Like humans, dogs are complex creatures too. They experience a wide range of emotions like joy, anger, fear, shame, and even sadness. Yes, you read that right. Man’s best friend gets the blues too from time to time. The cause may come from something general like boredom or something specific like a death in the family. But the thing is, unlike humans, dogs cannot express it directly when they are not feeling too good. So you need to look for signs that your dog is unhappy. Here are 9 of them:
1. Change in Appetite
How to tell if your dog is unhappy? Is your dog not eating as much? Are they leaving too much food in the bowl? We know snack time is always a fun time, but too much eating can also mean an unhappy dog. A change in eating habits can be an indication of a pet’s state of mind. A drastic change in weight can also mean they are feeling down.
2. Sleeping Too Much or Too Little
They say let sleeping dogs lie, but what if your dog is clocking in more snooze time than the 12-hour average? If you notice an increase, it could be a sign that your doggy is feeling down. Insomnia can also occur in pets. It could be caused by physical pain that’s why they are catching some Zzz.
3. Not Interested in Their Toys
Similar to us, a loss of interest in things they usually love like toys can be a sign a dog is not feeling fine and dandy. If your dog is unusually unexcited about its chew toy, there may be something wrong internally. It’s common for dogs to lose interest in things sometimes, but not for extended amounts of time.
4. Doesn’t Want to Play or Exercise
Toys are not the only thing a melancholic mutt may lose interest in. If their energy is low and would not share the same enthusiasm for strolls and playtime is a sign. Of course, not all dogs are social and active, so it’s important to note changes in behavior.
5. Hiding or Cowering
If a dog is depressed, they may go and try to seclude themselves by hiding around the house. If there’s no presence of a bigger dog or something loud like fireworks, this hiding behavior can be a sign that they’re not feeling well. Similarly, dogs may try to make themselves small by cowering which could mean a low mood.
Does your sweet fur baby suddenly start to bark, lunge, snap, or growl at anything that comes their way? There are many causes for this behavior like fear, injury, illness, possessiveness, and dominance. Depression is also another reason that leads to this change in temperament.
7. Excessive Licking or Chewing
We all have seen dogs lick and chew their paws. It’s their way of cleaning up or scratching an itch. However, it’s also possible that they are feeling down and may be trying to soothe themselves. “Most people are not aware, but excessive licking (or chewing) can be a way of self-soothing,” says veterinary health expert Dr. Gary Richter.
8. Constant Pacing
Dogs are a lot like humans. When they are feeling anxious and worried they also pace around the house. It could also mean they are bored and unhappy. Some outdoors time just might do the trick, but if all else fails go ahead and call a vet or animal behaviorist.
9. Being Destructive
Aside from being antsy, another sign of an emotionally unhealthy dog is suddenly being destructive. If a dog becomes rougher than usual it could be a sign that they’re feeling down. Increase their level of exercise or mental stimulation to see if their mood improves. If they experience an extended dip in mood, you may want to check in with a veterinarian.
These are the signs your dog is unhappy or depressed. If you notice any of this behavior do not ignore it. Consult an expert.