How Do I Know If My Dog Is Depressed?
By Verina, Zenimal Natural Therapies
Depression and other mental health issues in dogs can often be hard to pinpoint, as your dogs can’t exactly communicate how they’re feeling to you. So it’s up to you to notice any signs they might be feeling blue.
What’s a telltale sign your dog might be depressed?
They stop enjoying the things they usually do.
It could be that they don’t want to go for walks anymore or they don’t seem to like eating as much, leaving food behind when they’re known for cleaning their plates.
They will also look a little flat, lacking motivation and sleeping a lot more than they were before.
What Are Some Triggers Of Depression In Dogs?
Think of what might trigger depression in humans, as dogs are not so different from us.
Have there been any changes of late that they have had to get used to? I often see depression in dogs when they and their owners move house.
Suddenly, they don’t want to go for walks through their new neighbourhood and to unfamiliar parks.
Health also has a lot to do with it as well, so it’s important to note any recent changes to their physical health that seem to coincide with their shift in mental state.
If My Dog Is Depressed, How Can I Help?
First of all, you need to keep being affectionate towards them! Just like humans, physical contact such as touching and can reduce the symptoms of depression.
When your dog is lacking the motivation to do the stuff they should be doing, you have to be extra encouraging.
Encourage them to go and exercise outside with you, be patient with them if they seem disinterested at first, and keep heaping praise for going out and being active.
Also, ensure there’s a balance in their microbiomes.
Microbiomes are the sum of all the bacteria that are inside of their bodies and are a strong influence on a dog’s mood. If there’s an imbalance in a dog’s microbiome, it often leads to depression. To maintain a healthy balance, slip some probiotics into their food at any chance you can.
Some great probiotic diet options are kefir, unpasteurised sauerkraut or the wide range of probiotic tablets on the market today you can just mix in with their favourite meals. If you'd like to spoil your Dog with some delicious treats that will also promote great gut health, try catch me if you can.
Verina is a certified Dog Trainer and Canine Myotherapy (CMT) Practitioner, two passions she combines in her business Zenimal. Check out her website and connect with her on Facebook.