Have you ever noticed that your Australian Shepherd‘s activity has decreased, eating and sleeping habits has changed, his favorite activities does not make him happy anymore? If the dog‘s behavior changes, it is worth worrying about.
There is a lot of talk these days about the psychological state of people. However, it should be borne in mind that depression and sadness can also plague our pets. Depression in dogs can manifest as a mood disorder characterized by sadness, decreased activity, interest in everything. A depressed dog has an impaired appetite, as well as sleep.
In this article we will talk about possible signs of depression in your Australian Shepherd, what could be the causes and what you need to do to make him happy again.
8 Signs Your Australian Shepherd is Depressed
- Loss of appetite
Most obvious sign that your Australian Shepherd is unwell – loss of appetite. Loss of appetite and reluctance to drink water are the most common signs of depression in animals.
- Destructive behavior
If your dog suddenly starts chewing on things and scratching the furniture, or doing some other mess, it may be that your Australian Shepherd is missing your attention and is suffering from sadness.
- Pee at home
If you noticed that your dog has started urinating at home and the situation repeats itself very often, it could be that your Australian Shepherd is depressed.
- Lost interest in games
If so far your Australian Shepherd has loved to play, but is now mostly asleep and not at all interested in toys, it may be that your pet is depressed.
- Your dog is less likely to wiggle his tail
The dog expresses its joy by wagging its tail, so if your Australian Shepherd has stopped showing joy, it may be that he is depressed.
Another symptom of depression is hiding from people‘s eyes in dark and hard to reach places. If an Australian Shepherd who was always active and communicative, suddenly began to hide, avoid contact with a person – it indicates that something is wrong. An animal can be injured physically or emotionally.
- Reluctance to stay at home alone
If you notice that your Australian Shepherd, when he feels that you are about to leave, starts to worry, whine, or howl, it may be that he is depressed.
- Too much or too little focus on cleaning
Animals are usually very tidy and constantly take care of their cleanliness, and especially dogs, they love to lick. Some do more, others less, but if an Australian Shepherd is constantly licking or chewing their paws from either this or that, it can mean he feels depressed.
Possible Reasons Why Your Australian Shepherd is Depressed
Same as with humans, animals can be concerned about many different factors. Negative feelings can be triggered not only by major life changes, such as a serious illness, a lost owner, a newborn baby, or a new pet adopted into the family. Also changes in your daily agenda could impact dog‘s physological state.
For example, if a growing Australian Shepherd spent every day with his owner at home and suddenly a member of his family started working at the office or, worse, died. Dgos are sensitive to changes in humans mood, so if you‘re having a bad day – your Australian Shepherd knows it.
Australian Shepherds are highly attached and devoted animals for whom the owner is more important than themselves so these animals tend to quickly take over human emotions.
Another possible reason could be new home. If you recently have changed home, it can more difficult to understand and accept the changes for your Australian Shepherd than it is for you. in the old home, he knew every corner, had his own place and now everything is completely new. Help him to get used to it!
Very strict dog training can also be a cause of depression. A rigorous approach and constant pressure is not only ineffective but also stressful. Try to control your emotions and use only positive training methods.
Lack of attention can be another problem, as you probably now that Australian Shepherds need attention, they need exercises, and time with you, their owners.
Probably the worst and most serious issue is if your Australian Shepherd has health problems and you know nothing about it. This is why it is always better to visit professionals, and veterinarians will know what to do.
Here‘s What To Do About It
We all love our pets endlessly, so when we notice symptoms of depression, we want to help them as soon as possible. So how do you help a depressed animal?
Most dogs may take days to months to recover from depression. The most important thing an owner can do is involve them in their favorite activities and reward them for a good mood.
For example, if the only thing that makes your beloved Australian Shepherd happy is a frisbee game, then play with him at least a little bit, and when you see the joy in his eyes – reward him.
It is crucial not to encourage negative animal behavior. If a pet is lying depressed and sad, thinking we are doing a good job we can spill him with treats of favorite toys. However, this cannot be done because for a dog it will be associated with an award for sadness.
Mental stimulation is essential in the fight against dog depression. It is important to engage the pet in physically and mentally active activities.
Although adopting a new pet into a family can trigger a pet‘s depression, it is this step that can help cure it. If a pet allows days left alone at home, or has recently lost his fluffy friend, he may be overwhelmed with sadness. A new pet will help lift the mood and bring back the joy of life. However, this step should only be taken after careful thought, as a new pet in the family is a big responsibility that should not be overlooked.
If various activities do not help the animal to recover, veterinarians and medical treatment should be used. However, it is very important to understand that medications should be the last choice when natural methods give absolutely no results.
Remember, that it is better to solve a problem before it‘s became very complicated. Do not postpone if you see that something has changed, it‘s not good to wait until your dog will be in an extremely poor condition. It will be way easier to fix the situation if you take action on time.
If you notice changes in the dog‘s emotional well-being, trainers and experienced dog breeders advise to pay more attention to the pet: look for ways to get him interested in new activities, increase physical activity, communicate more actively with him.
And now a new toy, but stimulation of mental activity, longer walks in the field, learning interesting, new things can help a dog. However, the behavioral changes mentioned above do not necessarily mean that your dog is depressed, so be sure to visit your veterinarian to know exactly. Be healthy and happy!