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7 Best Methods to Cheer Up a Sad or Depressed Dog

Author:

Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

What to do if your dog is sad or depressed.

What to do if your dog is sad or depressed.

Dogs can become depressed, and sometimes they do need to be cheered up. Why is a dog's mental health important? As we have learned from human medicine, depression can have some very serious side effects. A depressed dog is more likely to contract an illness... and sometimes, a dog will not be able to "snap out of it" or recover.

Depression may be an everyday occurrence—for example, some dogs suffer from separation anxiety and get stressed and depressed every time they realize they are about to be alone. Or depression might happen only once in a while, like when something new upsets the routine (like if there's a new puppy in the house). Depression might be triggered by a sad event, like the death of a playmate or even a human family member.

You can deal with all of these reasons for your dog's unhappiness. Here's how.

Signs of Depression in a Dog

If your dog is depressed, you will most likely see the following symptoms:

  • Excessive sleeping.
  • Lost interest in going for walks.
  • Sleeping in a different spot. Some dogs will hide behind the couch and sleep there.
  • Loss of interest in playing with a ball or toy.
  • Eating less (or more) than normal. (Or learn about other possible causes of a dog's weight loss.)
  • Self-soothing: excess grooming, chewing for "fleas," or licking of paws.

Is My Dog Sad... or Sick?

Not all dogs that suffer from depression have a psychological cause for their problem. Sometimes the low mood is triggered by a health problem, and until that problem is cleared up, your dog is not going to get better.

If your dog is showing clinical signs of depression, you should have him examined by your vet, who might want to do some bloodwork to make sure there are no internal organ problems. Since some of the symptoms of depression are so similar to arthritis, they may want to do x-rays.

If all the tests come back normal, you need to find ways to cheer up your sad dog.

Ways to Cheer Up a Sad or Depressed Dog

If the vet can't find any physical cause for the sadness, here are a few things you can do to try to cheer up your dog:

  • An Early Walk. If you can take your dog for a walk in the morning, when the sun is shining, it should help him throughout the day. If this is not something you normally do, set your alarm a half hour earlier in the morning. Your dog's wellbeing is worth losing a few minutes of sleep.
  • Extra Time Together. Spend extra time with your dog. As mentioned above, this time should really be spent walking outside, even if it is only in the usual time and area.
  • New Experiences. Take your dog away to a new place. I do not only mean that you should take him for a ride in the car but for a long walk to a new view, if you both can handle it. This is not always easy with a depressed dog, but if you give your dog distraction, plenty of exercise, and hopefully a big nap afterward, it might help.
  • Treats. Take some special treats with you when you go for a walk. When your dog is playing or acting normal, praise him lavishly and give him some of those treats. It is possible that your dog will associate acting normal (not depressed) with rewards. Using this same logic, you might not want to give him treats when he is acting depressed, since this might encourage the behavior you are trying to help.
  • A New Toy. As well as distracting him, a new toy might make your dog happy. This should be the kind of toy that you both will interact with.
  • Music. This is a controversial topic, and some behaviorists think playing music has no effect whatsoever on a dog. Maybe not, but it will not hurt.
  • A New Friend. Dogs are social animals. If you are really not able to make time in your schedule, getting a new puppy or dog to keep him company might help. This may not work, however...so if you do get a second dog and your older dog becomes even more depressed, you should have a plan in place to return the new dog to the breeder or have a back-up adoption plan.

For more ideas, read 10 Tips to Keep Your Dog From Becoming Sad When Left Alone.

A depressed dog needs cheering up.

A depressed dog needs cheering up.

What Is Making My Dog Sad?

There are many causes of depression, such as:

  • A new baby in the house.
  • A new puppy. Babies and puppies get a lot of attention, and older dogs might become jealous and then depressed when they are ignored.
  • The loss of a favorite family member. Dogs do grieve, and depression is one of the few ways they can express themselves.
  • Loneliness. For example, if an owner goes back to work and leaves the dog alone all day.
  • A new house or apartment, especially when the dog loses his back yard and ability to go out and play.

The Last Alternative: Canine Antidepressants

If his examination and bloodwork are acceptable, your vet may recommend medical therapy. Prozac and Zoloft can be prescribed for your dog, and big pharmaceutical companies always have new antidepressants on the market.

I suggest you try behavioral changes first and drugs later. Even if you do have to resort to medications, you need to realize that these drugs take a long time to start working.

