As in humans, psychological problems can also manifest in animals, and depression in dogs is an increasingly common diagnosis in the pet world. It can be associated with other issues – including anxieties and phobias. For example, the depressed state of dogs can be triggered by several different reasons, including from a change of environment to the recovery from a more severe illness.
Noticing a large number of signs of depression in dogs, the University of Bristol researched the possible causes and treatment of this terrible disease. As was already predicted, had proof of this type of problem in animals as a conclusion – contrary to many animal professionals who, until then, considered canine depression a myth.
The study about dogs
The study, presented in the journal Biology Letters (specializing in the publication of scientific articles and innovative findings in biology), used metrics and observations applied in human psychology. To arrive at its final results proves that – as in the case of people – animals can also demonstrate a more vulnerable emotional state and sensitivity to loss and trauma.
Confused with SAS – Separation Anxiety Syndrome – in some cases, depression in dogs can also cause the pet to behave in an anxious and atypical way. Precisely, for this reason, it is of great importance that dog owners know how to observe and identify the signs that indicate the depressed state of your pets.
Being able to adopt measures to improve the animal’s quality of life, the owner who sees the signs of depression in his pet can also facilitate the treatment of the disease – since (again, as in the case of people) as soon as possible. Once the problem is diagnosed, the simpler and faster it will be to solve it.
In this article, know some of the leading causes, symptoms, and treatments for depression; and learn to identify the signs of an unusual sadness in your puppy so that he remains a happy and healthy friend.
The causes of canine depression
Canine factors can trigger the stress that leads dogs to illness. Canine depression has sudden changes in the pet’s life, some of its leading causes. Changes in routine and environments can facilitate a state of strangeness and anxiety on the part of the dogs. This can significantly influence your friend to start looking more discouraged.
As in humans, the death of someone very close can also be a trigger for the onset of depression in dogs and the withdrawal of one of your pet friends. According to animal health professionals, affective losses are the cause of 70% of cases of dogs with depression; therefore, when you are in a situation like this, be aware of your pet.
The inclusion of another animal in the pet’s life used to be the only pet in the house is also a relevant factor for the appearance of stress in the animal and must be taken into consideration.
Loss of freedom
When the dog is deprived of regular walks, traumatic experiences such as Surgery and pediatricians are not left out of the list, and animals recovering from a more severe illness can also exhibit altered apathy behaviors.
The feeling of loneliness or abandonment is still one of the main motivations for depression to develop in dogs; since, nowadays, the wild daily life lived in big capitals ends up. They are making pet owners unable to give due attention to their animals, who spend a lot of time without a company and feel abandoned.
Signs of depression in dogs
Just in the case of the suspicion of any other animal disease, when you notice the first signs of depression in the dog, an appointment should be scheduled with a veterinarian. As only he will have the tools and information necessary to identify a possible psychological problem. And differentiate it from many other diseases that may also have apathy and lack of mood as symptoms. That said, we can mention the isolation, deep sadness, lack of appetite, and rejection of physical touch among a depressed dog’s main symptoms.
For owners more attentive and closer to their pets, it is not difficult to notice the sudden change in behavior. Even the most lively and affectionate dogs, from one hour to the next, start to avoid activities that used to present themselves as pleasant. Including walks and games with their owner, for example, preferring to stay in the corner of the house and completely isolated. In some cases, the dog self-mutilates, usually biting itself on extremities such as its tail and paws and causing severe injury.
Another typical sign of a depressive state in dogs is intolerance to physical touch, which is one of the most comfortable symptoms to identify. Since a depressed dog will try to avoid at all costs, the affection, and tricks done by its owner. – which in the past were received with joy and enthusiasm. Therefore, when you notice your pet is listless and acting following the behaviors described above, pay attention; and schedule an appointment with a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Although the factors that motivate the disease are many – and cannot always be remedied by pet owners. – a lot can be done so that a possible depressive state is not part of your pet puppy’s life.
Bearing in mind the leading causes that trigger the disease, dog owners should always avoid very sudden changes in the pets’ lives. Seeking to maintain a predetermined routine about walks, games, environments, and companies.
Giving pet care and attention
In addition to providing a great feeling of connection and love between you and your pet – can also be essential to avoid a case of canine depression. Dog owners should avoid spending long periods as much as possible of their animals – mainly situations where the dog is left without any companion while the owner is absent.
With that, it is worth remembering that spoiling dogs with this type of problem is never enough; and the affection of their owners can significantly mitigate a depressive condition in dogs. It may reduce the need for other kinds of techniques and medications that are part of more traditional treatments.