Different Signs That Your Dog May Be Depressed

Dog May Be Depressed | A dog is a living, breathing creature. It feels hunger, thirst, pain, relief, happiness, and sadness. Just like with us humans, these animals have feelings. These feelings result from various things that all play their part. Just like humans, dogs also suffer from depression.

Depression is classified as an actual disease and affects almost everyone nowadays. Everyone has their reasons for being depressed, and regardless of what they may be, it can often weaken them well beyond what they would like.

Depression is known to be a silent killer. It eats away your entire existence slowly and gradually, gnawing away at you to immobilize you. The signs do start to show initially, but it is often played off as just a ‘bad day’ or a ‘bad period of your life.’

Luckily for us humans, there are many ways to fight depression. The most basic of the lot is simply talking about it with friends, family, or a therapist. Even if it doesn’t solve the problem, it can set the person on a path to recovery that might turn out a certain way in the future.

However, dogs aren’t able to talk. They can’t share how they feel. For this reason, it is extremely important to always keep an eye out for different signs that your dog is suffering from depression. Understandably, they won’t face the same problems that we do, but very real situations can make dogs fall into depression.

Signs Of Depression in Dogs

Since a dog can’t speak to you, you need to watch out for the signs that tell your dog is depressed.

Change In Behavior

When a dog is depressed, the most obvious way to tell is through its behavior. If a dog suffers from depression, it could go from a very active animal to an incredibly sedimentary one. It will go from wanting to run around at every opportunity to not wanting to leave its bed. A dog suffering from depression will spend a lot of time sitting around, doing nothing. Not too different when compared to humans.

Loss Of Appetite

Next, you will notice that your dog is not eating properly. Being depressed often affects the dog’s appetite, sometimes completely killing it. For both humans and animals, sustenance is imperative to function daily. It is responsible for the energy to walk around, but it is also important to replenish our body’s nutrients to stay healthy. When depressed, the body is deprived of these nutrients, which makes it harder to function on a day-to-day basis and weakens it in the long run.

Abandoning Old Habits

Finally, you will notice that your dog is no longer showing the same interest in certain activities as it once did. If it were a fan of going on walks or playing fetch, you would notice that it no longer wants to do any of those things anymore. This should be the most alarming of all symptoms because it is the most obvious sign that your dog is suffering from depression to the point where it is not even acting like itself anymore.

Causes Of Depression in Dogs

For humans, depression is caused by trauma, loss, financial uncertainty, failed plans, or other situations where the outcomes were not what we wanted. At times, it isn’t any of these things and just a generally terrible time in your life that has weighed you down to the point where you are now incapable of doing the basics.

Change Of Scenery

In dogs, the most common causes of depression include a drastic change in schedule or the loss of someone who means a lot to them. For example, if you lived in a home with a nice garden with many places to run and jump and then suddenly moved into a new place where they can’t do this anymore, they will become extremely depressed. Firstly, the change in the environment won’t be good for them. Second, they won’t be as physically active as before, which will make matters worse for them.

Losing A Loved One

Its owners are often the center of its entire universe for a dog. They get food, pets, cuddles, walks, and essentially everything they need to function properly from the owner. If their owner leaves or passes away, the dog’s entire world comes crashing down. Whatever they knew up until this point is no longer there, and this can wreck them emotionally. For a human, losing a loved one can be emotionally detrimental beyond words, but we tend to gather ourselves. For a dog, which depends on a certain human for everything, things are different. The dog will get depressed because it no longer has this person who meant a lot to it. Furthermore, it will not be getting the care it had become accustomed to, which can be difficult for it to get used to.

This doesn’t always have to be a human, though. When a dog is used to living with another pet in the home, and this other pet dies, the dog is now all alone. Now it doesn’t have its friend and is alone – a disastrous combination.

Treatment For Depression In Dogs

Since depression in dogs is usually the thing that can be fixed, their depression does not last as long. While humans might struggle with depression for a long time, dogs can usually get better in a few months.


Dogs can be given the same antidepressants as humans, i.e., Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil. However, always make sure you consult a vet before giving them anything. You need to make sure you have the right dosage, if your dog can even have this medicine, and if it won’t have any side effects on the animal.

These medicines are usually more effective on animals, treating the issue much sooner. A human may take antidepressants for many years; dogs usually only need a few months to get better.

Recreating Old Environments

While it might not be possible to recreate an old setting completely, you can do your best to make sure your dog is comfortable. Bring its old toys with you when you move, try to keep in touch with other dog pals it might have.

Don’t neglect dogs for the care you once gave them because they spent a long time living that way. For them, that is normal. If you snatch that from them, it will very badly affect them.

Give Them Company

If you see that your dog is suffering from depression, try to bring it a new friend to play with. This could be another puppy that is now a new member of the house while also being company for your dog. This can prove to be the biggest change that you can bring for your dog, one that can save it from depression.