Behavioral therapies might be more effective than antidepressants. If you start the drugs right away, you will never know if the dog responded to them or to the improvements you made to his lifestyle. They have several serious side effects so, for the sake of your dog, it's better to handle this problem naturally if at all possible.

Depression in dogs needs to be looked into.

Depression in dogs needs to be looked into.

More Help for Your Dog

  • My Dog Is Jealous
    Dogs have emotions. Jealousy is one of the strongest, and when your dog feels it she may do all sorts of funny things. This article lists a few tips to deal with the emotion if it becomes a problem in your house.

Questions and Answers to Help Your Depressed Dog

Q: We just got a new dog. His owner died. He can't go outside, and he is crying a lot. What can we do to get him adjusted?

A: He may be very depressed over the loss of his owner. If he sees that you are willing to take him out and play with him, however, he will probably get over it. Is the dog unwilling to go outside, or are you not wanting to take him out? If he is unwilling, and he is not too big, pick him up and carry him. Go to the dog park and sit in a sunny area. Take a frisbee and a ball just in case he gets interested.

Q: My old dog just died, and my puppy keeps growling and sighing at night. What do I do to cheer him up?

A: This problem is a lot more common than most people think. My old pitbull lost her favorite companion, a schnauzer, and mourned for months. The best thing you can do is spend more time with your dog, taking her for walks, as described in the article.

Q: We got a new puppy to try to cheer up our old dog, but it didn't work. Our old dog seems even sadder than before. What should we do?

A: Be sure you have an option to take a new puppy or dog back before you get one. I am not sure how old your puppy is, but not all dogs will be okay with a new dog in the household, and fights might occur. If your older dog is okay with it, though, it is an excellent method of helping her get over the loss.

Q: I’m dog-sitting for my friend, and her dog hasn’t eaten in a day. How do I get him to eat?

A: You should contact your friend and ask her about taking the dog for a vet visit and find out what the dog likes to eat. If the physical exam at the vet is okay, and it is okay with your friend, you can try to feed the dog a small amount of grilled chicken or warm hamburger mixed with rice. (No spices or soy sauce!)

Q: We just got a five-week-old puppy. I've noticed he's very quiet and sleeps a lot. Should I be concerned? He plays but not very often. What can I do?

A: A five-week-old puppy is going to sleep almost all of the time. His brain is very small, undeveloped, and he is much too young (mentally even if not physically) to be away from his mom. When do you plan on taking him to see your vet? He should have been examined when he was taken home. If you have not done so yet, be sure to make an appointment and have him seen to make sure that he is not having any health problems.

Q: I can't take my dog for a walk, so what should I do to cheer him up?

A: You mean at the moment, or you never take your dog for a walk? If it is just temporary, you can play with him and burn up some of his extra energy. Taking him out in the morning, when the sun is first coming up, helps a lot. If you never take him out, you need to find an alternative. If you cannot go out, you should hire a dog walking service.

Listening to a good book?

Listening to a good book?

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: My old dog just died, and my puppy keeps growling and sighing at night. What do I do to cheer him up?

Answer: This problem is a lot more common than most people think. My old Pitbull lost her favorite companion, a Schnauzer, and mourned for months. The best thing you can do is spend more time with your dog, taking her for walks as described in the article.

Be sure you have an option to take a puppy back if you decide to get a new dog. I am not sure how old your puppy is but not all dogs will be okay with a new dog in the household, and fights might occur. If your older puppy is okay with it, though, it is an excellent method of helping her get over the loss.

Question: We just got a five-week-old puppy. I've noticed he's very quiet and sleeps a lot. Should I be concerned? He plays but not very often. What can I do?

Answer: A five-week-old puppy is going to sleep almost all of the time. His brain is very small, undeveloped, and he is much too young (mentally even if not physically) to be away from his mom.

When do you plan on taking him to see your vet? He should have been examined when he was taken home. If you have not done so yet, be sure to make an appointment and have him seen to make sure that he is not having any health problems.

Question: I’m dog sitting for my friend and her dog hasn’t eaten in a day. How do I get him to eat?

Answer: You should try to contact your friend and ask her about taking the dog for a vet visit and find out what the dog likes to eat. If the physical exam at the vet is okay, and it is okay with your friend, you can try to feed the dog a small amount of grilled chicken or warm hamburger mixed with rice. (No spices or soy sauce!)

