You don’t have to own a dog long to understand that they feel emotions as deeply, or perhaps more deeply, than we do. Those trusting eyes show emotions so clearly, and one emotion that dogs can experience is depression. According to experts, the signs and treatment of depression in dogs are not all that different than in humans. Without the right help, pets can stay depressed for a long time.
Depression symptoms in a dog are similar to those in a person. They often become withdrawn and listless, no longer enjoying activities they once loved. Sudden changes, such as the loss of another pet in the family or even one of the humans, can cause these problems. Because these symptoms can indicate a medical problem, they should always be checked by a vet.
Giving your dog a lot of attention when he seems depressed is tempting, but experts warn that it is not a good idea. Unfortunately, rewarding the moping behavior will reinforce it. Instead, start trying to engage your dog in activities he once enjoyed, and then reward him when he seems happier. You might even want to book a stay in a pet friendly hotel to get his mind off of the changes, especially if he liked traveling before the depression hit. You can talk to your vet about depression medications as a last resort. The most important thing is to get help before the dog sinks too deeply into depression. If you do, you will both be happier.