Can dogs become depressed?


Quick Answer

Long-term psychological depression in dogs is very unusual but not unheard of. The most common cause of depression in dogs is the loss of a close human or animal companion.

Continue Reading
Related Videos

Full Answer

Sudden and significant changes in a dog's life, such as moving to a new home, can cause depression. A drastic change in routine, such as an owner starting a new job with a different schedule, can also bring on a period of depression, as can the addition of a person, such as a new spouse or baby.

Symptoms of depression in dogs are the same as in humans, and they can include listlessness, social withdrawal, refusing food or water, a lack of interest in favorite activities, sleep disturbances and inactivity.

If the dog has become depressed because of the loss of a fellow pet, adopting another dog can provide distractions, provide companionship and improve the depressed dog's mood. Extra play time, exercise and attention can help dogs recover from depression. A person should reward a depressed dog with treats when he begins to show signs of happiness and interest in activities in order to reinforce those behaviors. Since the symptoms of depression can mimic many physical illnesses, pet owners should consult a veterinarian to confirm the dog's condition.

Learn more about Dogs

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Do dogs laugh?

    A: Dogs laugh, but they do not emit the same sound as humans when they laugh. A dog at play sometimes appears to smile, with his mouth open and his tongue han... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Can dogs be mentally retarded?

    A: According to Pet Medicine Alberta, dogs can suffer from mental illness which sometimes manifests as the canine equivalent of autism. Symptoms can display a... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Do dogs sweat?

    A: Although dogs primarily rely on panting to regulate their body temperature, they do have some sweat glands that activate in extreme heat. Most of these swe... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are albino dogs?

    A: Albino dogs have an absence of the pigment melanin in their coats and eyes. This condition is caused by recessive genes. Affected dogs have pink skin, whit... Full Answer >
    Filed Under: