Depression in Dogs | Signs, Causes and Treatment

Depreciation for dogs? Although this may sound as weird as it looks, dogs get depressed. They feel a little out of the blues due to numerous factors that may sound outlandish to you but real to them.

One day you notice their energy level drop to ground zero and they don’t feel all that interested, they are probably not sick, but maybe they are depressed.

Understanding why dogs get depressed and what causes them to go into depression will help you know how best to help them.

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Can Dogs Get Depressed?

Depression in Dogs

Absolutely dogs get depressed due to a lot of factors. However, what veterinarians cannot decipher yet is if dogs get depressed just the same way people do. 

But clinically it has been deciphered that a few situations explain the fact that dogs go into short-term depression.

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How Do I Know My Dog Is In Depression?

Dogs are really expressive creatures that show off their every mood to every Dick and Harry as long as they can. The same goes when they are depressed.

Dog depression symptoms are very similar to those of humans. The major symptom that shows depression is withdrawal.

When dogs become withdrawn, they become inactive. They lose their appetite and their sleeping habits change as well. Also, depressed dogs do not participate in the things they once enjoyed.

When they start exhibiting these symptoms, chances are that the dog has a medical problem. So to ascertain the best step to take, running a full checkup by an expert veterinarian is the best step.

What Causes Dog Depression?

For dogs, depression can be a result of something as flimsy as giving birth to a new baby in the house. They feel they have been replaced and their human buddy no longer loves them. 

What else could be more depressing? 

Some other reasons why dogs get depressed include;

  • Chronic pain.
  • Social isolation.
  • Adding another pet. 
  • Loss of his human buddy
  • Lack of desired attention
  • Moving into a new home.
  • Changing a dog’s schedule.
  • Loss of a companion animal 
  • A new spouse or baby in the household.
  • Trauma, injury, abuse, or long-term stress.
  • Insufficient physical and/or mental stimulation. This is especially true for high-energy, driven, working breeds

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How Do I Treat My Depressed Dog?

Dogs don’t go into long-term depression. Dogs’ depression lasts for just a short while and they are up and running in a few days or months.

All they need is 

  • Offer them car rides
  • Get them a little more exercise.
  • Engage them in something fun.
  • Extra Tender Love and Care (TLC).
  • Get them another pet if they lost a companion.
  • Reward them when they show signs of happiness.

Be careful not to encourage them when they do something terrible simply because you rang to help them out of depression. 

What Medications Can I Give My Depressed Dog?

If you’ve tried the above and your furry little friend is still not in a good mood, then you may try out a prescribed medication. 

Medications for depressed dogs are the same for depressed humans. They include; Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Clomicalm, etc.

It can take up to two months for any of these drugs to become effective.

How Long Does It Take A Dog To Get Out Of Depression?

Most dogs can get better in 66 to 12 months and then they can be taken off the drugs.

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Does My Depression Affect My Dog?

Dogs are sentient animals. This means they can experience both positive and negative emotions, such as pleasure, comfort, fear, and anxiety. 

As their human, when you’re depressed they feel solemn as well. They sense it when you’re not in a good mood and most times it affects them.

They whimper and look at you in a very pained way in a bid to utter that they feel your pain.


Dogs are one of the most lovely creatures you will have as a companion for a lifetime. They feel your pain, they stay true and loyal even till death.

When these lovely creatures go into depression it’s as if the life of the party is soaking wet. It’s ideal to do all you can to get your dogs out of depression.


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