As dog owners, we often think about the physical well-being of our buddies. We want to make sure that they are well fed, get plenty of exercises and they are kept clean. However, we should also make sure that we are thinking about our dog’s mental health as well.
We talk a lot about depression in humans, but what about dogs? Like any other animal, a dog can get unhappy and even suffer from depression. Let’s look at why your dog might be depressed and what you can do to fix the issue.
In the era of smartphones, it’s easy to fall into the trap of looking after your dog without actually connecting with them. You probably take your dog on walks. But do you bring your phone along? Are you checking Facebook as you stroll? Or maybe you have your headphones on.
Dogs are highly social creatures. They need attention. While this provides the exercise your dog needs, you shouldn’t constantly be on your phone or listening to music. Instead, you should be talk and interact with your doggo. They look forward to this time with you all day. You are gone all day for work and then come home. But are you really there?
You should also engage in active play rather than passive exercise. Make sure you are playing fetch, rubbing your dog’s stomach and engaging in activities with your dog rather than just going on a daily walk.
If a dog does not receive this type of attention, it may become depressed and generally be bored throughout the day.
Leaving Your Dog Alone
Many dogs are left for alarming amounts of time at home by themselves. Leaving your dog for many hours by itself is unfair and will leave your dog feeling completely alone. Like I said above, these animals are highly social. They are pack animals. When they join your family, they see it as being part of a pack.
They want to be with your, your partner or other members of your family. Leaving them alone will increase the chances of them suffering from depression and/or separation anxiety. Of course, we all have commitments. You probably have a job or maybe studying or even a social life. But there are other options rather than just leaving your pet home alone. You can think about taking him to a dog day camp. With a dog day camp, your pet can get the fun, play and socializing that it needs through the day.
It is much more difficult if you live alone with your dog. You could also hire a dog walker or someone to come check on them mid-day.
A Physical Cause
It is possible that your dog’s mood and lethargic behavior isn’t due to depression at all but rather an underlying physical issue. A dog in pain or discomfort may not cry or whimper and will instead just seem very lazy, lying down whenever it can.
If your dog is acting this way, you may want to think about consulting a vet. They should be able to tell you whether it’s a physical issue or something emotional that is impacting your dog. Either way, it’s important to get to the cause of it and resolve the issue if possible.
We all want healthy, happy puppers. We have to be on the lookout for signs of mental health issues as well.