Question: I have one Golden Doodle, and she is about eight-years-old, and we just got a new golden doodle puppy about five days ago, and my old dog seems sad. She gets excited to go on walks and play and stuff, but she growls at the new puppy sometimes and just looks sad. What should I do?

Answer: Your dog is most likely anxious, not sad. You should focus on her, not that new puppy.

You are fortunate as most people become aware of this issue when the older dog starts attacking the puppy. Here is some reading info that might help: https://pethelpful.com/question/why-is-my-older-do...

Question: I can't take my dog for a walk, so what should I do to cheer him up?

Answer: You mean at the moment or you never take your dog for a walk? If it is just temporary, you can play with him and burn up some of his extra energy. Taking him out in the morning, when the sun is first coming up, helps a lot.

If you never take him out, you need to find an alternative. If you cannot go out, you should hire a dog walking service.

Question: Why would my dog be very quiet and sad?

Answer: Dogs are individuals. Like people, they all have their own personalities. If this is normal for your dog, do not worry about it. If this just happened after a traumatic event, try some of the exercises I recommend in the article.

Question: What if my puppy lost a human dad and lost the ability to run around?

Answer: If your dog was in an accident and is no longer able to walk, I would suggest you take her out on nice days and sit with her in the yard for awhile. That is not the same as exercise but it will help a lot. When outside with the dog, try to interact with her by playing with a tug rope or just grooming her. Both are bound to help distract her.

Question: I got a pup, she was found in a ditch with two of her sisters. When I got her, they had already given away her sisters to other people, and they just took her to the vet. She is down and not wanting to eat, drink, or play. I tried introducing her to my other dog in hopes it would cheer her up, I also tried to get her to chase my chickens, but she just won’t. She will just lay there, she does wanna do anything. Please help with any advice as to what to do to cheer her up?

Answer: It sounds like your dog is ill. Please take her to a veterinarian and have a thorough physical exam done.

How old is she? She should also start on her vaccinations if she is not sick.

Question: Our almost two-year-old miniature Schnauzer- Poodle mix has been fairly sad recently. I think it may be because my sister and her dog recently moved out across the country. They can't visit until Christmas break and we can't afford another dog. We've got her treats she has toys and we go on walks around the neighborhood regularly but nothing seems to cheer her up for a long time. What are some things we could try?

Answer: Take her for a medical examination first. If your dog is sick then extra walks are not helpful.

If she is depressed, and the walks are not helpful, you can discuss mood altering drugs with your regular vet.

Question: Ten-year-old beagles - a brother and sister - were left at our animal shelter. We went to adopt them, but someone had taken the sister. We still want to get the male but are worried about behavior problems. What are your thoughts?

Answer: Beagles are pack dogs and will often do okay when separated from other dogs--as long as they have a substitute. If you have another dog, he might do just fine and may not even have any depression problems.

I would worry most about excessive vocalization! There are a few ways to train your dog not to bark too much, but the most important thing you can do for your new beagle is to exercise him, a lot.

Question: Our Staffordshire terrier was adopted about a month ago and does not play; all he does is sleep. What can we do?

Answer: Your dog should be taken to a vet for an examination before trying behavioral modificiations. He may have an infectious disease, or something as serious as arthritis. (You do not indicate how old he is.)

If there are no medical problems, the best thing you can do for him is more exercise. Try to do this in the morning, when the sun is rising. Try visiting a dog park where he can run around.

Question: Can you please help me understand if it is my dog´s time?

Answer: If you are concerned that your dog´s depression may be a sign of a serious problem that justifies euthanizing him, you need to go to your regular vet for an exam. Make that decision when you have the results of the exam, not before.

Question: My dog is really upset. I'm a child, and my mother will not let me go very far from home, and the only dog park I can go is far away. My dad isn't around. What should I do?

Answer: If you cannot exercise her by going for a walk, the next best choice is to take her out in the mornings when the sun is shining and play catch or do some other activity. I hope this is an option for you.

Question: Why does my puppy cry all the time?

Answer: Depression is only one possibility. Your puppy may be lonely for another dog's company, she may feel isolated because you do not spend enough time with her, or she may have a medical problem that is causing her pain.

Question: My dog is 40 days old and is so sad, slow, and cries all the time. What do I do?

Answer: Your puppy is too young to be away from his mother and littermates. Physically he will be able to survive, but mentally he should be with them for another three weeks or so. Depression is normal if you take the puppy away at that age and do not have another dog for him to spend time with.

