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Can Dogs Get Depression?


Dogs are extremely sensitive beings who can suffer from mental illnesses. So it is possible that your beloved four-legged friend also falls ill with depression. As with humans, the causes can be varied. Dogs, like people, can develop depression - Shutterstock / Malija

Depression in dogs can be based on several causes, with organic reasons only rarely. Most of the time, as with humans, it is the psyche that causes a dog to become depressed. A veterinarian can provide information about this and, if necessary, recommend an animal psychologist.

Depression in dogs: causes mostly psychological

Depending on how sensitive a dog is, situations such as a family dispute can trigger depression. In particular, if a four-legged friend regularly experiences conflict and stress among its owners over a long period of time, this can have a detrimental effect on his psyche. But there are also other reasons. For example, if you often have to leave your dog alone, loneliness can become so severe that it becomes depressed. The loss of a caregiver, whether traveling or deceased, is also a possible reason for the mental illness.

Another possible cause of depression in the dog: overwhelming. If the mind or body is regularly overwhelmed, the body releases a lot of adrenaline due to stress, which can result in exhaustion and depressive states. Such stress depressions can also be triggered by special circumstances such as moving or a lot of noise.

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Depressed due to frustration

Frustration can lead to dog depression over a long period of time. Sensitive dogs can be frustrated even if known rituals are not followed, for example if a walk is not perceived or food is not given. Dissatisfaction and resulting depression can also occur when a second dog comes into the family. On the other hand, depression can develop when another animal with whom the dog has lived together for a long time is suddenly no longer there.

When dogs feel they are no longer needed

Depression can develop, especially in working dogs that have always had a specific task in their life and are no longer able to perform them due to illness or age. If a dog no longer feels needed, this can have serious consequences. Therefore, especially dogs that have been trained often and a lot in a certain area and were very active, should still be included in such an everyday life, if possible, even in old age.


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