View Full Version : Depression in dogs?

2nd January 2007, 05:52 PM
Hello everyone, sorry I have been absent but the last few weeks have been crazy. My roommate's sweet pug, Moe, who had been battling kidney disease with just one kidney, suddenly died of a heart attack, the night before Gus and I left for Chicago. When we returned from our trip my roommate had gotten a French Bulldog puppy to add to the household. At first I was surprised she got another dog so fast but than after thinking about it I realized Moe had been her whole life and she just had a huge void.

Well, needless to say, poor Gus is all out or sorts now. Moe was all he ever knew and now he is gone and now there is a little puppy chasing him everywhere.

My question to you guys is... is it possible for Gus to be depressed? He is very mopey and just wants to sit with me all day, and he is not excited about his food or even treats? I am not even sure if he misses Moe or just feels a little threatened by Boomer the new pup...

What can I do for him?

Cicero's Mummy
2nd January 2007, 06:13 PM
<--- Not an expert

BUT... I think it is very possible for dogs to get "depression" at a sudden change.

I also know that for some dogs, it is unnerving for them to have a pup around that just wants to play play play. My folks doggie, ZoeZoe, doesn't seem to take a shining to puppies that are larger than her (my g'pa's Boxer Annie visited recently), but does just fine with older dogs and pups of her size.

I think ZoeZoe just gets annoyed with the pups. Lol...

So, all in all, yes, I think dogs do have emotions... not much in the advice department on how to make it better... someone else can take a stab at that...

2nd January 2007, 06:33 PM
I noticed this because I saw a post on depression in cats on the kittenadoption forum. Many of the triggers listed there are sudden change in routine, loss of a fellow pet, loss of a human, change of environment etc. All of these apply to dogs as well, so I don't think it's unlikely.

However, I would be wary of coddling him too much as that might actually inadvertently enforce the notion that mopeyness is OK- assuming there definitely isn't a medical cause, of course! Does he have a toy he adores? Can you take him out to the park and have a great time with it, and praise him like crazy if he responds? Exercise is supposed to help with depression in people. If your pup really is depressed, it won't hurt and might help.

Just my tuppence worth...

2nd January 2007, 06:36 PM
That is a good idea... I think we are going to head out to the park today, he loves the car and the park, so maybe that will lift his spirits!

Cathy Moon
2nd January 2007, 06:45 PM
It sounds like his nose is out of joint - that's what our vet calls it. Same thing happened when we brought Geordie home - India seemed depressed so we took her to the vet, and he assured us she'd be fine.

When Chocolate joined our family, Geordie and India went into a slump for a few days. It's almost like they wanted to sleep the time away and hoped she'd be gone when they woke up. Slowly they adjusted to her.

If it's just been a few days I wouldn't worry, just let Gus sleep it off and be sure to spend some one on one time with him going for walks, playing with him, doing a little obedience training for treats to keep his mind active. If the puppy is bothering him too much, maybe the pup could go in an x-pen sometimes?

3rd January 2007, 12:22 AM
I'm not sure if it's depression as such, but I think they can feel a bit down when things don't seem right to them. The 2 times Cooper spent the night in hospital for his knee ops, Fergus was really flat. Not interested in playing. Spent a lot of time searching the house for his brother etc. Then when we got him home he got back to normal. Fergus has in general been a bit flat during the whole ordeal with cooper's knees cause he wants to play with him and with the extra attention Cooper has been getting. Also because I've been doing a lot of Cooper's care, Fergus has spent much more time with my husband and not wanting to play with me as much. They can definitely sense what is going on around them.

3rd January 2007, 12:51 AM
I think the "nose out of joint" phrase is right on. When the "foster girls" first arrived, Flora, the once and always reigning princess of the universe , walked around with her legs all stiff, almost walking on her tiptoes. :roll: After a couple of weeks she settled down and has come to adore having them in HER house. Hang in there, they usually work things out in their own way and in their own time. :flwr:

3rd January 2007, 03:13 AM
I do believe I have read somewhere about doggy depression. (do you think I can remeber where now :sl*p: ) I think both of the recent changes could/or would trigger this kind of mood change and obviously your dogs mental health is as important as his physical. Its is really good that you are taking it seriously and have made this observation.

Exercise is really great for releasing endorphins and thus a really good tool in the treatment of depression. Maybe also make an effort to give Gus some time away from the pup so he is not having to deal with puppy stuff in his face all the time and he can have some form of what was normal to him before the pup. Give him a massage or even just a stroke is apparently heaven to a dog.

many :hug: to Gus from me and the boys.

3rd January 2007, 05:44 AM
Gus seems in better spirits tonight. I took him to the park and he ran around like a crazy man, but then got mopey when we got back so I think it is the pup. We put the puppy in the kitchen with the baby gate up so he can't harass Gus all day, he seems to like that plan!