Why wouldn’t our beloved pooches also suffer from depression? They know how to love, how to feel happy and what keeps them going. Why wouldn’t they feel the opposite?
According to veterinarians, three in ten dogs suffer from some depression or some type of anxiety disorder. Because it is on the rise, veterinarians are becoming more concerned.
Here are a few signs and symptoms you should look for:
- Loss of appetite / excessive appetite
- Changes in behavior
- Over sleeping
Why is this happening? Surprisingly, many of the reasons are the same as in humans. More humans are taking on more projects and responsibilities that take them away from home for longer periods. Dogs get lonely too and feel neglect. Another issue is that mental health issues are on the rise with humans and our furry best friends can sense it. If you aren’t happy, neither are they. If you are depressed you have a hard enough time taking care of yourself let alone another living, breathing thing.
A few other reasons could be old age, medical conditions, death and, sadly, abuse.
So, what can we do to help lift their spirits? Well, before jumping on the medication bandwagon make sure you rule out all medical conditions with your vet. Medications should be a last resort. Be sure you look into why you think your dog may be depressed so that you can make any necessary changes to your environment in order to make your home or routine more relaxing and happy.
Here are a few things you can to do try diminish their depression:
- Spend time with them
- Exercise them more
- Socialization with other people and dogs
- Give them much needed extra attention
- Give them yummy treats
Remember it can take some time for improvement to show, so have a lot of patience with them. If no improvements are made and you feel medication is the only way be sure to go over all the options and side effects with your veterinarian.