SAD DOG My dog ​​is sad Symptoms and What to do


"My dog ​​is sad"It is one of the phrases that a proud owner wishes to say the least and is that a dog is another member of the family. We must worry about his physical and mental health.

Very sensitive animal dogs that perceive easily when we are sad, cheerful or tired. On these occasions we are especially happy to receive your love and company, but what?what should we do when it is he who is sad?

In this article we will explain what are the symptoms of a dog suffering from depression and how we can solve it. Keep reading this Animal Expert article to learn the keys that will help you treat and make your dog happy.

Do not forget that if these tips do not work, the ideal will be to go to the specialist who will give us the appropriate guidelines and advice for our case:

Symptoms of depression in the dog

Like people, dogs are susceptible to depression. For that reason if we are aware of the habitual behavior of our dog, it will be easy to identify the sadness. However, if we have adopted a dog recently we may not know if he is really depressed or is a habitual behavior in him.

Next, we give you the keys to identify sadness or depression in your dog with the most common symptoms:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Sad attitude
  • Apathy
  • Inactivity
  • Little affectivity
  • Behavior change
  • Excessive sleep
  • Hides
  • Lack of play

These are usually the most common symptoms of a sad or depressed dog. If you observe that your dog suffers from this problem, the ideal will be to go to the veterinarian to help you analyze the case finding the cause that causes it and the appropriate treatment for it. Don't forget that sadness can appear because of disease onset Therefore, an expert vision that advises and guides us will be advisable.

11 causes of depression in dogs

Usually, dogs often suffer depression when a significant change in their lives that alters their usual routine. However, a disease or hormonal process can also cause the typical symptoms of depression. Here are some possible causes that can cause sadness and depression in our best friend.

  • The death of a loved one: Whether it's a human or a friendly pet, death usually affects pets as much as we do. Losing a playmate, a friend or an accomplice of adventures can be a devastating blow to our best friend. In these cases, the best we can do is try to liven up your life with frequent trips to the pee-can, excursions, intelligence games or physical exercise.
  • Change of home or family: When dogs undergo a radical change in their lives they usually show a period of adaptation in which they are shy, unsociable and even sad. It is totally normal. We must provide love and time, without forcing him to live a situation he does not want.
  • Excessive loneliness: Separation anxiety is one of the most common problems suffered by dogs that spend too much time alone. It usually leads to destructive or barking behavior problems and it is very important to treat them properly. In this case the intelligence games will be a good tool to try to alleviate the lonely hours. Exercise and constant affection will also be useful.
  • An unpleasant situation: Indeed, a situation that has been very unpleasant for your dog can cause him to be sad and apathetic. In these cases, it is best to allow time to recover, while providing abundant love.
  • Dog fight: If your dog has been involved in a dog fight, it is very likely that this marks a before and after in his behavior. Some tend to become more reactive and others scary and fearful. It is important to work with him adult socialization so that he trusts the dogs again.
  • Rupture of the family nucleus: If someone has recently left home (be it a person or a pet) your dog may suffer a depression from the loss of that loved one. It will be important to replace the emptiness you feel with activities, love and maybe a new best friend of games to be able to get distracted and play with. Over time the sadness usually disappears.
  • The arrival of the baby: If we have not been able to prepare the arrival of the baby at home, our dog may begin to appear sad and jealous. This is an attitude that must be treated to prevent it from getting worse. The attention to the dog will be essential to solve his attitude.
  • A new pet: As with the arrival of a baby, the dog can become jealous if we have decided to adopt a new pet. We must remember that it is important to pay attention to the oldest member of the household, in this case the dog, before the new member. It is very important to avoid jealousy and aggressive attitudes that may result from a lack of attention.
  • Diseases: Obviously diseases that can affect the dog can be the cause of sadness and apathy. The veterinarian's diagnosis of dog depression will inform us if it is a health problem or not.
  • Psychological pregnancy: Psychological pregnancy is a problem that can affect bitches that are not sterilized causing serious consequences for their physical and mental health. It is important to treat it as soon as possible.
  • Anxiety and stress: Obviously a dog with stress problems can affect the dog causing sadness and apathy. Discover how to treat a stressed dog.

So the causes that can make your dog depressed can be several and diverse. The important thing in this case is to identify which is what makes our dog depressed to try to alleviate this situation.

How to treat depression in dogs

One time the cause identified It will be time to start working to solve this problem. If we are not sure what may be causing sadness and depression in our best friend, the ideal will be to go to the specialist and never follow advice that is not indicated for our case. The professional is the only figure that can give an accurate diagnosis about the problem that affects our dog.

Ideally, regardless of the cause of the stress, it will be to review some key factors starting with animal welfare. If we make sure that we meet all the needs that a dog requires, both physically and emotionally, we will have made considerable progress. We encourage you to review the following aspects:

It will be very useful to work with our dog fun, stimulating activities and with great attention from us. Providing care and care are, in reality, the best tools to treat sadness or depression in our dog. The obedience practice It is also very useful to distract our dog, while we teach useful orders. Obviously we must have ruled out any possible illness previously.

In the most severe cases of depression, the veterinarian may recommend us drug use That helps to treat you properly. Homeopathy in dogs is also another remedy that some people usually use. The professional will indicate the most appropriate for your case.

