Does your dog seem like they’re feeling down? It can be difficult to tell if your pup is experiencing depression or just having an off day. While depression in dogs is rare, it does happen, and it’s important to recognize the signs so that you can get your pup the help they need. In this blog post, we’ll go over 10 common signs of depression in dogs so that you can better understand your pup’s mental and emotional health.
1) Lack of energy or motivation
Your pup may be exhibiting signs of depression if they are not interested in activities they used to love. Dogs that are normally full of energy may become lethargic and uninterested in activities like playing, running, or going for walks. They may seem listless and appear to lack motivation or enthusiasm.
2) Loss of appetite
One of the signs that your dog may be depressed is a sudden and dramatic drop in their appetite. If they no longer have interest in their food, and seem to have lost their appetite, this could be a sign that something is wrong. Other signs of depression include lethargy, decreased energy, increased sleeping, and a lack of enthusiasm for activities that your dog used to enjoy.
3) Sleeping more than usual
If your dog is sleeping more than their usual amount, it could be a sign of depression. Dogs who are normally active may become more lethargic and spend more time napping or sleeping. Pay attention to the duration and quality of their sleep and make sure to consult a vet if you’re worried about their behavior.
4) No longer enjoying favorite activities
Your dog may have lost interest in their usual activities that they once found pleasurable. If they’re no longer playing fetch, going on walks, or participating in other activities they normally enjoy, it could be a sign of depression. Lack of interest in activities can be a telltale sign of depression, so it’s important to pay attention to changes in behavior.
5) Excessive grooming
One way to tell if your dog is depressed is through excessive grooming. This may include licking or chewing the fur, or even self-mutilation. If you notice any of these behaviors, it could be a sign that your pup is feeling down. Check for signs of anxiety or stress, such as increased panting or drooling, and consider making a veterinary appointment.
6) Withdrawing from social interaction
If your normally outgoing pup has suddenly become uninterested in interacting with people, other animals, and/or his favorite toys, it may be a sign of depression. He might shy away from hugs and affection or no longer greet you at the door. He might also appear lethargic and lack motivation. Depression can manifest in many ways, so if you notice any of these changes in your pup’s behavior, it could be worth talking to a veterinarian.
7) Changes in weight
It’s important to keep an eye out for any changes in your dog’s weight. Weight loss can be a sign of depression, so if you notice your pup is suddenly slimming down, it may be cause for concern. On the other hand, if your pup is packing on the pounds, it could be a sign of overeating due to boredom or a lack of exercise.
8) Panting or pacing
If your dog is panting or pacing more than usual, it could be a sign of depression. Dogs who are panting or pacing excessively may be feeling anxious or restless. This can be a sign that something is bothering them emotionally, so it’s important to take the time to investigate what may be wrong.
9) A change in vocalizations
If your dog is normally vocal, such as barking or whining, but suddenly becomes silent, this could be a sign of depression. Keep an eye out for any changes in their vocalizations, as it could indicate an underlying issue. Additionally, your dog may also become more vocal, with excessive barking or howling. These changes in vocalization can be a clue that your pup needs help.
10) Loss of interest in toys or play
Dogs that are feeling down may lose interest in their favorite toys and activities. If your pup is no longer excited about playing fetch or tug-of-war, it could be a sign that they’re feeling depressed. They may also seem less interested in exploring or going on walks.