Depression in Dogs With New Owners
- Dog depression is serious, and owners should address it immediately. With a change of owners and environment, many dogs will behave differently and become depressed. New owners should take note that dogs suffer in the same ways that humans do. If ignored, the dog might start to cause discord in the household. The dog may even suffer physically. If you suspect your dog is suffering from depression, you should take him to the vet. To have a healthy dog and a happy home, depression needs to be treated.
- Depression affects dogs in many ways. For instance, dogs can become lethargic, which is indicated if they have no energy to run and play with you. Depressed dogs no longer seem interested in activities they always previously participated in. Sometimes, dogs with serious depression stop eating, and owners are forced to feed their dog by hand. Also, depressed dogs spend a lot more time sleeping. When they are awake, they tend to be more aggressive towards people by growling, barking and destroying the owner's personal belongings.
- There are several reasons for dog depression. Yet, more often a dog's mood is really affected by change. For example, the death of a loved one can be quite traumatic for a dog, whether this relationship was with another human or another pet. Dogs react similar to the change of home or owner in the same way as if they have lost a love one. In both situations, the dog is thrown into a new environment where they may become homesick or miss the person they lost. In addition, bringing a new dog or puppy home for the first time can also be difficult. Dogs are very territorial, so not only do they react to their new space, but other animals can affect the behavior and emotions of your new dog.
- walking the dog image by Byron Moore from Fotolia.com
A new owner must give her dog time to heal. Time is the solution to helping a dog adjust to a new situation. To help the dog adjust better to you and the new space, designate an area that is just for the dog. This can be the spot where he or she will eat, play and sleep. It's equally important that new owners give their dogs plenty of love, affection and attention. But new owners should not force the dog to interact with them or any new individuals. Take your time and let the dog approach on his terms. Also, make sure your dog is staying active and gets plenty of exercise, this will greatly improve his mood and prevent depression.
- Often, when dogs become depressed, they act out in ways that are less than desirable for new owners. They might have accidents in the house or chew on a couple pairs of expensive shoes. It's imperative that new owners do not use force, hitting or yelling to correct their dog. These kind of cruel methods only escalate the problem into a bigger one. Additionally, if you notice a physical illness or unhealthy weight loss in your dog, take him to the veterinarian right away.