What You Should Know About Canine Depression

Everyone gets the blues, even your dog – here’s what you can do about it

By Nicole Simone

Canine Depression - Get Leashed Magazine

Do you know the signs of canine depression?

There is still some debate if canine depression is a diagnosable illness, if only for the reason that dogs can’t talk to us directly and explain how they’re feeling. That being said, there are signs to tell if your dog is feeling down in the dumps and they should be taken seriously.

Here are the top signs that your dog might be depressed and what you can do about it.

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First it’s important to know the general symptoms of canine depression – unsurprisingly it’s very similar to depression in humans. Look out for the following signs:

  • loss of appetite
  • little desire to play
  • not very social
  • sleeping substantially more (or less)
  • declining to participate in activities they usually love

The causes of suspected canine depression can vary

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Like us, every dog is different and there are various signs and causes.

While the causes of suspected canine depression can vary, they seem to be either lifestyle or health-based. Unlike human depression, there hasn’t been a substantial amount of scientific research on this topic. It’s certainly a field that could use more exploring through canine behaviorists and we’ll like be hearing more about it in the years to come. For now, here are some of the suspected causes:

1) Health

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If your dog starts expressing a lack of interest in socializing, food, or play, something might be amiss. Since dogs can’t say things like “Hey, my stomach is really hurting,” they often communicate by withdrawing from their regular routine. Behavior like this means a trip to the vet as soon as possible. Doing regular blood work and having a physical exam may reveal just why your pup isn’t feeling his status quo.

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