Dog with depression: symptoms
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Just like humans, various symptoms can indicate depression in dogs. If you recognize some of the signs below from your loved one, it is important that you consult a veterinarian first. Only the specialist can diagnose a definite depression and rule out that physical causes such as certain illnesses are behind the behavior changes of your four-legged friend.
Depression or depressive behavior?
First of all, correct depression must be distinguished from occasionally depressed dog behavior, such as a sad reaction to a certain event. Every dog is depressed once and behaves accordingly. Morbid depression, on the other hand, lasts for a longer period; most often there is a disturbed metabolism in the brain because certain messenger substances are not sufficiently formed.
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Numerous symptoms can indicate depression in the dog
The most common symptoms of dog depression include listlessness, lethargy and loss of appetite. Depressed four-legged friends often have little interest in their surroundings, do not want to play anymore or only rarely and are hardly available for a dog walk. This often goes hand in hand with a driveless, shuffling gait and a hanging head as well as a lowered tail. Many depressed dogs generally show fewer reactions to certain stimuli, such as provocations or prompts.
You can also recognize depression based on your dog's facial expressions. A blank look and little movement on your pet's face can indicate psychological problems. Other possible symptoms include inattentiveness and slower reactions to sounds. All of a sudden, some dogs are no longer house-trained. In addition to the above-mentioned loss of appetite, the opposite, i.e. increased eating, can also be a sign of depression. If you observe such symptoms over a longer period of time, going to the vet is the right step. As a result, an animal psychologist can also help.