How to Tell if Your Doggy is Suffering from Depression

sad dog

If nothing seems to be getting your doggy out of her funk, you can also try doggy depression meds. Clomicalm is an FDA approved drug that some owners use for dogs that suffer from anxiety. There are also other depression medications that work for different breeds. Discover what'll work best for your doggy and don't give up hope — in time, she should be back to her normal self. Continue researching doggy depression and learning more about it on WebMD.

What Are the Symptoms of Dog Depression?

Dog depression symptoms are very similar to those in people, said John Ciribassi, DVM, past president of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior. “Depressed dogs will become withdrawn. They become inactive. Their eating and sleeping habits often change. They don’t participate in the things they once enjoyed.”

But vets warn those symptoms also can mean a dog has a medical problem, so the first course of action should always be a full checkup by a veterinarian.

Causes of Dog Depression

Beaver said major changes in a dog’s life could lead to periods of depression. Those include moving into a new home, a new spouse or baby in the household, or adding another pet. Even a change in the dog’s schedule, for instance a stay-at-home owner who takes a job, can cause a dog to get down.

Dog Depression Treatments

Most dogs bounce back from depression within a few days to a few months with just a little extra TLC. Keep them engaged, do more of the things they like to do, get them a little more exercise, and they should be fine.

And reward them when they show signs of happiness. If the only thing that still gets a little tail wag out of your dog is a car ride, then take him for a series of short rides each day, praising and rewarding him when he appears happier.

And be careful not to encourage the negative behavior by lavishing a depressed dog with attention and treats while he is moping. The dog will think you’re rewarding him for that behavior.

Medications for Dog Depression

If nothing else works, medications can help dogs get past their depression. Karen Sueda, DVM, a diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, said medications for depressed dogs are the same as those used by depressed humans — Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft. She also uses Clomicalm, an FDA approved drug for the treatment of separation anxiety in dogs.

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