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Anxiety & Depression in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms & How To Help

Did you know that humans are not alone in experiencing anxiety and depression? Dogs can also experience these emotions. Our Somerset vets talk about anxiety and depression in dogs, what the signs are and how you can help them feel better.

Dog Anxiety & Depression

Does your dog seem to be experiencing the symptoms of anxiety and depression? Chances are that they might be.  Our Somerset vets often see dogs suffering from anxiety and depression due to a host of different reasons.

You should always take dog anxiety and depression seriously as these can lead to behaviors that are typically unwanted. If you are concermed about my dog's ood or behavior then you should conatct yoru vet right away to have them assessed for any physical conditions and rule these out before looking into mental and emotional concerns. Your vet will be able to diagnose the cause and offer solutions or treatments to help your dog feel more contented and happy.

But what are the signs of anxiety and depression in dogs? 

What Are The Common Signs of Dog Depression?

Some of the symptoms of dog depression that you may notice are:

  • No interest in playing with people or toys
  • "Sad" expression
  • Lethargy
  • Avoiding you or hiding
  • Growling, howling or aggression
  • Sleeping too much
  • Lack of appetite
  • Not sleeping

What Are The Common Signs of Dog Anxiety?

Anxiety leads to behaviors that are very different from those caused by depression. Some of the signs of dog anxiety that you should watch for include:

  • Destructive behaviors such as chewing
  • Obsessive paw licking
  • Spontaneous bowel movement or urination
  • Panting for no reason
  • Pacing aimlessly
  • Whimpering, trembling, or whining

Managing depressiona nd anxiety can be difficult but it is also important to ensure that there are no physical causes for theri behavior. If your dog is exhibiting any of the behaviors or symptoms above, contact your vet to book an examination for your pooch.

What Are Some Causes of Dog Depression & Anxiety?

Dogs are creatures of habit, they love having their life run on a predicitable routine and can react negatively if there are any deviations to that routine. Any major life changes or distressing events can have a significant impact on their emotions.

Although more obvious events such as their owner’s death or prolonged absence can bring on symptoms of anxiety or depression in dogs, other less extreme events such as a move to a new home, injury or illness, change in routine, or even a new roommate could be the cause of your pup's gloomy demeanor.

How You Can Help Your Dog Feel Better

Anxious or depressed dogs generally benefit from predictable environments, closely controlled social interaction (if the cause is related to other dogs or people) and a consistent routine including lots of physical activity.

Here are some ways you help you dog stay happy and healthy:

Schedule a Vet Visit

  • If you notice the signs and symptoms of depression or anxiety then it is very important to rule out all phycial conditions prior to determining the cause to be emotional or mental. The first thing you should do if your dog seems anxious or depressed is to schedule a visit with your vet. While some dogs may recover from depression with just a little extra love and attention from their pet parent, your veterinarian can provide medications such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety aids to help calm their nerves if things don’t show signs of improvement.

Engage Your Dog Physically & Mentally

  • A bored dog can very quickly become depressed. Provide your dog with plenty of exercise multiple times a day, and supply your pup with enough toys to keep them busy in order to help quell your dog's anxiety. Look for toys that are interactive or can be stuffed with treats to keep your pup's body and mind active while you're out of the house.

Allow For Plenty of Playtime

  • Our dogs are social creatures that love to be around people and other animals. If your dog is suffering from anxiety or depression you may want to consider getting a companion animal for your pup or take your lonely pooch to the dog park, group classes or doggie daycare for additional social interaction.

Affection Can Go a Long Way

  • Of course, our pets need lots of love and patience in order to feel safe and contented - even more so when they are prone to feeling depressed or anxious. By giving your dog some extra time and attention you may be able to alleviate these issues and restore your pup's sense of fun and happiness.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If you are concerned about your dog's emotional behavior, contact our Somerset vets in order to schedule a visit for your pup and to learn about ways you can help them cope.

New Patients Welcome

Are you looking for a new vet in the Somerset area? Midway Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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Contact (606) 679-7319