Like people, dogs are emotional and sadness is one more way that they let us know just how emotional they really are.
There are many circumstances for causing sadness in our best friends and these are the most common reasons:
- Losing a furry family member such as another dog or the family cat
- Losing their master
- Moving to a new home
- Being left alone too much
- Lack of exercise (boredom)
- Family dysfunction
- Nutritional issues
- Health problems
Since abuse and neglect aren’t something that responsible, caring dog owners typically do; the other reasons would be the most common.
Things That May Trigger Sadness In Dogs
Nobody knows your dog better than you do. So after observing the above causes, try and identify what could be causing your dog to be sad.
- Did your sad dog lose his furry companion? Think about rescuing another companion for him. However, the best way to do this is by taking your dog to the shelter with you to meet the new dog on neutral terms. Plus, you can check out different dogs to see which one your dog likes best.
- Did she lose her master or someone she was close to? Well, this is a hard one and by understanding how we feel when we lose someone close to us — we can better support our fur babies. Keep her busy by taking her for walks and spending quality time with her. Walking helps to minimize anxiety and release bottled energy. Keep a close eye on her.
- Is your sad dog dealing with any physical sickness or disease? Other physical problems or disease can bring on sadness and depression in dogs, just like humans. Again, if your dog is capable and not limited in any way, exercise helps tremendously. If he is limited by some sort of physical condition such as severe hip dysplasia or arthritis — take him for several short walks daily. Cuddle with him and just provide lots of LOVE.
- Moving to a new home: This is hard on animals. Our domestic pets are very territorial and by uprooting them from everything they currently know can cause devastating results for them. Be sympathetic to this and upbeat in the new home. Spend time with him walking through the new house and showing him around. Don’t just throw his bed in a corner somewhere and expect him to be happy. Walk him through the new neighborhood allowing him to sniff out his fellow canine friends (the can do this by sniffing the grass, poles, etc.). Introduce him to his neighbours and make his new home a fun experience for him too.
- Being left alone too much: Life often interferes with our best intentions and unfortunately our families including our fur babies can pay the price. If your dog has been alone a great deal due to your job, family tragedies, etc. try and find ways that will provide him companionship. Do you have a friend or neighbor than would consider coming over and letting him outside? Can you afford doggie daycare? Can you afford a dog walker to stop by daily and take him for walking cruise? These are just some examples of what you can do if you find that you can’t spend as much time with your sad dog as you would like to.
- Lack of exercise: Well, the same rules apply here as they do above. If you find you just don’t have the time, but you can afford to get someone to help — invest in your dog, she’s worth it. On the other hand, if you do have the time and for whatever reason you’re just not, start disciplining yourself! Exercise is good for YOU and your dog.
- Family Dysfunction: Family dysfunction and fighting causes dogs anxiety, depression and fear. If things are out of control in your home, your dog is most likely suffering as well. If at all possible provide your dog a nice solid routine such as feeding, walking and play times. Give him a nice quiet area of the house where he can feel safe. I realize this may be difficult, but if you’re reading this — then you’re looking for answers. The idea is to let him know that it’s o.k. and we’ll get through this. He’s VERY IN TUNE and knows what you’re feeling, so don’t think that you can hide it from him. Work with him and help him to feel perky once again.
- Nutritional Issues: Yes, nutritional deficiencies can play a big role in how your dog feels, both physically and emotionally. Please, feed your dog a good diet with lots of quality protein. No corn or foods loaded with grain. Provide good meat sources and lots of them.
- Abuse & Neglect: There’s not much to say here except that if your dog is being abused by another family member or suffering from neglect due to hard times or just plain ignorance — do the right thing. Take the dog or cat to a “no kill” shelter or find a GOOD home with responsible people. This is the only thing to do!