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The Truth and Fiction behind Dog Depression

The Truth and Fiction behind Dog Depression 9

Any loving pet dog owner would want his or her pet to be happy and fit physically and emotionally all the time. You worry if you see your dog mope or feel a little moody. But what really is dog depression? Can dogs really be depressed just like humans? Or are people just exaggerating and forgetting the fact that their pets are really animals designed by nature to be sturdier with more stable coping mechanism than their humans?

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What is Dog Depression

The Truth and Fiction behind Dog Depression 10

There’s been some debate as to what really is dog depression. Some pet dog owners and veterinarians believe that dogs can feel anxious and sad but not really “depress” as human psychology defines the term. Yet others believe that pet dogs can get depression and, thus, need medications for hormonal imbalance and other causes. For the sake of definition (regardless whether dogs really get depress or not), dog depression is prolonged anxiety and melancholic disposition of domestic pet dogs.

Depression-prone Dog Breeds

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Now that the term is put out there, pet dog owners couldn’t help but wonder “is my pet dog prone to catch depression.” Thus far there has been no concrete scientific research that identifies depression-prone dog breeds. There’s no way to tell. However, based on experience and other pet dog owners’ testimonials, small, affectionate dog breeds that tend to be close to their owners are prone to anxiety and sadness when they’re separated for long periods of time. Dalmatians, too, are more emotionally sensitive than other big dog breeds.

Causes of Dog Depression

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Depression in dogs can be triggered by several factors: environmental change, seasonal change, and hormonal imbalance. The first two factors are the most accepted; the third factor is still debated.

When there are sudden changes in a pet dog’s surrounding or domestic situation such as family member moving away, a playmate from a neighbor suddenly removed, or even changes in schedule of the owners, a dog can get sad. Like when the season change from fall to winter, dogs get depress. But hormonal imbalance is still debated because no veterinarians can say that a dog’s metabolic and hormonal processes are the same as humans.

Symptoms of Dog Depression

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If you’re noticing your dog mope, feeling lethargic, refusing to eat, play, isolating itself, or scratching without apparent reason, it could be dog depression symptoms. But you can’t really tell unless the behavior stretches for a couple of weeks that other dog depression symptoms appear like constipation, hair and weight loss. If you worry about your dog, the only prudent thing to do is to take your pet to the vet for checkup. For all you know your pet dog might be suffering from a serious physical illness that you might not know about.

Clinical Treatment of Dog Depression

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If you vet rules that your dog is suffering from dog depression, the treatment isn’t at all different from human depression. Phenobarbital, Prozac, Valium, and others can be your dog’s pills for a couple of weeks. But if you’re like some pet dog owners who are not convinced that dogs can get clinically depress, then there are a more natural approach in the treatment of dog depression. Dog homeopathic medicine, for example, provides a good alternative.

Caring for a Depressed Dog

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Depress, anxious, or lethargic dogs can just be moping because they don’t get much attention and quality time with their owner. In this case, the simple solution is to spend some quality time with your pet. Take it out the house for a walk or a jog around the park; coax your pet to play with you in the house—a new pet dog toy always seem to do the trick. After doing all these your dog still refuse to turn around, then take it to the vet for a checkup.

The fact is that there’s no definite scientific evidence that can prove that dogs get clinically depress. It’s all the more reason to take your dog to the vet if you think its moping around is unusual.

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