in dogs and humans, and most of them lie in the behavior. When we feel depressed, it is often hard to get out of bed and do mundane activities or activities that we enjoy. This is also a common symptom in dogs, as some owners notice sleep changes in their pets and coming home to them still in bed after work.

Another major similarity is a change in appetite. When humans have clinical depression, they may find it hard to eat or may develop a problem of overeating, and the same can be said for dogs as well. Some may have no desire to touch their food while others may be begging for more as soon as they have eaten.

Overweight Dogs

While humans and canines may have a lot of similarities in symptoms, the differences are major. As mentioned above, dogs cannot verbally express the way that they feel, so it is difficult to pinpoint the extent of their depression, what type they have, and why they have it.

Humans can have either seasonal or general depression and can be diagnosed through therapy by discussing how they feel. From there, they can get specific treatment for their case. For dogs, we will never know how severe their depression is if it is even depression at all and not just a phase of sadness caused by minor issues.

Signs Of Dog Depression

Now that we have discussed the key points that are needed to know to understand dog depression and how it differs from us, it is time to talk about what signs you need to look out for if the question, "Is my dog depressed?" often comes to mind.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that these signs could also be an indication that your dog may have a medical condition, so check in with a vet before declaring that they are depressed.

Loss of Interest

Dogs that are depressed will stop getting excited about dog walks, car rides, mealtime, or anything else that may have stirred him before.

Changes in Appetite

Another sign is that your dog may have trouble finishing their food or eats too much, which also leads to weight loss or gain.

Dog Stoped Eating

Excessive Sleep

If you have noticed that your pup sleeps more than they usually do, it could be a sign that they are not feeling so well. This also goes for having trouble sleeping.


Another major sign that you should be concerned about is if your dog hides or wants to be left alone. Dogs are companion pets and almost always want love and attention from loved ones, so if you see this sign, it may mean that your dog is suffering from something painful emotionally or physically.

How To Help A Depressed Dog

If you have made sure that your dog has these symptoms without any medical conditions, there are quite a few ways to go about healing their depression. The best thing to do is try and keep the routine as normal as possible, and take them on walks and to dog parks whenever possible.

Happy Dogs

Feeding them the same way you did before will make them less stressful, and doing activities that they enjoy will help get their mind back in the right place. If they are upset over the loss of a companion, it may be beneficial to get them another friend if this is possible for you and your family. When choosing this option, make sure that your dog's needs are met first.  

If your dog experiences depression for months at a time, it might benefit from the use of antidepressants.


It is possible that canines can experience the same depression symptoms that we do when faced with hard times or traumatic events that occur. Being there for them to help them get back on the right track is crucial to help them through this time of need, along with a trip to the vet. Thank you for reading.

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