Just like humans, dogs can be unhappy. In fact, it is even possible for your dog to be depressed. This can be triggered by the loss of a family member (pet or human), a new family member joining the home or by moving. It could also be some sort of underlining health condition. Here are the main signs to look for to know if your dog in unhappy.
Changes in Appetite
Dogs love food, so when they stop eating it is a sure sign that something is wrong. It could be because they are sick, or it could be that they are unhappy. If there have been some changes in your pooches’ life and it stops eating, chances are your dog is depressed. They could also be eating more, using food as a way to comfort themselves.
Changes in Sleep
Like humans, when a dog is depressed it sleeps a lot. Dogs sleep a lot anyways, especially when they are alone. But if it seems excessive or they are sleeping more when you are around, it could be a sign of unhappiness. If you notice that your dog is not reacting as much when you come home or doesn’t seem to want to get out of bed, it could very well be depressed.
Changes in Behaviour
Behaviour changes could be situational or they could be a sign of an unhappy dog. If your dog has lost interest in things it used to enjoy, like going for walks, playing or any other activities that it enjoyed, it is a sign of unhappiness. Pacing is another thing to look for, as is unusually destructive behaviour. A happy, well-balanced dog won’t destroy its home, toys, clothes or anything else laying around.
Avoidance or Hiding
Dogs are pack animals and love to be around their people. If it suddenly starts hiding or wants to be left alone this is an indication that it could be depressed. When a dog is very ill it will do this, but if that is not the case, it could be suffering emotionally.
Unlike cats, dogs don’t clean themselves by licking excessively. If you notice that your dog is licking or chewing its paws a lot it could mean that it’s unhappy. It could also mean that there is an injury on their paw or they have something stuck in it. If this is not the case, there could be something wrong emotionally. Paw licking is a way to soothe themselves from their woes.
This is similar to behaviour changes, but to a much further extent. If your well-behaved furry loved one suddenly snaps at you, something is surely wrong. It can be something as simple as a growl, or a full out snap. Or maybe your dog attacks or fights with its closest friend. Dogs are not usually aggressive without being provoked, so if this happens there is definitely something wrong.
Although these are all common signs of an unhappy dog, they are also sings of other health conditions. If you notice any of these things happening, the first thing you should do is bring your furry loved one to the vet to make sure it is not a medical condition. If it’s not, your vet can help you in taking steps to help you treat your dog for depression.