Because you can’t ask your pet if he or she is depressed, it can be a case of affixing human emotions onto an animal. It can also be a series of symptoms that have no other logical explanations. It appears that pets can become depressed by changes in their living arrangements, the loss of a close animal companion, or by an owner who must be away for an extended period of time. Generally, all of these your pet will rather quickly get over. Like people, it can have a temporary effect due to a major lifestyle change.
The common symptoms exhibited by dogs who are considered depressed include a tendency to become withdrawn. Like depressed people, they are less active. The pet’s sleeping and eating patterns change, sometimes significantly. The dog may refuse to do activities that they once enjoyed. It is also true that these same symptoms can indicate that there is a medical problem. Symptoms of this sort should be checked with the veterinarian to rule out medical issues.
Major changes in the life of your pet could cause them to fall into periods of depression. A move to a new location, a new baby in the home or a new pet added to the mix can cause the animal to become depressed. A significant schedule change in the dog’s life style can cause issues. If the owner goes on a different shift, or goes to work when they were at home previously is upsetting to the animal.
The death or loss of an owner or the loss of another companion animal is the most common sources for depression. It must be noted though that the dog may simply be picking up on the emotions of the humans surrounding him. The dog may be grieving for the loss of the owner or may be upset because the others around him are grieving. During stressful periods, the dog may be getting less attention, which can result in depression.
Treatment for dog depression can be implemented by extra care and attention. It will usually show results in a few days. Try to find activities which spark some sign of a lifting of the pet’s spirits and reward him when those occur. Don’t reward him when he is down, reward signs of improvement.