Is Your Dog Down in the Dumps?

Because so many of us have dogs and depression!

Fur the Love of Pets

depressed dogRecently, I answered questions from a New York Times science writer who inquired about depression in dogs for an article she was writing. The short article received a lot of attention, so I decided to expand on the topic for my readers.

Dogs Have Feelings Too
Depression is a specific psychiatric diagnosis in humans. If you look at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) definition of depression, many of the symptoms of depression cannot be applied to dogs, since they revolve around feelings. While we believe dogs have feelings, they cannot articulate sadness, helplessness, pessimism or suicidal thoughts as would humans suffering from clinical depression.

Yet, there are some signs of depression in dogs similar to those experienced by humans. Their owners may notice abrupt changes in behavior including irritability, loss of interest in activities, decreased energy and changes in appetite, all of which may signify depression. Dog owners frequently…

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4 Replies to “Is Your Dog Down in the Dumps?”

  1. OMG, my friend. This was a very useful article. Growing up, I had a beloved Irish Setter named Amber. I loved that dog with all my heart – she was “my” dog. My Dad (the Irish Setter fiend) decided to get an Irish Setter puppy to cheer up my Mom for all his bipolar-related crap.

    We named the stunning pup “Natasha” as we have Russian ancestors. She was adorable and of course got all the attention from everyone who walked into the house. Soon after the puppy joined our family, Amber became extremely depressed. She stopped eating. She lost a ton of weight. It was so chilling to observe.

    She was jealous of Natasha and I would have been too! My Dad reluctantly returned Natasha. I’ll never forget the dramatic change I saw. Depression in animals is very real. I think it’s amazing & wonderful that there is medical help for them now. :)))


    1. I will not hesitate to get meds for my pup if she suffers – I don’t care what people say (I have the sense I’d be judged for it!) You are and were such a good dog mommy. Sending kisses to Maya up in heaven. (You know how much I love to kiss my puppy, but I’ll stop very, very soon – she hasn’t been out and about sniffing gross things yet!!!!!!! I’ve been keeping her totally sheltered but we start puppy training class when she hits 10 weeks on June 8th. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I loved taking Maya to puppy Kindergarten. I still have her diploma when she graduated. You’ll love the classes. Unfortunately I couldn’t take Anya to classes, long story – I’m hoping that when I’m recovered from this surgery I’ll be able to bring her for classes. If I try walking her now she’ll rip my arm out of the socket.

        Liked by 1 person

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