You should first take your puppy to a vet and have a thorough physical. If he has not been dewormed, he will have a heavy roundworm burden and will need to be treated for that. He may already be anemic.

He may have already developed parvo or some other infectious problem. I cannot tell you how healthy he is based on a short description.

If his health is okay, or after you have had him treated, you will need to spend adequate time with him to get him over the depression. This includes being with him at night, not leaving him alone all day, etc.

Question: I recently adopted a three-year-old golden retriever, she is very shy, goes to corners and is scared of men. What can I do to change things around?

Answer: Some dogs are scared of men because of their deeper voices. If you have one male that is around a lot of the time, he can try talking to the dog in "baby talk," a high pitched voice, and giving the dog treats as he is talking to him.

If you are mainly worried about his behavior around visitors, the best thing to do is socialize him more. Have men come into the house, give him a treat, and then walk away without stressing the dog out by petting him. Every time the dog sees a man, he will think "chicken liver treats" or whatever special thing you decide to give him. It does take some time to get over this; remember it has developed over the years. Be patient.

Question: We just got a new dog. His owner died. He can't go outside, and he is crying a lot. What can we do to get him adjusted?

Answer: Is the dog unwilling to go outside or are you not wanting to take him out? If he is unwilling, and he is not too big, pick him up and carry him. Go to the dog park and sit in a sunny area. Take a frisbee and a ball just in case he gets interested.

He may be very depressed over the loss of his owner. If he sees that you are willing to take him out and play with him, however, he will probably get over it.

© 2013 Dr Mark

Comments

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 19, 2020:

Karen, what makes you think he is unhappy? Dogs with CHF show a lot of signs, like slowing down, not wanting to play any more, that might be confused with depression.

Karen Brumpton. on August 18, 2020:

I have a 16 year old dog he is unhappy. My Husbands Mother pasted last month and he is not eating much or not at all. He drinks plenty of water. He has congestive heart failure. I just don't know what to do.

J on July 30, 2020:

I got my dog from a friend at 15 weeks old. He's very quiet and quite reserved. He loves to eat so i thought there's nothing wrong with him at first. But then over time, i started to notice how he's restlessly sleeping. He gets bored so easily with play time. He sleeps a lot. He doesn't welcome being pet. He keeps on licking and chewing himself, but everytime i check the spot for possible fleas, there was none. Although my friend told me he's already like that when he was still with him, i'm worried there's already something wrong.

DIVYALOSINI on July 08, 2020:

HI . thank you everyone .

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 07, 2020:

Balakh, an 8 month old? I would definitely start with obedience classes.

Balakh aher on July 07, 2020:

My father gifted me a 8 months ols Black Labrador He alittle angry.And I'm Scared of him to bite me.What should I do So that He would be happy with me??

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 07, 2020:

Mica, where is she sleeping? It is very common for new puppies to be depressed since they have lost their canine family and are stuck spending so much time alone. If you make them sleep alone in a cage or an isolated room (or outside) it is that much harder on them.

Mica on July 07, 2020:

We just got a 2 month old puppy, and she was fine with eating on the first and second day, but on the third onwards she hasn't eaten. We took her to a vet yet they did not find any health problems. I spend plenty of time with her, but nothing has changed. Any ideas on what to do?

Aenpamuk on June 12, 2020:

We just got a new dog where we got the dog he had a friend and the first and the secon day he was so happy but today he just slepps and dont wants to eat i idk what to do he is just 3 month old?

Amaree on May 01, 2020:

I left home for college and my sister is still at home and she’s been describing the behavior of my dog. She won’t play like she did when I was home, she won’t eat as much and all she does is sleep what should I do l?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on November 30, 2019:

Hailey, if your dog has gone for more than a few days without eating you need to consult your regular veterinian. He may have a health problem and that cannot be diagnosed over the internet.

Hailey Bollinger on November 16, 2019:

We just got a 7 month old puppy. We picked him out of the litter and after we brought him home he won’t walk outside to go to the bathroom or he won’t eat. Help?

Kathleen on September 08, 2019:

Dog owner just died and he cries all night

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 18, 2019:

Sunrider, is your puppy eating? I usually train puppies before their meal, so they are kind of hungry. If your puppy is not eating you need to see your local vet and find out what is wrong.

