Dog is a very lovable animal. There are certain peculiar behaviors of the dog which make them very special. First is their loyalty towards the owner and secondly, their attention-seeking attitude. Dogs do get all the attention of every family member and they are quite used to it. So, whenever they feel that attention is being divided, they start feeling depressed.
When dogs start feeling depressed?
All the incidents or changes happening in the house that require them sharing the space or becoming second choice can cause dog depression. Some of such changes are:
- Arrival of a new baby or a spouse: When singles change their status to married or living-in, they actually throw a curveball to that dog at their home too. The onus lies on the owner to make the dog comfortable with new person before moving together permanently. So, expecting parents need to make dog the part of their journey to parenthood to help the pet adjust to the impending situation. And, couples getting married or moving together should spend a small portion of courtship time to befriend the dog at home.
- Change of residence: When you are buying a new house or moving to another rented accommodation, you are actually changing the surrounding of your dog too. When you yourself feel uncomfortable in the new place at first, it is natural of dogs to react to the situation on similar lines.
- Adding another pet: Some animal lovers do not get satisfied with the single pet at home. They love to keep on adding to the family. So, when a new pet is bought home, the environment becomes a bit competitive for your pet, and it may either sulk in the corner or become aggressive.
However, the most important and sad reason for depression in dogs is the loss of the companion animal or the owner. The dogs cannot take the pain of losing their owner and fall deep into depression.
How dogs express depression?
As a pet owner, it is essential for you to know and understand if your dog is depressed. This can avert a dreadful situation at home and sometimes, may help take timely action before the depression engulfs the dog completely.
A depressed dog will show unusual behavior like not coming out of crate, not eating at scheduled times, not taking part in activities they normally enjoy, etc. They may also exhibit depression by remaining withdrawn and not barking so often.
Is it depression or disease?
Mostly, the dog depression is short term, but if the symptoms continue to persist, there can be some health problems he might be suffering from. For example, dog not interested in going walks like before might be suffering from some joint’s ailments like arthritis. Similarly, persistence in problematic eating behavior can be linked to some liver disease or stomach pain.
There are treatments available for curing depression in dogs. One must find about the treatments and should always consult a vet. Treating a depressed dog DIY way is a mistake you will regret later.