You’ve probably spent a lot of time hearing about the wonders that pets can do for your mental health. And while that stands true, it’s important to note that pets are also complex beings, and dogs are not immune to mental health concerns.
In fact, anxiety and depression in dogs are some of the most common mental health issues that pet owners and carers must deal with. You’d be surprised at the similarity between humans and animals, especially dogs when it comes to exhibiting symptoms.
If you feel a change in your dog’s behaviors, it’s worth your while to look out for the following signs and symptoms exhibited by your pets:
Their separation anxiety has worsened.
Separation anxiety affects dogs a lot more than we realize, but if it seems to have gotten worse as of late, it could be a cause for concern. If you find that it’s tougher for you to be away from home, and your dog is unwilling to let you go.
If you return home to damaged furniture, broken or missing items, a jittery dog, and other signs of concern such as dog pee or poo inside the home, they could be trying to communicate their separation anxiety.
They’re lethargic and uninterested in activities.
Did they go from loving fetch and long walks to being disengaged and uninterested in doing anything? Your dog might be suffering from depression. Excessive sleeping, lashing out, being lethargic, refusing food and water are some of the key signs that your dog is depressed and in need of more care and attention.
Other signs include hiding, not responding to their name, unwilling to play, weight loss, and excessive shedding. It’s important that you keep an eye out for these unusual signs and behaviors that your pet is exhibiting.
Being out and about makes them incredibly jittery.
It might be normal for your dog to get jittery and anxious at the start, but if they’re suddenly anxious and afraid of going out in public, you might have a dog struggling with social anxiety. A general lack of exposure to other animals and people can contribute to this. With dogs, it’s important that help them feel oriented and grounded in new surroundings because that can help reduce the fear of the unknown.
How can you help them?
As a pet owner, there are various things that you can help improve your dog’s mental health. Provide them with a nurturing, comfortable environment, train them more cohesively, and work with a trusted doggie day care service where they can socialize, play, and interact with other pups.
If you’re in Chappell Hill, get in touch with us to know more about our training and dog boarding services, among others.