Do dogs experience depression the same way that people do? The Dodo recently published an article that explores that very question.
“It’s difficult to know for sure whether dogs experience depression the same way we do, because they can’t tell us how they’re feeling. However, there is research that suggests that dogs are capable of many of the same feelings as humans, including depression.”
— Dr. Jill Sackman, Senior Clinician, BluePearl Veterinary Partners
When it comes to happiness and excitement, dogs tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves — or, rather, their tails. But what about less positive states? Dogs are notoriously stoic when it comes to expressing physical pain, are they just as buttoned up about their psychological condition?
In an interview with The Dodo, veterinarian Dr. Jill Sackman reveals a few signs to watch out for. According to Dr. Sackman, lethargy and a lack of appetite may indicate depression or an underlying medical condition. Dogs who are more reluctant to engage in play or other activities may be experiencing some form of distress. Sackman notes, however, that a full veterinary examination should be conducted before making any assumptions.
What can you do if your dog is depressed? According to Dr. Sackman, dogs, just like humans, may benefit from more social engagement. Additional trips to the dog park or more play sessions may just be enough to bring your pup out of its funk. If those options don’t do much to improve your dogs mood, Sackman suggests that your veterinarian may be able to offer other forms of treatment.
Read the full article on The Dodo to learn more about depression in dogs and to find out what you can do to combat it.