Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Anxiety & Depression in Dogs

Just like humans, dogs can experience anxiety and depression. These emotional struggles can significantly impact their well-being, behavior, and overall quality of life. Understanding the causes, recognizing the symptoms, and knowing how to help your furry friend can make a world of difference.

Causes of Anxiety & Depression in Dogs

Our furry friends thrive on routine. Any significant life changes or distressing events can greatly affect their emotional well-being. Here are some common causes:

  • Change in the environment: Moving to a new home, changing routines, or adding new pets or family members can cause stress and anxiety.
  • Traumatic experiences: Dogs that have experienced abuse, neglect, or traumatic events may develop anxiety or depression.
  • Separation anxiety: Being left alone for extended periods can lead to severe anxiety in some dogs.
  • Illness or injury: Physical discomfort or pain from illness or injury can lead to depression.
  • Loss of a companion: The death or departure of a pet or human companion can cause profound sadness in dogs.
  • Lack of socialization: Dogs who are not socialized may become anxious or depressed due to fear or uncertainty in new situations.

Symptoms of Dog Anxiety and Depression

Recognizing the symptoms of anxiety and depression in dogs is crucial for timely intervention. Common symptoms include:

Depression Symptoms

  • Disinterest in playing with people or toys
  • Sad expressions
  • Lack of energy
  • Avoiding you or hiding
  • Growling, howling, or aggression
  • Sleeping too much
  • Changes in bathroom habits
  • Decreased appetite
  • Not sleeping

Anxiety Symptoms

  • Destructive chewing or destroying furniture
  • Excessive barking or whining
  • Obsessive paw licking
  • Spontaneous bowel movement or urination
  • Panting for no reason
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Pacing aimlessly
  • Whimpering, trembling, or whining

Helping Your Dog Feel Better

Anxious or depressed dogs benefit from predictable routines and environments, closely monitored social interaction and lots of physical activity. Below are a few more tips on how to help reduce your dog's depression:

See Your Veterinarian

Some symptoms linked to depression and anxiety can have physical causes that need urgent veterinary attention. If your dog doesn't seem happy, you should first schedule a visit with your vet.

Although dogs will often recover from depression with just a little extra love and attention from their pet parent, your veterinarian can provide medications such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety aids to help calm their nerves if things don’t show signs of improvement.

Keep Your Dog Occupied

Ensure your pets are not bored because they can get into mischief and become anxious or depressed. Before leaving the house for the day, ensure that your dog gets plenty of exercise and provides them with enough toys to keep them busy. Look for interactive toys that can be stuffed with treats to keep your dog's body and mind active while you're out.

Behavioral Therapy

Working with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist can help address anxiety and depression through positive reinforcement and behavior modification techniques.

Routine and Structure

Maintaining a consistent routine can provide a sense of security and stability for anxious or depressed dogs.

Social Time

Remember that dogs are social creatures who love to be around people and other animals. If your dog seems lonely and sad, try taking it to the dog park, group classes, or doggie daycare for additional social interaction.

You may even want to consider getting a companion animal for your dog.

Show Lots of Love & Patience

Dogs need lots of love and patience to feel safe and contented - even more so if they are feeling depressed or anxious. By giving your pup a little extra time and attention, you may be able to alleviate these issues.

Understanding Dog Anxiety and Depression

Understanding and addressing anxiety and depression in dogs is crucial for their well-being. By recognizing the causes, identifying the symptoms, and implementing effective treatments, you can help your dog lead a happier, healthier life.

By monitoring your dog's behavior and working closely with your veterinarian, you can ensure that your pet receives the help it needs to overcome anxiety and depression. You can again help your dog find joy and comfort with the right approach.

Note:  The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your dog showing signs of anxiety or depression? Contact our Redmond vets to have your pup examined and cared for.

New Patients Welcome

Cinder Rock Veterinary Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Redmond companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

(541) 923-1638 Contact