Sad dog in the article 5 Signs Your Dog Is Depressed and the Causes Behind the Same

5 Signs Your Dog Is Depressed 

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Times are quite tough for us humans due to the havoc wreaked by the pandemic. We all are experiencing mass depression and if you thought these things could only happen with humans, then you are wrong. Animals also go through depressive moods and feel loss and pain. If you have a dog that is acting strange and aloof but if you have no clue as to what those signs are then here is our list of 5 signs your dog is depressed and the causes behind the same. 

Dogs feel a lot of emotions. They feel sad, happy, angry, resentful, fearful etc. But a lot of times, there are underlying issues behind these emotions and reactions. Today we will try to identify those signs and the reasons behind the same. 

Please note that these are some of the common signs of depression but to confirm the same, you need to consult a professional vet and work on your dog’s mental health accordingly. 

The Signs

Photo by Enrique Hoyos from Pexels

Sleeping all day long 

A lot of us have a constrained way of life where our pets don’t have an active lifestyle.  It could be due to our busy work schedule, small houses and lack of interaction with other dogs or humans. This can lead to a lot of sleeping and your dogs tend to get lethargic. They have no excitement left even when you return from work. That could be a warning sign. Don’t take it lightly. 

Lost appetite 

It is no news that dogs love to eat. Their life revolves around food. But if your dog isn’t eating at all or doesn’t get excited looking at his favorite food, Houston, we have a problem. Sometimes, this could also mean an underlying reason behind it like having a fever or some illness. But if this happens on a regular basis then you need to do something about it. 

Disregard for playing and walking

Dogs are active beings. They love walking and playing with their favorite toys. A dog will always behave like a hippity-hoppity puppy if he is happy. But if lately your dog has been avoiding his walks or playing with his favorite toy then this could be a sign. Now, some older dogs may exhibit this sign due to age but mostly, all dogs love walking and playing. 

Excessive paw licking 

This one is the litmus paper sign of them all. Dogs usually lick their paws when they are stressed or confused as this calms them down. Cleaning themselves is a normal activity but if he is doing it all the time and is obsessed with this activity then we have a problem. They may also do it at night and sometimes chew on their paws. If this goes unnoticed then sometimes those wounds get infected and that is a serious issue. 

Hiding or avoiding interaction 

Most dogs love interacting with humans and other dogs. Unless it is his innate nature to be aloof, They usually don’t hide from people or avoid interaction if they are friendly in general. This is another warning that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Make sure that you don’t ignore this sign as it is indicative of a huge change in your dog’s demeanor.


There are a lot of reasons for your dog feeling like this. Dogs are quite predictable and these have some common causes for feeling depressed. If you have already observed the 5 signs your dog is depressed then these might be the reasons for the same. 

Losing someone in the family

This is one of the first and foremost reasons your dog might be depressed. Dogs imprint on human beings, animals or other dogs quite easily. If that companion or human being passes away then the dog may feel depressed. We all deal with loss differently but the experience of grief is quite common between humans and dogs alike. Recently, a lot of dogs lost their family members due to Covid and that is the cause of depression and PTSD for a lot of dogs. 

Change in environment 

Dogs thrive on a fixed schedule and when their lifestyle changes, they lose control. A lot of times, change in the environment or habits may lead to depression. Rehabilitating the dog in the new environment appropriately is key. 


A lot of our dogs don’t have an active life because we ourselves are burdened with work and other priorities and that leads to boredom. A lot of dogs lick their paws or go into a destructive mode. 

Chronic illness 

A lot of times, the stress of having a chronic disease may be one of the reasons behind depression. We all deal with sickness in different ways and if a dog is injured or is dealing with a serious illness, that could lead to being inactive. Inactivity for a dog may mostly lead to depression. 

Not enough exercise 

The biggest reason a dog falls prey to depression is that he/she doesn’t have an active life but has a lot of energy. When that energy isn’t utilized properly, the dog either becomes bored or destructive and that can lead to anxiety and depression. 


We all love our dogs and taking care of them is not only our duty but a prized virtue. If you have noticed these 5 signs and feel like your dog is depressed then you should immediately consult a professional. You need to find out the cause behind your dog being depressed and treat it appropriately.  

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