How do I know if my dog is sad? Recent studies by ethology experts have shown that dogs are able to feel complex emotions, such as joy, discrimination or sadness.
Dr. Karen Shaw Becker, a veterinarian specializing in animal behavior. Says a depressed dog shows sudden changes in his behavior.
However, it is important to note that such behavioral changes can also be a sign of physical disorders. Therefore, you may want to go with your veterinarian to rule out any health problems.
Also, you should know that sadness in dogs can be dangerous. If this problem is not addressed in time, it can lead to depression. And then present other health problems, including death.
If at this time you have the question “How do I know if my dog is sad”, check out the following signs, which may indicate that a dog is sad.
How do I know if my dog is sad?
As mentioned above, before suspecting that our dog’s behavior is caused by an emotional or behavioral problem we should go to the vet for a general checkup and rule out our best friend suffering from a viral disease, such as parvovirus. In this case, we will be able to observe that the dog is sad and does not want to eat, trembles and does not get up.
It may also be due to a parasitic disease, and therefore the dog is sad and has diarrhea, vomiting or excessive scratching. In other cases, we could talk about a hormonal disorder, such as psychological pregnancy in unil sterilized. Any of these problems can cause the above symptoms.
Possible causes that can cause you to see your sad dog include:
Periods such as zeal. High temperatures or physical exhaustion from intense activity can cause changes in your dog and can be identified with sadness, but they are normal. They respond to a physiological need and your dog returns to normal after that period.
Uns suitable handling (food, activity and motivation)
Your dog is a creature that can be adapted very easily and quickly to almost any environment. But it has specific needs and if you do not meet them. The well-being and health of your dog can deteriorate and present psychological and organic imbalances.
It is important that your dog has weekly activities, that respond to their needs and thus prevent it from feeling listless, anxious or sad.
We mean a very stressful, negative and traumatizing situation that your dog can experience. For example, dogfights, a hit-and-run or a serious injury
Trauma can cause other problems such as frustration, learned helplessness, fears, or spontaneous phobias.
These changes can be, a move, modify your usual schedules, change of owner, new family members. Sudden changes influence your daily routines and can make your dog sad. Similarly, they can cause disorientation, insecurity, or nervousness, including severe emotional imbalances.
When a puppy is separated from its mother before three months of age, it is very likely that it will feel sadness, until the little one adapts to his new home.
Changes in the family unit:
The birth of a baby, the death of a family member, mainly if it is the owner of the dog. The arrival of a new pet, even a couple’s divorce, are situations that alter the dog’s routine and therefore you will feel sad.
Loneliness and lack of stimulation:
Dogs are social animals that should not spend more than 6-8 hours alone a day. They also require attention, affection, physical stimulation and mental stimulation. Lack of these elements can also cause a state of stress, anxiety, sadness and depression.
How do I know if my dog is sad. Associated symptoms.
You must be attentive to their reactions in order to better focus the diagnosis by the professional and above all, be realistic. Sometimes your concern and empathy for your dog can make you see unequivocal signs of a problem that doesn’t exist.
Some signs of sadness in dogs are
Changes in appetite
If a dog has little or no interest in food, it may be a sign that it is unhappy. On the other hand, in some cases sad dogs decide to eat more, as this can help them feel better. Any change in appetite, whether it increases or decreases, can be a clue to a pet’s mood.
Sleeping too much or too little
Dogs sleep more than humans, specifically an average of 12 hours a day, according to the American Kennel Club. However, if looking at your pet’s sleep habits you notice that you just want to sleep, it could be a sign that he or she is sad.
On the other hand, insomnia may indicate the same thing. This way, regardless of how much our pets sleep, if significantly more or less than normal, they may feel sad. It’s important to note that insomnia can also arise due to physical pain, so be sure to rule out this possibility if your pet has trouble sleeping.
Lack of interest in your toys
Similar to humans, a loss of interest in normal activities can be a sign that a dog does not feel as happy as in the past. If your dog is usually excited about his toys and hasn’t been interested lately. This could be because his emotional state isn’t the best. It is common for dogs to be undesyed to play from time to time, but if this happens over a long period of time, it may be advisable to investigate what happens.
Doesn’t want to play or exercise
Toys aren’t the only thing a sad puppy can lose interest in. If you have little energy and don’t seem to want to play with other dogs or go for walks, you may feel melancholy. Of course, not all dogs are naturally sociable and energetic, so it is important to take note of changes regarding their normal behavior.
Hiding or shrinking
If a dog is sad, he may try to seek refuge by hiding around the house. If there’s no clear stimulus that causes this evasive behavior, such as fireworks, your dog might be a little depressed. Similarly, you should also look at body language: your dog may shrink to try to get smaller. Such behaviors may also be due to a low mood.
Aggressiveness can indicate many problems in dogs, but did you know that the cause of a dog’s aggressiveness could simply be a depression? If your pet is normally calm and now starts barking, throwing, biting or growling at anything that crosses its path, it could be a sign of unhappiness.
