Perhaps you've recently relocated or welcomed a new baby into your home. Your normally active dog has suddenly become withdrawn and listless. Could your dog be suffering from depression? Experts say yes. In addition, depression in dogs is similar to depression in humans. Depression, as we know it in people, is a mood illness characterised by feelings of hopelessness and melancholy. It's frequently associated with a lack of enthusiasm for everyday tasks. Depression is more than a case of the blues, transitory sadness, or bereavement, though all of these emotions can contribute. So, why is your dog so depressed?
What are the causes of dog depression?
If you fear your dog is depressed, consider what has changed or is changing in your dog's life. A sad dog may be affected by his change in location or the people he interacts with. Any considerable disruption in a pet's typical routine might result in stress and/or despair. This is not an exhaustive list, but the following factors can contribute to dog depression:
1. Chronic illness or discomfort
2. Trauma due to injury or abuse
3. Distancing and separation
4. Lack of mental or physical stimulation, especially for active or working dogs
5. Changes in the family
Pets can experience empathy for their owners, which might include depression. In a 2019 study in Sweden, researchers looked at the levels of long-term stress hormones in humans and their pets and discovered that dogs and their owners had similar stress levels. They found that dogs 'mirror' their owners' stress levels rather than the owners responding to their pups' stress. Dogs can read our facial expressions and body language and pick up on our feelings. They are aware of our emotions and might be affected by them.
How to help a sad puppy
1. Set up playdates
A quick way to cheer up a sad dog or puppy is by socialising them. Engaging with another dog can help fill the emptiness if your pet is missing a furry pal. Adopting another dog can also be beneficial, but you should not do so just to cheer up your dog. Bringing a new pet into your home must be a good match for both you and your pet.
2. Increase mental and physical stimulation
This could include taking your dog on longer or additional walks; playing fetch regularly, providing new enrichment or puzzle toys, or encouraging them to participate in some of their favourite activities.
Another quick way to get over doggy depression is by giving them natural hard chew bars. Dogsee chew's hard chew bars are tasty, delicious, and safe. They also last for a very long time and get softer when your dog chews on it. You can also choose a bar that complements the size of your dog. If your doggo is a cheese lover, these Himalayan bars are a perfect treat!
3. Give them some individual time
This isn't the time they spend in a crate or alone at home, but rather time spent playing with an intellectually engaging toy or activity, such as treat dispensing toys, puzzle games, or long-lasting dog chews.
4. Respond appropriately
If your dog's depression is making them act out, you must direct their actions to avoid unintentionally rewarding the negative behaviour. Appropriate conduct should be rewarded with attention, puppy snacks, and so forth. You should not punish inappropriate behaviour in general, and it is especially ineffective when dealing with dogs who are depressed or anxious. Instead, stay calm and soothe them. They may feel better if you reach out for the pack of Dogsee Crunch treats.
5. Make sure they are eating
Sometimes, adding a yummy topping to their food can encourage your pet to eat. Do not change their diet completely or quickly because this can cause digestive problems. Instead, you can treat them to some delicious and healthy dog treats! Here are two treats bound to make your doggo happier and healthier.
They are made with just one ingredient and absolutely no chemicals or preservatives. The crunch and the flavour of these fruit and vegetable treats are guaranteed to get your dog smiling. If your dog is a bit more sad or anxious than usual, make sure you give them a hard chew bar. Not only is it tasty, but it's also a great place for your dog to vent his frustrations. Dogsee chews hard bars are made of Himalayan cheese that is sun dried to perfect solidity. Which means they won't hurt your pup.
Also read: 5 Signs That Indicate Your Dog Is Lonely
Depression and/or anxiety in a dog may be an indication of an underlying medical problem in some situations. If your pet hasn't had a major life change or traumatic event recently, talk to your veterinarian about what else might be bothering them. However, if your dog does not need to take meds for depression, natural treats are the way to go. We can always resort to hard chew bars and crunch treats! Wondering how your dog says they love you? Check out our Instagram to find out!