How can I tell if my dog is depressed?

asked 2017-01-10 19:28:56 -0600

This is a question that we often get from sitter and owners who work with Rover. Help the community out by answering them in our forum!

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1 Answer

answered 2017-01-11 08:40:41 -0600

This is a hard one because depression can be caused by a number of things and can have many levels. It can be psychological or physical. Did the dog possibly ingest or get stung or bit by something you didn't see? Is it a senior pet? Did they lose a companion recently?

Physical depression is the slowing of the animals bodily systems... heart rate, breathing, energy level, food consumption, etc. These symptoms can be caused by a loss of some sort, aging in a senior pet, ingesting a toxic substance, or an undiagnosed illness. These signs are ALWAYS a reason to have your dog checked out by a veterinarian.

Psychological depression is beyond the sadness of the pet owner leaving the house for the day. If this is the case, the dog perks right back up to his old self when you return. If it lasts longer than a day there could be another cause.

Many times the death of a pet companion, can cause psychological depression, much the same way it does in humans and it can continue for days or even months.

Rescue Remedy may help with the sadness accompanying the loss of a companion, but if you are seeing a change in the energy, feeding, or sleeping habits in a pet without any known cause it is best to see a veterinarian to get a checkup. Your pet may be in the early stages of disease or may have ingested something toxic. If they have ingested something toxic and that is slowing them down, call the veterinarian immediately! Time is of the essence.

In either case a trip to the vet is in order to get your best friend back to feeling like his happy-go-lucky self.

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