From Pet Health Learning Center
Dogs can suffer from a wide array of illnesses and health conditions that are very much the same as those that are endured by humans. Dog Arthritis, Dog Heart Disease, GI disturbances, hormonal imbalances, congenital defects and skin conditions are just a few of the problems that can affect your canine friends.
It is also possible for dogs to have health issues that are far less likely to diagnose. Depression in dogs is a real concern for many individuals. Just like depression in humans this condition can be treated but only if it is correctly identified.
Here are some of the most common signs that you can use to help determine whether your beloved canine buddy has a problem with depression. Early and prompt diagnosis is of key importance when it comes to restoring your dog back to his normal, happy self.
Changes in Energy Patterns
All dogs do not have the same energy level but if depression is a factor you will notice that your dog shows little enthusiasm for any activity. They will begin to sleep much more than normal and some may even lie around the house for the entire day without displaying any interest in toys, treats, affection or outdoor romps as well as showing signs of having Dog Lethargy.
Changes in normal Eating Habits
With dog depression an owner will generally first notice that his dog will change his normal eating habits. Some dogs will show a complete lack of interest in any food with a Dog Loss of Appetite, even those favorite treats that they once devoured so willingly will no longer appear appetizing. Other dogs will pick listlessly at their meal while some may begin to eat incessantly and never appear to be full or content with a Dog Appetite Increase.
Skin and Hair Conditions
Although skin and hair problems are generally related to the nutrition of a dog these issues can also be indicative of depression. Chewing at the feet; pulling and biting the skin; excessive shedding of hair and incessant licking of the body can be signals to an owner that his dog has problems that could well be related to underlying depression.
Changes in Weight
Dog depression often causes weight disturbances. Most dogs will begin to show signs of Dog Weight Loss as they try to cope with their emotional issues. A few dogs may gain weight but this is a less common symptom of depression in dogs. Always make sure that you are paying attention to the weight and eating habits of your dogs so that you can head off any such problem in the early stages.
Along with food most depressed dogs will also refuse water. They may take only a few ounces of water at a time and this can quickly lead to Dog Dehydration problems which can become very severe. Even if a lack of interest in water is the only sign that you are noticing this is an occasion when you should immediately call your vet and ask their advice.
Many dogs that have depression will also have noticeable changes in their behavior. A once loving and docile dog may begin to exhibit anti-social and aggressive tendencies towards its owner.
Withdrawing from daily Life
Dogs with depression withdraw from the normal activities in their lives. They may even hide from all family members and fail to respond when their name is called.
Depression in dogs is a significant problem that can be overlooked even by a caring and concerned pet owner. No dog breed is immune to the problem of depression. In most instances this problem is triggered by a major life event. A major physical illness, the loss or addition of another family dog, a family move or other changes in the animal's daily life can initiate a bout of depression.
Being alert to the usual signs and symptoms of dog depression is one of the best ways for you to identify the problem. The sooner you seek appropriate veterinarian care for this problem the sooner your pet's emotional and mental health can be restored.