Depression and anxiety can affect dogs, much like humans. Here, our Southeast Memphis vets share what symptoms to look for and how to help cheer up your furry four-legged friend.
It's true, dogs are capable of suffering from depression and anxiety. This is because they are intelligent creatures who, like humans, experience a range of emotions.
What causes depression and anxiety in dogs?
A major change or a distressing event in a dog’s life can sometimes bring on symptoms of depression and/or anxiety.
For example, the loss of its owner or a companion animal, or even a sense of grief being experienced by those around them, can all affect a dog's overall emotions.
Big life changes, such as a move to a new house, a new baby or a new pet, may also have an impact on a dog's emotions. Generally, any significant change to your dog’s daily routine may bring on symptoms of depression or anxiety.
How do I know if my dog has depression?
The symptoms of depression in dogs are similar to those experienced by people.
Common symptoms include low activity levels, a loss in interest in the things they once enjoyed, and a change in eating and/or sleeping habits.
Some dogs may also show signs of aggression, including uncharacteristic howling or whining.
How do I know if my dog has anxiety?
Signs of anxiety in dogs may include trembling, tail-tucking, hiding, reduced activity and passive escape behaviors. They may also experience signs of panic including panting, pacing and active escape behavior.
Physical symptoms of anxiety in dogs may include sympathetic autonomic nervous system activity, like diarrhea, or lesions causing them to lick or bite their own body.
How can I help treat my dog's depression or anxiety?
The good news is that dogs can often overcome depression and/or anxiety on their own. Depending on the dog and the situation, it can take days to months. No matter what, the love and care of their owners, and sometimes some guidance from your veterinarian, can help them overcome the blues.
Pet owners can try the following techniques:
- Offer your dog more attention. But wait until you see some signs of happiness, like a wagging tail, and reward them for that behavior.
- Keep your dog active with regular walks, playtimes, and other activities you know they enjoy.
- If your dog's symptoms are related to the loss of an animal companion, consider getting another pet or start socializing them with other pets.
Depending on the severity of their symptoms your veterinarian may also prescribe anti-anxiety medication as well as recommend behavior management techniques.
In some cases, depression and/or anxiety may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition in a dog. If your pet has not recently experienced a major life change or distressing event, talk to your veterinarian about what else could be troubling them.
To learn more about anxiety and depression in dogs, or to seek treatment options, contact our Southeast Memphis vets to book an appointment today.
Looking for a vet in Southeast Memphis?
We're always accepting new patients, so contact our veterinary hospital today to book your pet's first appointment.
Related Articles View All
While the words hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism look similar, and can be confusing, these conditions in cats are very different. Today our Southeast Memphis vets share a little about the symptoms and causes of hypothyroidism in cats.
Hyperthyroidism can pose a very serious health concern for dogs. This relatively rare condition in dogs requires early diagnosis and fast treatment in order to achieve the best possible outcome for your pup. Today our Southeast Memphis vets explain more about the symptoms, causes and treatment for hyperthyroidism in dogs.
If your dog experiences seizures, the severity of each seizure can vary from virtually undetectable to severe. The type of seizures your dog experiences can also differ from one event to the next. In today's post our Memphis vets explain the different types of seizures which can occur in dogs.
Lyme disease is a tick-transmitted disease commonly seen in dogs and people across North America. Although many dogs carry Lyme and show no signs of the disease, other dogs suffer from a range of debilitating symptoms. In today's blog, our Southeast Memphis vets explain the causes, symptoms, and treatment for dogs with Lyme disease.
Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs and airways that can occur in cats due to a variety of causes. Today our Southeast Memphis vets share more about the causes of pneumonia in cats as well as the symptoms and common treatments.