Excessive licking or biting
When dogs inging and biting their legs, it may appear that they are trying to clean or scratch. However, in some cases they may be trying to calm down because they feel sad. “Most people aren’t aware of it, but excessive licking (or biting) can be a way to calm their emotions,” says Dr Gary Richter, a veterinary health expert. If your pet is licking or biting excessively, be sure to rule out an insect bite or skin disease.
Walking back and forth
As in humans, depression in dogs can be accompanied by anxious behaviors. If a dog is walking back and forth in the house non-stop. It is very likely that he is bored and disgruntled. Spending more time outdoors can be just what you’re looking forward to and can help you significantly improve your emotional state.
If you spend all day at work and your dog stays home, consider hiring a dog walker to help your little one do the exercise he needs to take care of his physical and emotional health. If walks and exercise don’t work, we recommend that you check with your veterinarian.
Acting destructively is another type of anxious behavior that can arise due to emotional problems. If, all of a sudden, a dog is much more aggressive than usual with its toys, or anything else in your home, it may be a sign of sadness. Try to increase your level of exercise or mental stimulation to see if your mood improves.
Urine loss and fecal incontinence
Other symptoms that may indicate that your dog is sad is the presence of urinary or fecal incontinence. That is, the dog does its needs in places that it should not because it does not manage to contain itself. Even this can happen to him even when he’s asleep.
What should I do to cheer up a sad dog?
How do I know if my dog is sad. There are several ways that can help your dog stop being sad. Here are the best tips you can put into practice to help your furry friend:
Pay more attention to canine language
It is obvious that any owner knows his dog. However, during a stage of sadness, it is important to pay much more attention to the body language of the dog. Let’s avoid behaviors that can lead to unnecessary stress. And provide positive and enjoyable experiences that promote well-being and a positive mood. For example, a quality walk, or a plate of home-cooked dog food.
Spend more time with him
As we have explained, a dog should not spend more than 6 to 8 hours alone a day. However, ideally, you should be with your furry friend as long as possible. You don’t have to be constantly taking him in. It may also be a good thing to do a brushing session or encourage you to follow around the house when doing your daily activities.
If your dog should be left alone at home, leave the TV or radio on, so he doesn’t feel so alone. We recommend reading our article Calming music for dogs. In which, we present you interesting options of internet radio stations specialized in dog music.
Promotes calm and relaxation at home
There are some relaxation exercises for dogs that. In addition to improving the bond with our best friend. Are very effective for those dogs that have stress and anxiety problems. However, it is important to note that we must be very constant and perform them on a daily basis so that they are really effective and have a real impact on the dog.
Improves ride quality and daily exercise
Physical activity is essential for dogs, so we must ensure that the can performs a minimum of between 2 and 4 walks daily. Combined with physical exercise whenever possible. Playing to go and get the ball, do 15 minutes of jogging or simply provide you with a time of freedom without a leash in a safe and spacious space are activities that will help our best friend develop his muscles and feel more satisfied in his day to day.
Practice obedience or mental stimulation
Just as we exercise the body of our best friend, we must exercise his mind. We can practice short daily sessions, between 5 and 10 minutes, of basic obedience for dogs. Teaching you the basic commands, such as sitting, lying down, still or seeing here. And, in fact, even if you have already learned them, it is not necessary to reinforce them so that you do not forget them and know how to execute them in all kinds of situations.
We can also bet on mental stimulation exercises, either through commercial toys or improvising with elements of our home. To logar that sets good behavioral habits it is very important to include during the learning process awards, rewards without forgetting the displays of affection.
Introduce changes in our dog’s lifestyle habits.
Treatment of canine depression involves certain behavior modification techniques and a lot of patience. The fact that dogs are very sensitive and intuitive beings makes them easier to treat and therefore respond very well to behavioral therapies.
Giving them antidepressants and anxiolytics would be the last option to take and only if the above recommendations have not taken effect. Of course always on prescription.
How do I know if my dog is sad. The coexistence throughout all the years of history between dogs and humans has united us a lot. Has made us more empathetic, to the point of getting them to hurt us and suffer for the same things. It can be said that despite differing in our morphology we are not so different. Since we live and feel the emotional pain in a very similar way, making sometimes even traits as human as sadness and depression also affect our dog pets.
Therefore, to prevent and prevent our dog from also suffering from these kinds of disorders it is very important and necessary to teach them good habits of behavior, that they feel loved, cared for, valued, not leave them alone too long, provide them with emotional stimuli, a good diet, dedicate a few hours a day to their socialization and to play with us and other animals and in this way , to be able to guarantee our pet a happy and full life at our side.
But if this isn’t enough, we may be facing a more serious problem, so don’t hesitate to check with your veterinarian quickly to rule out possible diseases. How do I know if my dog is sad.