We love our pets. As a nation, around 45 per cent of us keep some sort of animal in the house, with pets outnumbering people! Each year, we spend £7 billion on these creatures, from food to entertainment to health checks.
Most of the time, your pooch is a happy chappy, following you around the house and looking up at you with those big, brown eyes. Sometimes, though, it’s clear something isn’t quite right. They’re not their usual perky selves.
It’s not clear that dogs can experience depression in the same way the people do – we just don’t understand enough about their brains yet. But often you can see that something isn’t quite right. Dogs are animals that live for the moment. So when fun takes a back seat, it is eminently clear that something is wrong.
So what should you do if your down is feeling down in the dumps? How can you help them?
Determine Whether Your Dog Is Actually Feeling Down
It might seem obvious to you that something isn’t quite right with your dog, but that doesn’t mean you should rush to conclusions. It could be a case of misdiagnosis.
To be sure there is a problem, try engaging your dog in their usual activities. See how they respond when you go for walkies or offer food. If you notice a change in behaviour that persists, it may be a cause for concern.
Remember, psychological events rarely cause dogs to change their mood. Rarely do they get out on the wrong side of bed and decide that today is going to be a bad day. Instead, every day to them is an opportunity and largely disconnected from the one that came before. So whatever pains them is likely to be physical or environmental.
Think About Changes To Your Home
Have you recently had a significant change in your home environment that could explain your dog’s behaviour? The arrival of a new pet, a baby or some kind of toxic substance can all make your pooch seem as if he or she is down in the dumps. Think back carefully if any substantial changes could be the cause.
Take Your Dog To The Vet
Going to the vet is a challenge right now, but you may be able to get a video consultation. Usually, the vet will ask you about the age of your dog and when the symptoms started. They’ll then develop ideas for what the underlying problem might be, based on what you tell them.
If the issue is arthritis, then they may recommend CBD oil. If it is something infectious, you might need to collect a prescription. It all depends on the issue.
If that doesn’t work, you may want to consult a variety of self-help books, many of which are now available over the internet. These include helpful advice from experienced dog owners who are used to dealing with depressed pooches. They can provide a checklist of things to try if you’re still struggling to get them out of a rut.