Do Dogs Get Depressed?

Depression is when the sufferer feels permanently disturbed and considers himself worthless with a persisting sadness. Sometimes, the one going through depression loses interest in day-to-day work and normal routine activities. Moreover, these are not the common signs of depression; other significant abnormalities can also occur.

These are all the conditions that are related to human beings, but what about depression in dogs? Can dogs get depressed? And what is the possible treatment of depression in dogs? So in this article, we are going to discuss depression in dogs.

The answer is Yes. While depression also exists in dogs but it has not the same clinical form as in humans. The canine buddies can feel depression in conditions such as blues, sadness, and grief. The signs of depression in humans cannot determine the symptoms of depression in dogs; instead, we can tell from the dogs’ emotions that they are disturbed.

Dr. Berns (Distinguished Professor of Neuroeconomics and Director of the Center for Neuropolicy at Emory University) has tracked the regions of the human and canine brains that are active during various emotions by performing non-invasive magnetic imaging resonance studies (MRIs) on close to 100 dogs.

According to the research results of said professor, during depression, certain areas of the human brain are active. During depression in dogs, certain regions of emotions are also functional. So we can conclude that dogs also feel the same feelings as humans when disturbed.


Signs of Depression is Canines

The significant signs linked with emotional disturbances can lead to depression in dogs. If the pet has lost a long-term companion, he will act differently than the one who is just suffering from routine grief.

The main signs of depression in dogs include:

  • Reduction in the desire to eat
  • Excessive slumber or appearing lethargic
  • Requesting more attention or being overly dependent on their owners
  • Visiting the rooms of the house where their companion spent the most time
  • A voice-acting variation (meowing, barking, howling, etc. more than usual)
  • Unusually hostile behavior towards individuals or other animals
  • Incontinence of urination or feces in the home

The other signs of anxiety in pets may include some of the following:

  • The dogs usually become unsocial
  • They always are hiding from people and other pets
  • Their behavior mainly results in destructive activities
  • They do not want to be part of everyday routine-based actions

When a veterinarian wants to inquire about the depression of a dog, he starts by investigating the medical history of the dog and the parents. If there are abnormal changes in the house or the dog’s routine, they are very helpful in getting knowledge about the cause of depression.

Furthermore, the treatment also becomes easy. Background knowledge is essential in dogs as they do not show any clinical signs of depression.

How to Help Your Depressed Dog

If you can find the cause of depression, you can better help your dog. Below are some ideas that can serve as a treatment to deal with a depressed dog.

Sometimes, a furry friend is missing for a play activity; you can fill the gap with another dog. But make sure that the new dog is rightfully fitted in the slot of an older friend.

You can also take your dog for longer walks so that he may feel relaxed emotionally. You can also engage him in puzzle activities.

Eating should be followed in any case, and you must ensure the dog is taking the proper diet. You can add certain toppings to make the meals delightful.

Do not enforce your behavior on the dog when it is not acting correctly due to depression. You can also reward the dog for good behavior with treats and toys.


Depression can also be found in dogs, but we cannot test it clinically as we do in humans. However, there are sure signs that we can detect as symptoms of anxiety and depression. The best treatment is to know the cause of depression.

Furthermore, there are also some experienced ways of treating depression in dogs. For instance, taking your dog for a walk and introducing a new friend in its life.

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