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Depression in dogs has similar symptoms to those we notice in humans. When a person is depressed, they exhibit signs such as withdrawal, avoiding social meetups, losing their appetite, and crying very often, or simply not showing any emotion at all.
Depression in dogs is very real. In fact, a lot of research has proven that dogs do, in fact, get depressed. Some of them talk about how dogs sleep all the time, while others talk about clear behavioral changes in dogs.
Here are 10 warning signs of depression in dogs. If you pay heed to these signs, you can get a better idea of whether your pup is depressed or simply moody.
The first thing you need to notice in your pup is whether he’s exhibiting any obvious signs of moodiness or any obvious behavioral changes. If you pay close attention to your pup’s actions, you might be able to notice when something is wrong with him. If these changes are very sudden, then you should be particularly concerned.
Even if it isn’t depression, any sudden or massive behavioral shifts should be a cause for concern.
Typically, a dog who is suffering from depression will most likely either lose his appetite or will eat like he’s never eaten before. If your pup is displaying sudden and massive changes in appetite, it is a clear indication that something isn’t right.
On average, an adult dog sleeps roughly between 12 and 14 hours a day. Puppies sleep roughly between 17 and 20 hours a day.
In puppies, it is, therefore, going to be difficult to be able to tell the difference, but if your adult dog starts behaving like a puppy in terms of his sleeping times and habits, you may want to consider that he might be depressed.
Excessive sleeping may even suggest that something is physically wrong with your dog. So, you should first check that everything is alright physically. Once you have made sure that your dog is physically in good condition, you can then focus on diagnosing your dog’s depression.
If your dog is constantly and repetitively licking himself, it could be a sign that he is depressed.
Just licking his paw isn’t a sure-fire sign of depression. Your dog could also be licking his paws for some other reason. For example, your pup might be suffering from eczema, dry skin, a bacterial infection, or joint pain.
In any case, if your pup is licking his paws, it’s best to take him to a vet at the earliest.
One of the greatest signs of depression in your dog is that he may begin to retreat and hide away from you and the rest of your family members.
Dogs are supposed to be pack animals. As such, they love being around large groups of people and love spending time with the family.
If your pup begins to hide away from people in the house and instead prefers to be alone, it’s never a good sign because this indicates that he might very well be depressed.
Just as in humans, when dogs get depressed, they lose interest in activities that they once loved to do. For example, if your pup doesn’t want to go for walks anymore, or play with his toys, etc., it’s a sign that something might be wrong with his mental health.
Typically, if your dog isn’t going for regular walks, which is what you would expect of a depressed dog, he may just start to relieve himself indoors more often than you can deal with.
Puppies are often destructive for no reason at all. If your pup is chewing up your shoes, there’s no need to worry. In adult dogs, however, especially ones that are properly trained, destructive behavior isn’t all that common.
This is especially true if your pet hasn’t always been destructive. A sudden and massive change in behavior in your pet can often be a sign of depression. If your adult pet suddenly begins to exhibit signs of destructive behavior, you should take him to a vet immediately.
You should never take it lightly if your dog howls all the time, especially if these howls sound long and mournful. Loud, mournful howls from your pet that last for an extended period of time are a clear indication that your dog may be depressed.
Long and mournful howling can also be a sign of a physical injury. So make sure to check him physically as well to see what may be causing the howling. If this loud howling doesn’t stop for weeks on end, this is when you actually have a cause to worry.
Although it’s common for dogs to bite playfully, if those playful bites turn into aggressive ones, that’s when you need to worry about your dog being depressed.
In fact, aggression is always a sign of frustration in animals. When your dog is depressed, he will also likely be frustrated. He will take this frustration out on the person that he’s most used to, and this person usually happens to be you.
You should look out for these 10 warning signs of depression in dogs, and if you notice any major changes in your dog, do take him to a vet as soon as possible.
by Bobby J Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™ .
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