Surinder on August 16, 2019:

I got a new 8 week old puppy and she is not interested in treats or toys, how do i train her?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on May 30, 2019:

Tasha--she probably is sad because of the loss of her companion. Try the suggestions in the article above.

Tashagirl45 on May 28, 2019:

I have a 2yr old female we recently loss our 16yr old pit bull she was a sad I went a got another small breed boy 2 months later I don’t thnk she like him so I stared spending more time with her. I noticed when we come back home she looks for him sniff and check him out then she goes about her business she doesn’t play with him much and she lay around act as if She’s totally on interested she look so sad...... what do I do? Do you think she sad? How do I fix it? Thank you

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 06, 2019:

Heather, if you cannot take him for a walk you could at least take him out to sit on the front porch in the morning. If you do not have a front yard, carry him to a park. If he is too large, use a little red wagon. Getting him out will help a lot.

Kathy on March 06, 2019:

My dog had seen his son get hit by a truck he wouldnt leave his side he sat right there where we buried him it took a big impact on hime what can i do to comfort him

Heather on March 06, 2019:

My dog is miserable because he is suffering with a leg injury, he is in pain and the vet has advised as much rest as possible. He's not eating or sleeping properly and looks so forlorn it's heartbreaking. A good walk would cheer him up but it's too painful for him and we've been advised not to walk him by the vet. He's a rescue who never learnt to play with toys so we can't distract him like that either. What can I do to cheer him up? Please help, he is so sad.

arkyffstorm on January 30, 2019:

Since 2days now my dog got beaten by rain fall, she now refused to eat any more , what most be wrong with her and what should i do about it ?

Grace on January 11, 2019:

My dog is a gray hound and all she wants too do it go and sleep or lie down in her creat she leaves us and never wants too come out of it how can I make her back to her normal self?

Lucy Robert on December 31, 2018:

My springer just suddenly became weird ..she’s not eating dog food again but eats chicken and other food..she’s quiet but plays when I play with her..I have exams coming on and I don’t teally take her out on walks...she hasn’t completed her vaccination..what should I do?

Abby on December 29, 2018:

My dog is really happy and playful all the time but today he does not want to eat he looks really sad and deporessed what can I do

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on December 28, 2018:

masive, you really need to take your staffie to your local vet for an exam. Those are problems that are not going to be resolved with exercise and sunshine. That depression is most likely related to his health problems. I am sorry there is not an easy answer for you, so get your dog seen as soon as possible.

Masive on December 26, 2018:

He is a 13 year old dog ( human years) he is a staff, and he has a dent in the side of his head and he has damage a nerve making it shrink (been to the vets and got it checked out) his mum has been getting really old and ill and recently he has been really depressed and he hasn't been eating we don't walk him because he is quite big in weight and he doesn't want to eat treats anymore ,I try to cheer him up but he will just lie in a corner in different parts of the house . His face is caving in and he is struggling to eat and he is not wanting me to rub his stomach like I always do , th only time when he is energetic is when someone is at the door , I just don't know what do today anymore please help me out ...

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on December 04, 2018:

Haider, please follow the recommendations in the article.

Haider on December 03, 2018:

My dog spent 3 nights at a friend's house where he had been playing with my friends dog. But soon after we took him back home he got depressed.. What should I do?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 13, 2018:

Elizabeth, the first thing I would do is take your Chihuahua to your vet to make sure that he is not sick. That is possible but I certainly hope not. If he is depressed, it is most likely because he has been isolated at night. Dogs are very social animals.

Do you have a dog park nearby? After you get him checked out by the vet, take him to the park and let him run around. Maybe he does not like the leash. If you can, take him in the morning when it is still early and not too hot.

Elizabeth on July 12, 2018:

I have a 1 year old Chiwawa (In human years) and ever since my mom told me to take Sparky out of the room so he wont sleep with us he has gotten depressed. I tried to walk him, but he would cry when I tugged on him a little. Secondly he sleeps more than usual. Also, he doesn't like to play with his toys so, we went out to buy him a new one, but it's the sane thing. Lastly, he used to bark and run to the door every time he heard someone, but now he doesn't do that he just sits on tge couch and sees who's comming in.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on May 28, 2018:

Mya, a two month old puppy sleeps almost all of the time. When you take her in for her vaccinations, have the vet give her a good physical exam. Check for worms and coccidia. If everything is normal, she does not need to cheer up. She needs to sleep.

