Most dog owners think that their dogs are just acting differently. But, most of the time, they don’t seem to realize that their dog is suffering from mental instability.
Yes. Mental diseases prevail in dogs. In fact, dogs have the same anxiety and depression as humans. Similarly, many similar mental health diseases are alike in humans and dogs. Therefore, a mental health check is equally important for dogs and humans.
This is particularly crucial to observe in dogs you adopt from shelter homes. We know the past of dogs found in such shelter places. If nothing, we know that they have been living here for too long and might not have received the same love, attention, and food as a pet dog.
But how do we know if our dog is going through a bad phase? How do we tell if our dogs suffer from a mental health disease?
The answer is simple.
All the symptoms are similar to those found in humans. Here is a detailed list of signs and symptoms, along with tips that may help you keep in check if there is a risk of mental instability in your dog.
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See If They Are The Same
The most significant difference you notice in a dog’s behavior is excitement, engagement, activity, and attention. Unfortunately, few clues may give away signs of anxiety or depression. A mentally and physically healthy dog is happy, excited, and super active. He loves when you take him out to a park for a walk or play with him indoors.
On the contrary, a dog suffering from mental illness will never want to go out. He would not want to play with other kids or dogs. Or, things that excited him before do not excite him anymore. He will not seem interested in activities that you will see other dogs are interested in. Mostly, he would want to be left unbothered.
However, these are not good signs of mental health. You can’t leave them alone thinking they might be tired. If your dog is doing this frequently, you better realize that something is wrong or bothering them.
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It is easier to notice the differences in a dog’s mood if you have had him for years because you know how he usually behaves. However, it becomes more challenging when you have newly adopted a dog, acting differently. It becomes challenging for the dog’s parents to sort out the puzzle in this situation.
If your previously happy dogs do this, the change is prominent and obvious to understand something’s off. Try giving him more treats, love, attention, and even try taking your furry friend out for a while to change his mood. If these don’t help, keep checking what is really bothering him and eliminate the cause.
A dog going through anxiety or depression would also show signs of deteriorating physical health. For instance, you will notice that your dog is losing weight constantly and rapidly first because he might not be eating much. Secondly, mental illness produces significant bodily changes that prevent weight maintenance.
Some may say that their dogs have lost the fat that keeps them in a healthy shape. Rather bones stick out their face and body, showing the significant weight loss that has occurred. Moreover, a dog might also lose the luscious shine on his coat. He would lose a significant amount. What used to be a thick coat of beautiful fur becomes dull, dry, and thin.
Trembling, Whimpering Or Wining
Another sign of mental illness is increased whimpering, whining, and trembling in dogs. These are physical signs that your dog is not in a good mental state.
Dogs usually don’t whine or whimper unless they heartily want something from you. Trembling is serious. A dog will only tremble when he senses danger or is scared. Whatever he does out of the ordinary is alarming. It should take your mind towards an underlying development of mental health disease.
The next step you need to take is to find out why he acts this way. You can make them better only by keeping them away from what scares them.
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Is There A Change In Their Sleeping Or Eating Habits?
Some subtle signs of deteriorating mental health are a significant change in any dog’s sleeping or eating habits.
A dog who previously delightfully devoured a big bowl of his evening meal refuses to go ahead after two small bites are definitely going through some disturbing mental illness. Likewise, suppose you notice that your dog sleeps more often and longer than before, or he has become progressively sluggish. In that case, there are chances that he might be depressed.
Do not think that your dog is tired of something. Maybe a change in the routine can help but will not bring permanent results until the cause is found out and dealt with.
Take Your Dog To A Vet
Let the experts do their job. Vets know best when and why a dog is not feeling mentally okay. They know how to deal with the situation. They will also guide you on how to take care of yourself under these particular circumstances or rough periods.
For this reason, you must take your dog to a vet regularly. A general checkup from head to toe along with their mental status twice a year is an excellent idea.
Vets will not miss what we, as a layperson, tend to overlook. Even if you never find the signs mentioned earlier and symptoms in your dog, you still recommend taking your dog to the vet. It is better to pick diseases on time before they progress and for peace of mind.
Keeping a check on a dog’s mental health is as important as taking care of their physical health. The brain and the body are connected via complex connections, which is why a mental health condition could cause several physical illnesses in advanced stages.
These tips will help you detect anything unusual way earlier before things start to get out of hand. The only thing to do is to make subtle changes seriously. At times we think these mood changes will go away when they only cause lasting damage that we could have easily prevented.
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