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How Do I Tell if my Dog is Depressed?

By October 24, 2019Pet Behavior
How Do I Tell if my Dog is Depressed?

Is your Dog Depressed? How can you tell? There are some sure signs and symptoms of depression, which is quite common with household changes, adjustments, transitions, or losses, such as the passing of a primary human or a move. Many of the symptoms are parallel with what you would see in a person with depression.

How do you tell if your dog is depressed? Watch for these signs:


If your dog is exhibiting changes in behavior, such as becoming isolative or avoidant, this could be a sign of depression. Has someone moved in or out of the home lately? Could an underlying medical issue be the cause? When you notice these types of behavioral changes in your pet, it is time to visit a veterinarian.


A loss of appetite or weight loss could also be signs of depression in your dog. Encourage eating but rule out a medical issue by visiting your vet provider. It is not uncommon for a dog’s weight to fluctuate a few pounds, depending on the breed and age; let your vet know, but don’t panic until your vet rules out medical reasons for the loss in weight.


Another sign of depression often manifests in compulsive or excessive paw licking. Many dogs lick when anxious or in pain, but it may also be an indication that your pet is depressed. If your pet isn’t licking their paws, they might lick other things compulsively like the furniture or rug. Again, let your vet know of this behavior.


Dogs that are depressed sleep more and some may sleep around the clock. Start taking note of your pet’s sleep cycle and habits to identify when and if there is an issue that merits veterinary attention, such as depression.


A general loss of interest in people or activities once enjoyed is another way to tell if your pet is depressed. When you toss a ball and the dog doesn’t respond or if you are accustomed to being greeted at the door and your pet doesn’t come could be signs to talk to your veterinary provider. This lack of interest is an identifying symptom of depression in dogs.

Depression can be tough to identify and diagnose in pets, as many depression symptoms also could be signs of an underlying medical issue. The first thing any concerned pet owner should do is to schedule a veterinary examination. This can go a long way toward differentiating if your pet is depressed or experiencing another medical problem, such as chronic pain.

Could your dog be depressed? Talk to a veterinary provider today.

Schedule your pet’s appointment or come to CVETS, a brand new, state of the art Emergency Vet and Surgery center in Columbia, SC. The veterinary team will be able to distinguish whether your pet is experiencing signs of depression and treat the symptoms accordingly. Talk to the veterinary team today.