Mya on May 27, 2018:

My 2 month old Shih Tzu is sleeping excessively and she stays in one spot only. What can I do to cheer him up?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on May 08, 2018:

Tenlee, most dogs do not give up on life if given a small chance. It depends on what size your dog is, but if he is smaller you can pick him up and carry him to the park to enjoy the sun and not be depressed. Even if he is medium sized you can put him in a wagon and move him that way. A large dog? That is more of a problem which is one reason why larger dogs are put to sleep more often.

Tenlee on May 06, 2018:

My dog is getting over a stroke, we dont want to put him down but he is so depressed and has given up on life he is only two years old and now can barely walk, what should we do?

Noelle on April 13, 2018:

My boxer won’t sleep eat or play with his sister what should I do

Noelle Belli tucker owner on April 13, 2018:

My tucker wad sad but win I read this help me to help my dog happen thank you from noelle

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 04, 2018:

If you cannot walk her more, how about hiring a dog walking service? It would also be nice to have a second opinion about your dog´s condition.

ow on February 04, 2018:

i think our dog is some kind of depressed 'cause she doesn't eat so well, she doesn't like to play with toys, and everytime it's time to go a walk she runs away. im just worried about her. and i don't have so much time to go for long walks and.. i don't know im just so sad

Cain on January 30, 2018:

play with the ball, sleeps all day, hides under the house, has no affection, fussy eater, basically looks and acts depressed. Could all this be as a result of her becoming deaf? Or is there likely something else causing this sudden downturn. Do you have suggestions on how to treat or manage this? Regards Cain

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on December 15, 2017:

Sistene, do you mean the 10 year old is depressed? If so, it might be because of the puppies in the house. It is hard for us not to spend time with puppies, so maybe you are paying less attention to her than you think. this situation might resolve itself in a month or so. If not, and she is still depressed after you find homes for the puppies, the first thing to do is get an exam from your vet and bloodwork to determine if she has a health problem. If not, the only thing I could suggest would be for you to spend more time with her, taking her for short walks or play in the yard, etc.

Sistene on December 15, 2017:

My dog is about 7 to 10 years old and she lives in the house she sleeps with us in our bedrooms and walk as she pleases but I have a other dog who had puppies and the puppies sleeps in the house in their own room but she still feels pushed aside . She has depression and doesn't want to eat anymore and sleeps almost all day long and are very tired she is not happy to see us anymore if we come home she would always jump on us but now she doesn't have energy anymore. What can we do so she regain he energy? This is almost going on for a month.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on November 17, 2017:

I have a Pit that only likes one other dog, and there really is not a lot to do about it. You cannot make your dog like another dog. the only thing you might try is distracting her when her playmate goes home, but this does not alway work.

Susie on November 16, 2017:

My dog has a playmate that she loves. When the playmate leaves to go home my dog cries and even if I walk her she is unhappy and cries for her friend. What can I do

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on November 12, 2017:

Kourtnry--have you tried any of the alternatives listed above?

kourtney on November 12, 2017:

My teacup chihuahua will not stop sleeping I think she might be home sick she has not left my side for the time being

Katherine on November 04, 2017:

My dog is half def and blind and she always lays around the house. She never has a happy moment in her life. We can't take her on walks because on a leash she gets so excited she chokes herself. She stays in the house or in the small little yard. How can I cheer her up without bringing her outside the house when she doesn't know what's going on?

Stephanie on October 15, 2017:

My dog hasn't ate she's just laying In my bed sleeping all day.I took her to the vet and they said she has an effection.If she's still like that I'm taking her to the vet tommorow

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 04, 2017:

Kt, will she still o for walks?that is really the best therapy in this situation.

Kt on July 23, 2017:

My Pat just lost her best friend along with her master who was in the hospital for the past four weeks I'm seeing where she showing signs of depression and when I take her outside to the familiar backyard where her and her partner played she will not even go on the grass to urinate what can I do

Roslyn bonner on July 05, 2017:

Hi my dog is absolutely petrified of house flies I don't know what I can do to help him!!! He hides in the wardrobe for hours!! He now seems to be nervous at the slightest noise!! How can I help him?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 04, 2017:

troy, did the vet suggest bloodwork to find out any health problems you are not able to see? Your basset is not mad at you, but if it is just behavior you may need to resort to a prescription. think about a second opinion too

Troy on June 23, 2017:

I think my basset hound mad at me he hasn't ate in just about 4 days days but he's been drinking. We took him to the vet and everything is fine. He's taking walks and will go up to people all excited then the minute they pass he goes back to the way he was. We're really worried about him he's been a big part of our family for six years and we don't want to lose him. We're out of idea's.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 05, 2017:

Dianne, it is very hard to say for sure since dogs are such individuals. I lost my Schnauzer recently and my Pit is lost without her, so I am going to get her a new puppy when I find one. She does not like many adult dogs but does seem okay with most puppies so I am going to try. Hope your senior does okay with a new pup.

