Yes, your dog can also have depression. Signs to spot and tips to help

Yes, your dog can also have depression.  Signs to spot and tips to help

Sensitive, our dogs react to your emotions but are also capable of experiencing real depression, according to veterinarians. Certain signs should therefore invite you to help them in their daily life.

A sad look, low energy… Your dog does not seem to be in good shape and this may reflect several facts. A health problem, chronic pain and sometimes even depression. Because indeed, as reported by Dr. Nicholas Dodman of the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in the 1980s, dogs can undergo the same chemical and hormonal changes that cause depression and anxiety in humans. .

Signs that indicate canine depression

If you notice a change in attitude in your animal, the first thing to do is to question its health or even consult your veterinarian to rule out any illness from the picture. If there is nothing, we can therefore assume that the dog is suffering from depression. This is not a trivial fact, since the dog’s stress, which it obviously cannot verbalize, can itself cause a health problem. It is therefore important to detect the problem in order to treat it correctly.

According to the site Veterinarians.orgthe symptoms of depression in dogs are numerous and somewhat similar to those of humans (well, for some):

  • Loss of interest in things that brought your dog joy;
  • Reduced activity level and desire to play;
  • Excessive sleep and laziness;
  • Loss or change in appetite;
  • Increased irritability;
  • Inappropriate accidents at home;
  • Bad mood and sad body language;
  • Excessive licking for comfort;
  • Social attachment or withdrawal;
  • Reduced vocalization and turbulence;
  • Unusual screaming or screaming can also be signs of anxiety.

Why does a dog lose its morale?

Several factors can trigger the onset of depression in dogs, according to the specialist site.

Just getting older

As dogs age, they generally experience a decline in their ability to function as before, and their mental health and brain functionality also ages along with their bodies. Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CCD) is a disease linked to the aging of a dog’s brain – which has been compared to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in humans – in which the dog experiences cognitive decline.


Dogs can also suffer from illnesses before they age, which can cause stress and depression. Illness, pain or chronic illness, and hospitalization can all trigger symptoms of depression.

The loss of a loved one

Dogs experience grief just like humans, and the loss of a family member, owner, or other pet in the home can lead to feelings of depression.

Environmental changes

Any type of change in the home can trigger depression in dogs, as they tend to thrive on routine: a move, the arrival of a baby, staying in a kennel can affect their mental health and disrupt them.

A trauma

We don’t think much about it, but a surgical intervention or a natural disaster situation can also induce strong stress in the animal and impact its mood.

How to help a dog get back on track?

All is not lost. According to, there are several ways (and lots of petting) that can help manage your dog’s depression.

Create a reassuring routine

Dogs thrive on routine, so creating a predictable schedule for your anomal will help him feel more comfortable. Part of the routine should include playtime to combat loneliness and boredom.

Spend more time with your pet

Dogs are social and are not meant to be solitary. Spending quality time on activities can benefit their mental health. This may include cuddling, playing a ball game, exercising, etc.

Give your dog a new friend

If your dog’s depression stems from grief, introducing him to a new playmate might help. But in this case, make sure you take the necessary steps to present them carefully.

Offer more varied meals

Your dog may be suffering from a loss of appetite due to depression, and adding an exciting addition to his meals will not only make him eat, but also improve his mood. New treats can rekindle their love for food, while following veterinary recommendations.