Humans are generally pretty confident that they know how to meet their dogs’ needs. Fresh food and water, regular exercise, belly rubs, and the assurance that he is, in fact, a very good boy, often feel like the only things our four-legged friends need. However, what many pet owners don’t realize is that, much like their human counterparts, pets can suffer from a long list of emotional troubles, depression included. “Dogs experience a full range of emotions, ranging from happiness to sadness and even depression. Some of the signs of depression in dogs are very similar to symptoms exhibited by depressed people,” says Dr. Rachel Barrack of NYC’s Animal Acupuncture.
“Depression in dogs can usually be attributed to a major life change including moving to a new home, a new roommate (human or furry), loss of a companion (human or animal), major changes to their typical routine, and/or a traumatic event (such as an injury), among other things. Depression can also be due to an underlying medical condition. Should you suspect your dog to be depressed, consult your veterinarian to help determine the underlying cause and what changes can be made to get your pup back to being their usual happy self.”
So, how do you know if your Fido is simply in need of some R&R, or if they’re struggling with more serious depression? These veterinarians dish the real dirt on how to tell if your dog is depressed.