Can dogs get depressed? Yes, dogs certainly can get depressed, just like humans. And just like a human, depression can be life threatening for dogs too. Below are some of clues that your dogs might be depressed.
1. Change of appetite
One of the major symptoms is change of appetite. The dog might lose his appetite and skip several meals. This will lead to weight loss. Sometimes a depressed dog may go the other way—overeating which leads to weight gain. If your dog is experiencing a sudden weight loss, it may be a sign of your dog having depression.
2. Loss of interest or lethargy
If your dog suddenly lose interest in playing or taking walks—things that normally excite him, he could be having depression. Dogs suffering depression might also become less active, move slower than usual and wander around without purpose.
3. Change of sleeping habit
Change of sleeping habit could signify a depressed behaviour. Change of sleeping habit can occur in two ways: either the dog tend to sleep more or have trouble sleeping and become restless (a sign of insomnia), just like human.
4. Excessive licking
It is well known that furry animals like to lick themselves, but if they lick themselves too much, it may be a sign of depression. Depressed dogs will often lick or chew their paws excessively to soothe themselves.
5. Avoidance and hiding
If your dog suddenly withdraws from you and other animals in the house, and continue for a long period of time, something must be wrong with him. This situation means either one of two things: physical injury or illness( e.g. depression). If you can’t find any physical injury, then most likely it is an emotional one. A depressed dog may stop interacting with his owner and go somewhere to hide itself.
When we humans are depressed, we always get support and comfort from our friends and family to overcome the depression. In the same way, dogs need our support and love too. If you dogs show the symptoms of depression or any unusual behaviour, don’t hesitate to call your veterinarian.