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Is My Dog Depressed or Lazy?

Large hound dog asleep across a blue chair

Since the signs of sadness and sloth are similar, this question is highly intriguing to novice pet owners. For instance, losing interest in everyday tasks, becoming frustrated, and having poor energy. However, there are several signs that separate depression from laziness, and you should be concerned about them. Keep reading to learn how to differentiate whether your dog is depressed or lazy.

Why is My Dog Depressed All of a Sudden? Click here to learn more.

How Do You Tell If Your Dog Is Depressed or Lazy?

Dogs are complicated animals, much like us. And much like us, they experience sadness for a variety of reasons. When determining whether your dog is suffering from canine depression, ask yourself whether your companion is going through unusual situations. It can help you better understand your furry friend. The following are some situations that can help you distinguish depression from laziness.

Sudden Death in the Family

Close up of a casket with pallbearers.

You’re not the only person grieving the loss of a relative or another animal. Your dog may experience depression and needs to grieve as well. If your pet suddenly loses interest in daily routines and favorite pastimes, this is a sign of sadness.

 Your dog is unquestionably experiencing depression if the period of loss of interest lasts for a long time. He could act in an unusually hostile manner like showing destructive behavior against humans or other animals. If your dog is mourning, you can’t hurry the process because despair is hard to handle than laziness.

Moving to a New Home

If your dog is acting lonely and sleeping more, this might be an indication that he is lazy. However, don’t be shocked if your dog has been acting strangely since you changed houses. Animals struggle with change, and your dog may experience depression as it adjusts to its new surroundings. When depressed, he craves attention and more fun.

Is My Dog Depressed or Just Old? Click here to learn more.

Lack of Socialization

Close up of a tan dogs eye peaking through the fence

Dogs want the room to run about and may grow depressed if they aren’t given the opportunity. Staying indoors all the time and being cut off from friends and family can hurt human and canine mental health. Your dog begins to sleep more and skip meals. He may also start looking sad and having tears in his eyes.

Similarly, dogs can demand more attention or become too dependent on humans. They may frequently visit rooms in the house where their friend tended to spend most of their time. All these things will make it quite clear that your dog is depressed.

Lack of Exercise

Understand how much exercise your dog needs. Dogs need to exercise themselves to keep their energy levels up. If your dog doesn’t get enough activity each day, he may become slothful and exhibit indicators like lethargy, excessive sleeping, and appetite loss. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to spare time out for taking your dog to the park for walks. However, if the symptoms persist for too long, depression could be there.

How Do You Tell If Your Dog Is Depressed or Just Tired?

Close up of a chocolate lab sleeping against a yellow/orange background.

Several commonalities might lead pet owners to wonder if their dog is depressed or just tired. Well, both disorders have a lot of the same symptoms, and depression may also leave a dog feeling drained and exhausted. However, tiredness is something that can be managed by making an effort and providing your dog with your undivided attention. The symptoms listed below are linked to several reasons and demonstrate that your dog is just tired and not sad.

Excessive Playing

If your dog doesn’t seem like him. It may indicate that he is fatigued if he has low energy levels and sleeps more than normal. In the event of fatigue, your animal companion will be OK when he regains his enthusiasm one to two days later. If your dog is showing these symptoms because he has been playing all day and is now exhausted, you shouldn’t be concerned because it is not depression.

Lack of Proper Sleep

Pug asleep on its back in a bed with a pillow under its head and covered by a blue blanket

Your dog could occasionally have trouble falling asleep at night. Especially when crate training is not carried out correctly. Your dog might not feel secure in his customary sleeping area and you are powerless to change it. Lethargy and fatigue will be evident in your animal pal. You’ll see that he wants more cuddles and that being close to you makes him feel secure and at ease.

Health Issues

Your dog will stop eating and oversleep if they have diabetes, hypoglycemia, liver illness, or the four major blood sugar disorders. Early signs of potential cardiac issues include aversion to exercise, fast breathing, and appetite loss. Dogs with diabetes may not eat much, but they will drink more water than usual. They could start to lose weight, seem distant, and lack the energy to engage in any of their preferred play activities.


Brown and white dog being examined at the vet

Tiredness and lack of appetite are symptoms of infection, from the relatively minor kennel cough, a respiratory illness that can be treated with medication, to more severe conditions like distemper, parvovirus, or heartworm disease.

When a dog has parvovirus or distemper, in addition to the early symptoms of acute exhaustion and anorexia, he will also have fever, diarrhea, and eye and nose discharge. He may show tiredness, refusal to eat, and fever. None of which is related to depression. You can treat the infection to get your dog out of that situation.


Old Cocker spaniel with a greying face laying on the floor indoors

Your older dog’s lack of activity worries you since he used to be quite active. That is because your dog is getting older and no longer has the same energy that he did when he was younger. Because they are less energetic and lively than younger dogs, older dogs experience fatigue. Even little duties might wear out an older dog. He could decline to follow orders. Additional yawning may also be an indication of general fatigue in your dog.

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