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to My dog ​​is sad, what should I do?We recommend that you enter our section on Mental Problems.


Gessy Field says

Thanks for the tips are very very important have helped me to discover a symptom of sadness in my precious Tadcha.

Wendy Anette says

My dog ​​is like that sad, does not want to eat and it does not make me normal, he usually plays and runs but suddenly as he only wants to sleep. I'm really worried that it could happen, it's Chihuahua. I would greatly appreciate any comments.

Lesly Violet says

My dog ​​is sad, if she eats meat and chicken but she rejects the croquettes and is always locked in her little house and does not come out
It worries me that it is well Playful

Hello, my puppy a few days ago is as sad, he sleeps almost all day ... and it is rare because she is very active ... eat but not as before, drink water and do her needs normally ... I must put the second dose of five times but not I want because it is like that. What do you advise me?

Thank you very much it served me

Hello, my dog ​​is like sad decay without wanting anything and she is about to have a baby, she is still a puppy, she will still have about 6 months just happening to her?

José Ángel says

I have a dog and it has watery eyes and does not want to do anything, does not eat or play, will it have a disease or is depressed?

It is very possible that he is sick. You have to take it to the vet and have some tests done, in order to give you a diagnosis.

I have been on vacation for a week and I have left my two dogs with my son but they have been alone for many hours, when I returned one was fine but the other is sad, just eat already lost weight, can it be because of my absence? When it pees It's a yellowish color but he doesn't complain, I don't know what to do

Ismary Abreu says

My dog ​​has a tumor on his face and has become very aggressive, today he bit me, he sleeps a lot. What can I do and eat well?

If our dog is sad or apathetic, it can mean that he is sick or undergoes a medical process that causes him discomfort.

Apathy is a very nonspecific sign but very common in many pathologies and processes that are painful. Although sometimes, especially at the beginning, it may be the only sign, at other times it is accompanied by another symptomatology that shows that something is happening to our compi. Therefore, the visit to the veterinarian will be essential if we notice that our dog is sad and off.

Another very obvious symptom that our dog is sad may be the loss of appetite. Apathetic dogs usually eat less than usual or even stop eating altogether. Also the normal activity of the dog is diminished. In a little active dog it can be difficult to assess, but in those that are usually very playful and vivacious It is the first thing that attracts attention.

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Related to the above, many dogs sleep more throughout the day when they are apathetic. While they decrease their physical activity, the time they spend sleeping increases. Sometimes, when they feel sad, they avoid social contact. In that state, they seem more independent, as if they didn't want to know anything about us or anyone else. They tend to isolate themselves in an area of ​​the house, they don't come when we call them, etc. You might also suspect that your dog is sad if you notice behavioral disturbances. Sadness and apathy, especially when they are chronic, generate pessimism. There are several studies that have demonstrated a very clear relationship between these states of apathy with pessimistic cognitive biases, and the predisposition of this to some behavioral alterations such as separation anxiety or the appearance of fears. We are not referring only to studies in human medicine, but also in veterinary medicine. This means, therefore, that if our compi is sad, he is more likely to suffer from behavioral alterations, and vice versa.

How to make your mood improve?

Since no owner likes to see our dog sad, the first thing we ask ourselves when we see our hairy apathetic is how we can help him to be the one he used to be. To do this, we must analyze the possible cause for which our partner is like this, and try to solve it.

First, it will be important go to the vet to rule out any health problems that may be behind the sadness and apathy of our dog.

If there has been any change in our lives, we must help our dog manage it and get used to the new situation. Some changes that can lead our dog to suffer a state of sadness are spouses, death of a family member (both people and other pets), change of address, the arrival of a baby or new members to the house.

Exercise and have good walks. In chronic states of apathy and depression, serotonin (which is a neurotransmitter of the nervous system) is usually diminished. It is proven that exercise helps increase your levels. Therefore, we must try to give our dog good walks, where he can play, sniff and interact with other dogs. If we have reduced the time we spend with our best friend, that may be the cause of his sadness. In these cases the solution is simple: re-dedicate more time, quality time. A good option, besides increasing the walks, is to practice obedience and canine skills with him. This means spending more time with our dog while encouraging him to exercise mentally. Of course, learning must always be positive.

Finally, it may be necessary to support treatment with medicines. This should only be taken into account in the most serious cases, in which the dog shows a state of very deep or chronic apathy and depression (for example in the face of the loss of a loved one or some traumatic change for our compi). The medication aims to increase serotonin levels, and in no case should it be used as a single solution. It's just a help to "unlock" to our friend and make it easier to apply the rest of the guidelines and tips for faster recovery.

It is evident that our dogs can go through moments of sadness and apathy throughout their lives, sometimes in a timely manner and sometimes more chronic. It is important to know how to recognize when our friend is sad and depressed. This will allow us to identify the reason and do everything necessary to help you regain your joy and vivacity.

Borja Ros Villanueva, veterinarian and ethologist in Adetcan.
Adetcan is a project formed by two veterinary ethologists and canine educators that provide counseling, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of behavioral problems in dogs and cats. The service is at home. We are in Santiago de Compostela but we work throughout Galicia.