How Can You Help Your Dog Overcome Depression? (8 Surefire Tips)

By Alberto Roy

Updated on:

Ever since you were a kid, hasn’t everyone wanted a puppy as their pet? Aside from the weird cat people, ugh. They are our cheer buddies, always waiting for us to get home—just a walking, barking, zooming bundle of love.

We rely on them for a variety of reasons. Imagine breaking up and having no one to lean on like your dog.

There is a saying that dogs are the only creatures on Earth who will love you more than yourself.

They are indeed your best friend when you need them. Cuddling, accompanying you on soul-searching journeys, or simply their stupidity will make you laugh. We are just blessed with their presence.

But unlike us, who are gifted with the ability to communicate, dogs aren’t. Won’t it be cool though? So when something goes wrong with them, we are not able to find out what’s the matter with them. 

Believe it or not, clinical depression can occur in our beloved floofs too. Sad, I know! But there are a few telltale signs that your dog might be suffering from clinical depression too.

Still, don’t panic; there are many ways in which you can help your dog’s mental health.

You can keep them busy with their favorite activities, take them out in a park, or turn your home into a dog-friendly space where they can play, jump, or take a long evening nap.

Here are some signs that your dog has dog depression:

Sign of Dog Depression

  1. No one likes seeing their dog lethargic and sad. But if you are seeing them like this most of the time, drained of energy and lack of enthusiasm to do anything. It is a high chance they might be suffering from dog depression.
  2. Do you find that your dog has a decreased appetite? The biggest reason could be dog depression! Because no doggo that I know will ever say no to treatos.
  3. One of the biggest symptoms of dog depression is that a strange moodiness will overcome them. They will refuse to play, lose all their energy and get super lazy.
  4. Restlessness! They will appear restless, not wanting to stay at a spot for a minute and always agitated. This is very hard to observe given the general nature of dogs.
  5. Unusually aggressive behavior toward people or other animals is a big sign of dog depression.

Reasons For Dog Depression.

Reasons for Dog Depression

There can be multiple reasons for your dog’s sadness. And it’s crucial that you first comprehend the cause of it if you want your dog to escape from it. Here I have listed some of the most common reasons for dog depression.

  1. The most relevant reason is you. Yeah that’s right, a dog is said to portray the emotions of its owner and if due to some reason you are feeling depressed and not too cheerful. It will impact the mental health of your dog too.
  2. The death of a paw friend or any close human may lead to grief in the dog. They feel emotions and attachments too. And the sudden loss of a loved one has the power to put them into severe dog depression.
  3. Another common reason for dog depression is that your dog might just be scared of something. It can be any simple reason which might put them in discomfort.
  4. One of the most common signs is that they might be physically ill or experience some sort of discomfort that has them so down.
  5. Sometimes the change in scenery may also be the reason that they are suffering from dog depression.

8 Tips For Helping Depressed Dogs

Helping Depressed Dogs

How do you help a depressed dog? You are curious, I get it.

Since now you know the reasons why your dog might be depressed, it is also my job to tell you how you can improve them so that they are back to being your happy little goofballs.

But be careful that these have to be done with utmost care, as it can later lead to more aggressive behavior. Be sure to give your dogs enough time to come back to their own selves; you can’t expect results overnight.

They have their own way of communicating, and it might take them time to react to your efforts. But relax and read these surefire ways that will help improve your dog’s mental health.

1. Lots of love and attention

Love for Depressed Dog

Dogs are simple creatures; they don’t expect much in return from you except love, attention, and lots of cuddles.

Giving your full attention to them might show them that you truly care about them. Buy your pupper gifts, new toys, new treats, maybe a delicious new bone they can chew on.

Take time out of your busy schedule to cuddle with them, some quality time with their owner might just be what they were missing out on.

Not only will it help your depressed dog, but it will also give you a much needed break from your hectic life. These activities will improve your mental health as well as that of your dogs.

2. Walkies, Walkies, and more Walkies

Walk for Depressed DogDogs are known to be physically active creatures. Spending hours on end in a confined space like your house might just put them in a lethargic and inactive mood.

As a dog parent, take every goddamn step to make everlasting memories. Because there are endless possibilities for the activities that you can do with your dog.

Go on long walks with them, talk to them, take them to their favorite store; maybe they love the lakeside and the open space they get to run around in.

I haven’t met a dog in my life who doesn’t love to swim in a lake or a pool… take them on runs.

Because of the walks and runs, they will not only get enough exercise to keep them physically fit but also make them happy as they are finally out of the house.

just what they needed to get out of their dog depression.

3. Treat them!

Treat the Depressed Dog

Dogs are responsive to positive reinforcement. Getting their cute brains working again to understand what you want them to do by teaching them tricks might encourage them to come out of their dog depression.

Treating them when they do something right is a great way to make them feel good about themselves again.

However, you have to do this very carefully, as treating them needlessly might encourage their depressed behavior.

Make sure to keep your routine fixed and not to overfeed them  as their physical health might be jeopardized, and eventually, they will stop going outdoors or performing physical activities.  

4. Pet parks are the best!

Park for Depressed Dogs

Just like humans, dogs are social animals too. They need to interact with others of their kind to improve their mental health.

Get them to socialize with other dogs by bringing them to pet parks or daycare centers. This will not only help them become friendly with other dogs but also help them get over the loss of another dog or the loneliness they feel at your home.

It will also be a nice change of scenery for your dog. Improving the decor of your dog’s room might also be a great way to get them out of their dog depression. Any change in their daily atmosphere may bring the good boy back out of them.

5. Visit the vet

Consult Dog Vet

This should always be the first step whenever you feel that there is something wrong with your dog. Most of the time, whenever something goes wrong or you feel like your dog is going through depression or is having mental health issues, it is related to their physical health.

Due to the physical aspects of dogs, their healthcare is a very delicate issue. Even some physical discomfort may lead to depression for dogs.

So the first step you take is to take them to a good vet and get all your doubts cleared out.

6. Take them on a puppy-cation!

Outing for Depressed Dogs

Dogs with depression might get bored with their surroundings, and even the weather of a place might get them down.

Getting them a change of scenery will get them going again, and the thrill of going somewhere new or far away may help them get over whatever negative energy it has.

Exploring new places together might be a great bonding experience for you and your dog. Another big change would be in your pup’s diet, which will help them get over their dog depression.             

7. Get them a trainer

Trainer for Depressed Dog

When something goes wrong with your body, you see a specialist, right? So getting a professional trainer who actually knows what kind of method will work the best for your dog is probably the best thing you can do apart from the vet. 

They know how a dog thinks from the inside out, and they will have the exact ways to get them out of their blues and make them cheerful again.

8. Follow a routine

Routine for Depressed Dog

Remember to keep your dog on a routine to help keep their mental health in check. Because of this routine, they will stick to a schedule where they will have just enough time to go through all of their daily pup duties.

It will make them feel important again, and they will be their lively selves again. Not only will this get them out of dog depression, but it will also improve their physical health.

It will keep them away from any physical discomforts, and help you reduce the number of visits to the veterinarian.

Now that you know everything about depression in dogs, we are confident you will know how to handle it if your fluffy ever experiences it. 

"Passionate dog trainer with years of experience. Transforming pups into well-behaved companions through positive reinforcement and love. 🐾🐶"