Many dogs experience depression and sadness throughout their life. If your pet is making an adorable “puppy face,” it may be upset or needy. But a sad dog can be a cause of concern.

Understanding the reasons and knowing how to resolve that emotional pain is crucial for any dog owner. It’ll help you see how a dog’s feelings can be similar to yours so you can recognize and act on them.

Let’s discover more about dog sadness and why they can experience depression, too:

Dogs & Emotions

Although it’s near impossible to know what your dog is thinking, it’s essential to acknowledge that your pet can feel down, too.

Dogs Experience the Same Hormonal & Physiological Changes as People

Can dogs get depressed? They can. Dogs experience the same hormonal and physiological changes as you do. So a sad or disturbing experience can affect their emotions and mental health in the same way. 

But people can speak about their feelings, whereas we can only tell if a dog looks sad based on its body language. 

Common dog behavioral issues due to a bad mood include:

  • Whining
  • Moping
  • Squinty eyes
  • Changes in sleep pattern
  • Low energy

Humans can talk about their emotions and often display similar behavior. It turns out that the environment can affect our furry friends, too, and they can experience anxiety and depression.

Oxytocin — The Hormone of Love & Affection

Like us, dogs produce oxytocin, the hormone of love and affection. It impacts their feelings and lets them have a fantastic human-like bond with their owners. 

A dog’s oxytocin levels can impact its emotions and behavior. So it’s crucial to show care, affection, and love if your puppy looks sad to reciprocate the love and maintain happiness.

Dogs Have the Mental & Emotional State of a Two-Year-Old Child

The chart of dog emotions shows that our furry besties have the same mental and emotional state as two-year-olds. So a dog’s mental health and capabilities are limited and often based on the environment.

Dog Sadness vs. Human Sadness — What’s The Difference?

Is my dog depressed? To answer that question, think about how humans experience depression. Although it’s not exactly the same for dogs, it’s very similar. 

Dogs have emotions, too. But humans deal with more of them, and we can be more vulnerable to small environmental or social changes.

Dogs React to Something That’s Happening Now 

A dog’s emotions can result from what’s happening now. For instance, if you don’t give them their toy or a treat, they’ll feel sad about it. Dogs react depending on their surroundings, whereas human sadness stems from deeper emotional connections.

Dogs Get Disturbed by Routine Changes

Dogs love routine, so when you change it, that can significantly affect their mood. We can trace that behavior back to history. If a dog loses its owner or a pack member, that will hinder its routine and cause sadness. It’s essential to maintain a routine to avoid a sad dog face.

Our pets can also react based on past trauma. PTSD is common among dogs, and it can cause poor mental health, depression, and sadness. 

Signs of Feeling Blue

How do dogs show sadness? Here are the common signs to look out for:

No Appetite for Food or Treats

Dogs love food and treats, especially if they’ve done something good to earn them. So if your puppy avoids food and doesn’t gasp for treats, that could be a sign of sadness.

Avoids Interactions With Owner & Family

All dogs seek love and affection. They enjoy human interaction and attention, so if they avoid all that, they could be irritated or down.

Sleeps a Lot

An irregular sleeping pattern could indicate sadness, too. If your pet sleeps a lot or not enough, that might be a sign of puppy depression or stress.

Depressed Dog

Doesn’t Have the Will nor the Energy to Be Active

Most dogs, especially puppies, are physically active and have a lot of energy. If your dog’s not excited for walks and playtime, this could be a clear sign that it’s feeling blue.

“Puppy Eyes” Is the Main Facial Expression

Poor behavior can result in a lack of treats or attention, leading to a common sign of sadness — puppy eyes. It’s a clear signal that your dog is sad and wants more love.

Frequently Whines

Frequent whines could signify that a dog is unwell or generally feeling depressed. That’s their way of crying and shows their emotional state.

Frequently Licks the Paws or Stomach 

If your dog seems sad all of a sudden, notice if it’s licking its paws or stomach. It could be a sign of an illness, so you should check it as soon as possible. 

Hiding

Although some dogs enjoy playing hide and seek, it’s not good if they do it all the time. It could be a sign that they’re depressed and want to be left alone, which is common for humans, too.

Reasons for Feeling Blue

Noticing the signs is as crucial as understanding why dogs feel blue. Whether your dog is hiding, being lazy, giving puppy eyes, or avoiding you, if you find the cause, you can come up with a solution.

Underlying Illness 

If your dog looks sad, that could be a sign that it’s unwell. Unfortunately, dogs can’t tell you how they feel, so you’ll need to read their behavior to find out. If your pet shows signs of feeling blue and doesn’t cheer up with love or treats, make sure to visit the vet.

Mourning the Loss of Another Pet or Human

Like us, dogs also experience PTSD. Hence, they might be showing signs of sadness due to the loss of another pet friend or a human. Give them plenty of love in such moments to cheer them up.

Environment Changes 

A sad dog face could result from changes in the environment. For instance, if you just moved to a new place, your pet might not be too thrilled about it.

Fear, Phobia, or Trauma

Dogs can also experience sadness due to fear, phobia, or trauma. CBD oil has shown to be an effective remedy for that, so consider one like Bailey’s No More Wiggles Oil.

Separation Anxiety 

Dogs can feel blue if they’re separated from their owners, friends, or siblings. A change in seasons can also make them feel sad. These are all common issues with humans, too, so give your dog lots of love and care when they experience that to help them feel better.

Help to Help Your Sad Dog

Here are some useful ways to help your dog resolve and overcome its sadness:

Develop a Routine & Stick to It

Dogs enjoy routine, so make sure to establish one when you first get them as a puppy or an adult. Also, do your best to stick to it to avoid causing emotional pain.

Trigger Their “High” — Play, Run, Walk 

Most dogs get a high feeling when you shout certain words, such as play, run, and walk. So if your puppy looks sad, make sure to use these words and activities to trigger their excitement and energy. 

Praises and treats can also help your pet overcome its emotions with the right care and love. If you’re looking for more ideas, we recommend Buddy Biscuits and Dog Brick Interactive Treat Puzzle.

Socialize Your Dog

Dogs feel great after social interactions, especially with other dogs. So make sure to socialize your pooch while out on walks. It can help it make friends, overcome fears, and deter sad emotions.

Spend More Time Together

Are you spending enough quality time with your pet? Consider increasing that to evoke positive feelings. You can also get your dog some nice gifts and give it plenty of cuddles. Playing with your pet can act as a distraction. 

Conclusion

So can dogs get depressed? They can, but you can learn to help them out of that state.

Understanding that dogs can get sad and acknowledging the signs of depression can resolve the issue. Now that you know what dog sadness looks like and the reasons behind it, you can work with your pet to improve its mental health. Try to provide extra care and playtime for your furry pal. A high-quality CBD oil for dogs can help them relax, too. You can make a sad dog happy in no time with the right patience, care, and routine.

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