We can’t be certain that dogs experience depression in the same ways that we do, they can experience changes in mood and behavior.
If you notice that your dog is exhibiting new or unusual changes in mood or behavior, it is always advised to talk with your vet to rule out any underlying medical issues.
If your dog has a clean bill of health and they are still seeming down in the dumps, there are a number of possible reasons.
Changes In Routine
Dogs thrive on routine and sometimes when that routine changes they can feel unsettled and exhibit a lack of confidence.
Some examples of changes in routine could be getting a new piece of furniture or removing old furniture. It could also include changes in your working hours, a child going away to college, or your family going away on vacation.
Of course, some dogs will be more sensitive than others, but any changes in their routine can cause some turmoil in their mood and behavior.
Most people think of vaccine reactions as being something that happens within the first couple of days after the vaccine, and often a physical symptom such as lethargy. I was recently listening to the Vital Animal podcast and there are increasing numbers of veterinarians finding that vaccine reactions can occur up to a month out from the shot being administered and the reactions range from severe anaphylaxis to behavioral changes.
Yes, I said behavioral changes. I don’t think that this is such a long shot. We are giving small dogs the same doses as large dogs in some cases and we are not testing to make sure the dog even needs the vaccine before administering it. Everything in the body works together, like a symphony. If one area is affected, the whole symphony struggles.
Check out this video about vaccine “due dates” and titer testing: https://youtu.be/HebM9gfw8dI
How can we tell if our dog is depressed?
Some things to be on the lookout for include:
– Changes in sleeping routine
– Being mischievous, getting into things they normally wouldn’t
– Mood swings
– Being finicky about their food
– Other signs of boredom, which can lead to depression and anxiety
What can you do?
If you think routine change is a contributing factor, we first want to help your dog acclimate to the change. This can take some time, but enrichment will play a big role here, and that is the next tip!
Step up your game and provide some great enrichment for your dog!
– Have a neighbor, friend, family member, or trusted dog walker come over to provide a break and playtime for your dog while you’re away
– If your dog would like it, you can also try doggy daycare!
– Reward the behavior we want to see!
– Ignore the behaviors we don’t want to see (definitely don’t reward it!)
– Redirect to positive outlets, such as playing with an appropriate toy
– Keep our routine more consistent
– Provide lots of enrichment!
– Make sure you have lots of playtimes scheduled for you and your dog every day
– Feeding a better diet, preferably a fresh balanced whole-food diet
– Nutritional variety can also help
Natural Support for Your Dog
There are also some great supplements we can use for all-over support for our dogs. These can benefit any dog, but if your dog is having a hard time, it could be even more important!
I know I include animalEO in a lot of my posts and videos and that’s because I love their products!
animalEO Boost in a Bottle: https://animaleo.info/shop/boost-in-a-bottle/
animalEO Aroma Boost collection: https://animaleo.info/shop/aromaboost-rtu/
This is from Dr. Shelton on the Boost In A Bottle page: “How I typically use Boost in a Bottle is for situations where I want easy and routine support of the immune system, detoxification, or particular conditions. Healthy dogs who might be attending a training class or visiting the vet’s office – are perfect candidates to get a bit of a “Boost” to help them along. Adding protection against the “nasties”, recovery and support from vaccination, surgery or other dog life encounters.
In working with rescue animals, I find it easier to travel with and use Boost in a Bottle out of sheer convenience. A Boost before transport or before entering a shelter situation, can help support a healthy immune system and hopefully reduce transmission of contagious concerns. Many of the oils within Boost in a Bottle may also prove helpful in support of topical fungal infections, insect pests, and other issues that are so common when animals are housed together.
A Boost can give a little “Rainbow Shield of Protection” to your furry friend – but is also supportive of emotional stress. Oils such as Frankincense and Melissa have long been touted for their support of emotions, and we see overall calming with use of this blend.
If you think AromaBoost would be helpful for your animal friend – then Boost in a Bottle is definitely something to try out! My dogs personally get AromaBoost sometimes, and then for the “in between” times or if I am just super busy – then Boost in a Bottle is used. However, occasionally I note that one of my dogs just feels better when the full AromaBoost is used on him. He is getting older, and is being supported for a couple of “elder” health issues. Since we notice that his response to AromaBoost RTU is far stronger, longer, and better than with Boost in a
Bottle – we tend to stick with the use of AromaBoost for him. He still may get a Boost in a Bottle when the rest of the dogs are having it applied, but we make sure he gets his regular AromaBoost applications as well.”
Another option would be flower essences. Flower essences are different from essential oils in that they do not have a fragrance, they are extracted from the flower using water and are intended to target emotional symptoms rather than physical symptoms. I have used and like this one:
Bach’s Rescue Remedy: https://amzn.to/3hFZ3uq
And of course, CBD. I have seen lots of people having wonderful success with this particular CBD made especially for dogs and cats:
Click here to get CBD Dog Health