When I first told my friend that my Corgi suffers bouts of depression, they find it hard to believe. Like humans, dogs do occasionally suffer from depression. They get lethargic, stop eating, and drink only minimal amounts of water, stop wanting to play, and even lose drastic amounts of weight. My Corgi is such a case. He caught us totally unaware. He went on and on like this for 2 weeks before we surrendered and brought him to the vet. The vet ruled out all physical problems and told us that Corgi is a little bit "depressed". We were shocked to learn that dogs do suffer from depression! However, the minute he stepped out of the veterinary, he became his old self again.
What can cause this in pets?
Grief, change of scenery, or sometimes it is a chemical imbalance, needing medication to correct it. In my Corgi's case, it resulted from a sudden action from my dad. He accidentally pressed hard onto his hands when he rolled over in his sleep. And Corgi happens to be sleeping besides him. From then, Corgi recoiled into his own protective world for two weeks! Despite all the persuasion and treats, he refused to step out of his shell. My whole family was worried sick for him.
As a pet owner, how do you fight an invisible, inner enemy? The first step is recognizing the problem. You've ruled out all the possible physical causes with help from your veterinarian, now it is time to start looking at the mental causes.
Has your pet recently lost a friend? Perhaps a neighbourhood dog he played with is gone, or perhaps he missed someone close in the family, out on vacation? My sister's dog, Ebby was restless for a week when she was away for holidays. He slept beneath my bed the entire week and only came out for his meals.
Pets do grieve
Losing a playmate, especially an in-home playmate is often a reason for depression. When my stray dog, Casper was killed in a car accident 3 years ago, my old dog, Gal saw us crying and holding him. She became so quiet and still that I could almost feel the sadness in her. We may not notice it very often, but pets do grieve, and in some cases, especially concerning a violent death or just a disappearance, dogs can grieve to a dangerous point, and it can be very hard to bring them out of it.
Signs of depression
How do you tell that something is bothering your dog? He is slower in response or appears to lose interest and initiative. If you notice this is happening to your pet, do something now and start to make life fun for him again. Ask your vet about Anti-depressants available as well. Depression if left too long could very well turn into a life-threatening physical condition.
Be sure to have all physical aspects of your dog's health checked out by a veterinarian first. Pain is frequently the cause of moodiness and irritability in a normally pleasant pet, but often locating the source of discomfort requires veterinary help, and often x-rays. Those blood tests your vet mentioned could be crucial in determining the problem.
How to bring your dog out of depression
Once you and your vet have determined that depression is the cause, there are a few options. One is medicated therapy. This could be veterinarian recommended anti-depressants.
An increase in your activity level or at least your dog's will also likely be called for. In cases of grief, arrange play dates with your dogs and with other dogs may be a good way to draw him into the happy mood again.
If you are ready, you may even consider getting another dog.
Depression can be both a physical and mental cause. Taking care of your dog's well-being involves commitment to go through with him, his life's up and downs, just like a human companion. A dog is a healthy dog! Help him embark on a healthy body and mind and allow him to live longer through well researched dog food recipes by clicking recipes4pet.com
Remember, a happy dog bring happiness to owner and whole family!