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How to Cheer Up a Depressed Dog?

Sad, brown dog laying on a bed with a human hand on its head

A depressed dog is a source of worry for every dog owner. In this condition, your dog will not feel well emotionally as well as physically. Therefore, it is important for the owner to cheer up the dog with different methods, like giving extra attention. Keep reading to know why dogs get depressed and learn how to cheer up your depressed dog.

Is There a Natural Antidepressant for Dogs? Click here to find out.

Why Do Dogs Get Depressed?

Dogs can get depression due to various reasons which can vary from dog to dog. The following are the most common reasons that might cause depression in dogs.


It’s difficult for dog owners to pay attention to their dogs all the time. Hence, normal owners can pamper their pup only for a few hours a day. However, that’s not enough for working breeds because they get bored when alone. This can lead them to a range of behavioral problems, including depression.

Changes to Environment

White house with a picked fence with a red for sale sign attached to the fence

Dogs can get depressed if you change their routine or environment. Dramatic changes, like house moves and home re-organizations, can leave your dog feeling unhappy. This will lead them to change their personality or behavior.

Do Dogs Take Human Antidepressants? Click here to learn more.

A Death or Losing a Companion

This reason is quite popular due to which dogs can get depressed. Losing the owner or a companion (another dog, family member, or a pet) can be quite painful for dogs. In most cases, they are unable to deal with this loss and can experience loss of appetite. The separation will further lead to restlessness and withdrawn behavior, especially in the case of losing a companion.

Physical Illness (Pain)

Chocolate lab with its head laying on the back of a couch

If dogs state a low mood, they either have mental or some physical reasons. Physical illnesses, like pain, can highly affect a dog’s mood. It will cause some sudden changes in a dog’s behavior. If you feel something’s wrong, take your dogs to the vet for a complete checkup of their clinical issue.

Poor Training

Poor training methods where owners are relying on punishment can trigger the dogs to loss their confidence. Although these methods result in quiet and well-behaved dogs, such pups are actually weak with chronic stress. Hence, they will eventually develop depression.

How Do You Increase Serotonin in Dogs? Click here to learn more.

How To Cheer Your Dog Up?

Woman sitting on the floor playing with a Beagle

Just like dogs cheer up their owners (with their adorable techniques), the owners need address why they are unhappy. The following are some common tips that will help to cheer a depressed dog.

Socialize Your Dog

Socialization can help your depressed dog, especially the depression is because of the loss of a family member or companion. Taking your dog out to a dog park or a dog-daycare center can help them to socialize with other canines. This way your dog will feel much better and it might get out of its depression after meeting its other furry friends more often.

Pamper with Outdoor Activities

Small boy playing ball outdoors with a Jack Russell Terrier

It is one of the best ways to cure depression. Take your dog for a fun afternoon in the park and let him/her enjoy some good time. This method is particularly helpful if the reason for depression is boredom.

You can also add some physical exercise or a great outdoor activity (like playing fetch) to the plan. It will offer great help against your dog’s depression. If your dog likes water, taking him/her to swimming is one of the best stress busters.

Stay happy

Staying happy is a very effective idea to cheer up depressed dogs. If the owner and members of the family are cheerful and happy around the dog, the canine will behave well. This is because the dog will feel joy just like what we have in humans. The behavior of a child depends on the behavior of surrounding people.

Give More Attention

Man sitting on a couch hugging his dog

Attention is one of the most common reasons why dogs get depressed. Tf your dog is depressed, spending more time with him/her can be quite helpful to overcome the sadness. Moreover, you can take your dog out for a walk, have a talk, and even spend more time holding your dog at home.

Comfort with Favorite Toys

This is the ideal idea for cheering up your depressed dog especially if the depression is caused by environmental change. If you shift to your new and forgot your dog’s favorite toy then get the new one. It will give comfort to your dog. This is because dogs tend to find comfort in familiarity, and can settle into a new house faster if they have their favorite things around them.

Play Some Music

radio sitting on a wooden table against a teal background.

Although it is a highly-debated point among experts, many dog lovers recommend that music will offer great help in calming their pets. It will help your dog cheer up its mood. However, make sure that that the music is not very loud. Always adjust the volume depending on your dog’s comfort level.

Reward Your Dog

Woman giving a beagle a treat.

Rewarding can be the best way to treat your depressed dog. It is like positive reinforcement. Give your dog a treat or an extra pat on the head when he/she shows signs of depression. But do not make it a habit or be over-sympathetic towards your dog because it might encourage your dog to stay depressed. Rewarding can also result in a strong bond between you and your dog which can help to get your dog out of depression.

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