How to tell if your dog is depressed after lockdown changes

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How to tell if your dog is depressed after lockdown changes

Dog depression is very real and unpleasant for the pet that is suffering from the condition.

With life starting to take on some normality as lockdown is eased, cases of anxiety and depression in dogs are likely to rise.

Vet Dr Chad Dodd, of supplement specialist YuMove, says animals could be faced with separation anxiety because their owners are no longer with them all day after many weeks of constant companionship.

He said: “Depression is generally brought on by a significant life change, loss of a family member or another pet, moving to a new home, or even other medical problems.”

These are signs of depression and anxiety in dogs that owners should look out for.

Loss of appetite/increased appetite

When a person becomes depressed, their relationship with food may change. They may be so overcome with emotion or lethargy that they lose their appetite.

Some people may have the opposite experience and may eat more often as a way of comforting themselves.

Dogs can also experience changes to their appetite depending on their mood. Keep an eye out for any sudden or extreme changes to their eating habits.

Being lethargic and sleeping often

If your dog starts sleeping a lot more than unusual or seems to lack energy and becomes lethargic, then this could be a sign of depression.

Adult dogs may sleep up to 14 hours on average, in a 24-hour day, with puppies needing even more sleep than that. So it could be quite difficult to distinguish a sleepy dog from a run-down, depressed dog.

However, if you know your canine, you should be able to spot any extreme or sudden changes in their sleeping pattern.

Excessive paw-licking

There are a number of reasons as to why your dog may lick their paws from time to time.

Licking or chomping on the paws could be the result of a physiological reason such as an infection, eczema and dry skin, or joint pain, so it’s definitely worth checking with your local vet.

However, if your dog is licking their paws and exhibiting other signs on this list, then it could be linked to depression.

Hiding or becoming withdrawn

Sometimes when you are down, you just don’t feel like being social and participating as you would normally.

This is also a sign of depression in dogs, as they can react in the same way when something is wrong. If your dog seems to be withdrawn and prefers to be alone, more than usual, then this could be a sign that something is wrong.

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