Dianne Davis on June 01, 2017:

I am the mother of 3 dogs. Well 2 now. We just lost one to cancer. My other 2 are very lost without the other. The problem is that 1 of my remaining dogs was the brother . They are 12 yrs old. Would bringing in a new pup upset him more or give him some renewed happiness..?

Ave on June 01, 2017:

My puppy is 3 months old he has stopped eating and is always sleeping what can I do to help him

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on May 10, 2017:

Kathy, I am living in the jungle at the moment so I am taking a while to get back. Why do you think an 8 week old puppy is depressed?Dogs that age sleep almost all of the time. The only thing that concerned me is taking a long time to pee, but if you give him a treat as soon as he finishes he will be more likely to go quickly so that he can get his treat.

Alicia on April 30, 2017:

Tomorrow I am ganna start a fresh day with my doggy

Kathy Isicson on April 29, 2017:

Hi. I have a dog that literally just turned eight weeks old. I just got him yesterday. We are very connected and he follows me everywhere, but when I was reading the symptoms of dog depression, he had some of the listed things. For example: eating more than usual, sleeping a lot, and we have to sit outside with my dog for an hour just to get him to pee. I really love my dog but I won't him to be happy. Get back to me as soon as possible.

Thanks Dr. Mark

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on October 22, 2016:

Noel, why do you think going to hide in a closet is a desire to find a place to die? It sounds to me like he is just trying to find a place to escape from the dominant dog.

Many of the symptoms you describe could be due to the medical problems. Taking him for a walk in the sunshine in the morning (alone, not with the other dog) is the best way to treat him, but until you take care of his mange, heartworm disease, and epilepsy, I cannot tell you that it will help much. How old is he? He definitely needs a comprehensive exam at your vet and may need blood work to determine if he is having problems with his liver and kidneys. Do your best to get him checked out as soon as possible.

Noel on October 22, 2016:

Hello this is a cry for help my dog has been in bad condition lately i no he is depressed and i need help.this all started a 6 months ago when his owner had moved the house (the owner was my cousin that lived with us for 5 years and she moved out and couldn't take her dog) so after she moved out the dog was ok not good not bad ok but now its starting to affect him he has stoped eating and moving he also has started going to a closet in the corner of are house with means he is trying to find a place to die he is also messed with a lot from are other dog who is territorial and snaps at him another thing that is happening are seizures he has not been geting them for a while but his last one was his worst he started seizuring stoped and went back to seizuring. He also has heart worms scabs and many other things this is a cry for help any tips on helping him eat and Start to be more active

MillieMurdoch on March 22, 2016:

My dog is so depressed my mum is giving her away

Chantel on February 13, 2015:

We adopted my little brothers dog to move away to my dad's house with my older brother as there was no fence around my mother's yard and he kept trying to follow her to work and my little brother stopped taking care of him and my mother was always at work. He still seemed very happy in that situation even though he was not going on regular walks and such. Now that he has swapped homes for over a year he seems depressed. Reported as having stayed in his kennel for a full week without coming out, food had to be put in there to tempt him to eat it otherwise he wouldn't eat. Stopped playing fetch, started moping, etc.

I moved in with my dad and older brother a couple of months ago, the times I am home I walk him/take him to the beach almost every day. He seems happy when he goes in the car now because he knows he is going to the beach. Then when we get home he gets sad and lays in the car and refuses to come out. Then during the day he lays in his kennel all day and won't come out. He sometimes comes out to play or say hello but it is only for 30-60seconds then straight back in the kennel curled up in a ball with his eyes wide open and doesn't respond. I have been thinking for a while that he might miss my mother, but she still does not have a fence around her yard properly and does not want the dog to come back until there is a proper fence as it is not safe for him to wander around.

