Before I write today's post, I wanted all my readers (this amazing community of dog lovers) to know that you are not alone. It has been a tremendously heartbreaking week for all of us. I don’t think I need to go into the details of the passing of two cultural icons, and how it shocked the world.
Depression is scary. I have seen it firsthand how it could lead someone to destruction. Unlike sadness, depression makes someone stop caring. Life becomes nothing but emptiness, and there is only one escape. Most battling depression are tired, listless, with feelings of despair and corrosive thoughts that push and shove in an endless tug-of-war.
Sometimes we can all feel like no one understands, especially when our feelings are not validated. We can also feel ashamed for feeling this way. But the best thing you can do is NOT put on a brave face and stay silent (or be 'fake' happy...or immerse yourself in work). Be brave, please tell someone. We all need to open up. We all need to listen.
If everyone can do something today, I want everyone to have someone in mind to call or text when you get into a "funk". Also start sharing your struggles with your friends, family, and love ones. And to those who think someone in your life is depressed, ask them how they’re feeling and tell them you’re there. Maybe they’ll say they’re fine, but if you suspect something, just keep showing them you’re there for them. Now is the time to do it.
And now... onto today's post!!
-Do Dogs get Depressed?-
Yes, dog depression symptoms are very similar to those in people. The major signs are they become inactive and withdrawn. Their eating and sleeping habits change. They don’t participate in the things they once enjoyed, such as fetch and play. However, these symptoms can also mean a dog has medical problems, so the first thing is to get a full checkup by a vet.
Dogs also pick up on our emotions, so if we are sad, our dogs could be responding to our grief. Always check-in with yourself.
Here are a few signs to watch out for (yes, it would be so much easier if dogs could talk to us!):
- Decreased appetite
- Sleeping more hours than usual
- No interest in play or exercise
- Acting disoriented, lost, wandering without showing interest
If you checked your dog out at the vet, and they are still showing signs...they may be depressed. The vet may prescribe Prozac to help your dog's mood.
However, I am all about alternative medicine and therapy...So I would try the following first:
- Sun and fresh air. Lots of Vitamin D and outdoor time
-Water+Lavender mix (body massage). Get the circulation moving in your dog. Help them to relieve tension and anxiety. (Body Massage. Multiple times a week)
- American Ginseng (Yes, make a tea for your dog and serve when cool). Asian ginseng (P. Ginseng) are believed to boost energy, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduce stress, and promote relaxation. You can mix this into their food.
-LED blue light therapy. Sometimes a dog may be suffering from SAD (Seasonal affective disorder). Similar to people, dogs also have various types of depression.
- Get them around healthy dogs. They will model the Alpha dog's behavior.
No matter the cause, changes from typical behaviors are worth investigating in DOGS and PEOPLE.