The continuous sadness and sense of worthlessness that characterise depression are symptoms of a mental illness. It’s no secret that some people struggle with depression. It’s often accompanied with a lack of enthusiasm for things that used to bring happiness. In humans, it can have a wide spectrum of severity, ranging from barely perceptible symptoms to a lifelong disability that severely limits normal functioning. Furthermore, this illness is potentially lethal. Medications and psychotherapy are the two mainstays of care for depressive disorders in humans.
Why Does your Dog Have Depression?
If you have cause to believe that it’s everything dogs related and is depressed, it may be helpful to think about what has changed or is changing in your dog’s life, such as the environment or the people and situations with which your dog interacts. A pet’s anxiety and/or depression levels may skyrocket if its daily routine is drastically altered.
Here is a list of possible reasons why dogs might be depressed, but it is by no means complete:
- Long-term illness or suffering
- A traumatic event, such an accident or abusive treatment, like an injury or abuse
- Isolation (as when a dog or cat has to be confined to a crate after surgery) (such as a pet that is crated only after a surgery or injury)
- Boredom, especially in active or working dogs, can be caused by a lack of mental or physical stimulation.
Shifts within the nuclear family:
Celebration of the Arrival of a New Baby (human or pet)
Variation from the typical job or school schedule, as when a pet parent returns to work after taking time off to care for their pet.
Helping a Depressed Dog
Just like in people, there is a wide range of depression severity and manifestations in canines. Before you can help your dog, you need to find out what’s causing the symptoms. Fortunately, dogs are resilient creatures that can withstand a lot. Small but meaningful changes can have a big impact on a person’s mood after a traumatic occurrence. If you’re looking for some advice, here it is.
Set up a playdate with some other kids your age. If your dog longs for the company of another canine, taking it for a walk or doing another activity with another dog may help. It’s possible that adopting a new dog would make your dog happier, but you shouldn’t make that decision for the sake of your dog’s well-being alone. It’s crucial that you and your new pet get along well before you bring it home.
Raise the level of mental and physical challenge. Doing so can involve taking your dog on more walks or longer walks than normal, playing fetch with them on a regular basis, giving them a new enhancement or puzzle toy, or encouraging them to take part in some of the activities they enjoy most.
Make sure they have food and are consuming it. Adding a topping to your pet’s meal for just a few seconds may encourage them to consume more of their food. Altering their diet all at once can lead to stomach upset, so it’s best to make changes gradually instead.
Behave honourably. If your pet is depressed and their behaviour is a result of that, you need to control your treating dog depression actions so that you are not unintentionally rewarding the undesirable behaviour. Good behaviour should be rewarded with praise, praise, sweets, and other positive reinforcement.