Could this be doggy depression? Perhaps I have just read into it too much.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on December 28, 2014:

Hi WOLFpack, the first thing I would do with your dog is take her in for a medical exam at your vets. Growling at you is definitely not normal, so figure out if there is a medical reason first. If all is okay, I would try walking her early in the morning and trying to cheer her up naturally with sunshine and exercise. (It has to be early in the morning for a dog like that, not afternoons when you get home.) If she does not respond talk to your vet about chemical antidepressants, but most dogs will respond to exercise, as long as it is in the morning and enough to really tire her out. Good luck with her.

WOLFpack on December 26, 2014:

Hi my dog is really grumpy and I think depressed. She is obsessed with food and really overweight. She always growls at the other dogs and when I pet her. She never licks anyone and always has the kind of sad look on her face. She's also really lazy and never wants to go on walks. What do I do?!?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 28, 2014:

That walk really brings the smiles in them. There is nothing better to watch, at least in my opinion!

Sami from Kansas on July 28, 2014:

My dog always gets cheered up going for walks. He's a black lab mixed with Newfoundland so he has the droopy jowls. He's adorable, but the way his mouth sags he always looks so sad! Haha.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 30, 2014:

Hi tachalina the first thing to do is take her to a vet and make sure her physical exam and bloodwork are all normal. Rule out a medical reason for her depression. If that is all okay, try taking her for a walk in the morning. Use chicken liver or other tasty treats to get her out of the house, early, when the day is just starting. (Getting up that early may not be easy for you, but for a short while it may be really important for her.)

Good luck with her. Let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

tachalina on June 29, 2014:

My dog right now has been acting werid she just sits in one place and stares at tge wall with her ears pulled back and every time I call her she jusr sits there and shakes and stares at me i don't know what to do what should i do??

hisandhers from Toronto, Ontario, Canada on January 29, 2013:

Thanks for the tips! I find a change of scenery during a walk can sometimes even perk up a grumpy dog owner. :)

Bob Bamberg on January 08, 2013:

I've got a couple of fairly boring seeds. I'm just trying to figure out how to sprout fairly interesting hubs out of them. I've also got a couple of part time jobs that are taking up some of my time, and redirecting my focus, now.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 08, 2013:

I think you are right about the poll. Everyone is answering it correctly (which is to say, the way I want).

Thanks for leaving and commenting. Do you have any new hubs in the pipeline? I always look forward to reading your articles (even if I am not as good about leaving comments).

Bob Bamberg on January 08, 2013:

It's interesting that much of the treatment for canine depression is actually the good husbandry practices that most owners naturally follow.

I like your maybe/maybe not approach to music and your observation that dogs are pack animals. Both positions serve to validate my own. Also, both are controversial. I can think of one hubber who might take issue.

Considering the sophisticated nature of your readership, I think your poll answers should be more challenging. May I suggest adding a 4th option: The Sheldon Cooper "There, There" Sheldon Is Here" technique.

Voted up, useful and interesting.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 07, 2013:

Michelle, are there any holistic vets in your area? I used to prescribe phenobarbital for epilepsy, but it does cause a lot of depression. There is a holistic therapy using ice (during the seizure) but you really need to find a vet to give her more guidance. Unfortunately that option does not always exist.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 07, 2013:

wetnosedogs, I imagine they were happy as soon as they found you though. (Or you found them?)

Michelle Liew from Singapore on January 07, 2013:

Thanks for linking, Mark! My schnauzer is showing the signs...but in her case it could be a bit different because she's had a seizure and needs to sleep a bit after the medicine. But I can tell she's not too happy because of the discomfort, and here in Singapore, no vet is trained to do neurological

medicine. :( Thanks for this, and I will link back to the toy hub for reference too!

wetnosedogs from Alabama on January 07, 2013:

Dr.Mark,

I should have added more to the above comment. Sorry. Bella and Roscoe(brother and sister) were at one time depressed before I brought them home. They were adopted together at the humane society and brought back two months later. The lady at the humane society said when they came back, they got depressed. She spent as much time as she could with them. I hate thinking that happened to them, but am happy that one special lady at the humane society took such great care of them.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 07, 2013:

I´m not surprised this is not a problem for you and your dogs!

wetnosedogs from Alabama on January 06, 2013:

I haven't seen my dogs depressed. I am happy about that.

When my daughter's cat was alive and my daughter would go on a weekend trip, I was home with the cat. But that cat would sit by the window and cry. Sad thing to see.