Just like humans, various symptoms can indicate depression in dogs. If you recognize some of the signs below from your loved one, it is important that you consult a veterinarian first. Only the specialist can diagnose a definite depression and rule out that physical causes such as certain illnesses are behind the behavior changes of your four-legged friend.
Depression or depressive behavior?
First of all, correct depression must be distinguished from occasionally depressed dog behavior, such as a sad reaction to a certain event. Every dog is depressed once and behaves accordingly. Morbid depression, on the other hand, lasts for a longer period; most often there is a disturbed metabolism in the brain because certain messenger substances are not sufficiently formed.
Happy dogs: 5 tips for a healthy dog soul
When the basic needs like eating, sleeping and regular preventive care are met, you need ...
Numerous symptoms can indicate depression in the dog
The most common symptoms of dog depression include listlessness, lethargy and loss of appetite. Depressed four-legged friends often have little interest in their surroundings, do not want to play anymore or only rarely and are hardly available for a dog walk. This often goes hand in hand with a driveless, shuffling gait and a hanging head as well as a lowered tail. Many depressed dogs generally show fewer reactions to certain stimuli, such as provocations or prompts.
You can also recognize depression based on your dog's facial expressions. A blank look and little movement on your pet's face can indicate psychological problems. Other possible symptoms include inattentiveness and slower reactions to sounds. All of a sudden, some dogs are no longer house-trained. In addition to the above-mentioned loss of appetite, the opposite, i.e. increased eating, can also be a sign of depression. If you observe such symptoms over a longer period of time, going to the vet is the right step. As a result, an animal psychologist can also help.