Your relationship with your dog is incredibly special. Your pet brings you joy, comfort and companionship and somehow always knows when you’re feeling sad or sick. As a loving dog parent, you want to bring that same intuition, safety and comfort to your beloved pet. That’s why it’s so heart-wrenching when your dog looks up at you, wide-eyed, with their head between their paws.
A study published by Scientific Reports found that dogs alter their facial expressions in response to human attention. Additional research published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences dug deeper into what causes dogs’ different facial expressions.
The authors of the study hypothesized that over their 33,000-year evolution from wolves to the lovable pets they are today, dogs developed strong eyebrow muscles that allow them to make sad puppy eyes. A decreased appetite Excessive licking, especially of the paws Disinterest or loss of interest in walks, playtime and/or other formerly loved pastimes Poor sleep or disturbance in sleep patterns Excessive clinginess to you or another family member Sudden destructive behaviors Accidents inside the home Believe it or not, dogs do feel emotional pain, including grief, says the American Kennel Club .
Dogs can also feel depressed for other reasons, such as the loss of another household pet or a family member or a major change in their home or living situation.
Aside from their puppy dog face, which can be undeniably adorable, a sad dog is often a cause of concern. If your dog seems sad, it might mean he or she is not feeling well either emotionally or physically. In any case, do not ignore it! Like humans, a sad dog could be an indication of depression or it could be a symptom of a physical injury.
This means a dogs emotional range is both limited and largely based on their external environment. A sad dog might show a lack of interest in activities that he or she once enjoyed such as going for walks or playing outside.
If your dog seems sad, chances are their environment might be able to give you clues as to whats causing the rain cloud of their head. If someone has recently moved out of the house or another pet passed away, your dog might be mourning or grieving the loss. On the opposite spectrum, if there has been a new addition to the family, your dog might feel a sense of neglect or sadness because of the shift of attention.
A dog that is dealing with a health issue or a physical injury can act depressed and avoidant. If you notice this type of behavior, paired with a limp, lethargy, or any sign of an injury,contact your vet. Feed them at a certain time, take them out for a daily walk, and have cuddle sessions in between; all this can help cheer your pup up.
Dogs, like humans, can suffer from depression. While depression isn’t typically diagnosed in dogs, vets and behaviourists want owners to become more aware of the signs to look out for. With the right support and treatment, you can help your beloved pup through a period of low mood.
The symptoms of depression in dogs can be similar to those in humans, from withdrawing themselves from social situations to being quieter than normal it can be heartbreaking to watch. Exhibiting low activity levels Loss of interest in the things they once enjoyed Change to eating habits, often eating substantially less (or not at all) An increase in amount of time spent sleeping Showing signs of anxiety or aggression through sporadic howling or whining Excessive licking, especially to their paws Flattening of the ears Less interaction with other dogs Regression in house and behavioural training
Sudden behavioural changes can be the initial signs of illness, so it is important to check that these symptoms aren’t happening due to a physical ailment before anything else,” the experts say. The experts at Canagan explain: “It’s important to offer this added attention in moderation as you will need to allow your dog time to deal with their feelings at their own pace.” “This can be achieved perhaps by organising time with other dog friends, through attending doggy day care sessions or perhaps joining training classes,” the experts say.
Be prepared to spend a decent amount of time grooming them, because that thick coat of hair requires regular brushing they’ve got a beard, after all!
Do you ever get the feeling your dog has the blues? Dog emotions can be hard to read because our pets cant use words to explain how they feel. However, most of us have a sense of our dogs moods. We read their body language and behavior, and can tell when theyre not feeling their best.
Vocalizations like whines or whimpers Mopey behavior around things they typically enjoy Lowered energy Refusing food or treats Eyes appear squinty or smaller than usual A change in sleep patterns or behavior If your dogs behavior or energy level changes, your first step should be to call the vet.
If your dog seems unusually unhappy, or their behavior changes significantly, start with a check-up at the vet. If your dog has a temporary case of the blues, you can comfort them and help change their mood by doing something positive together. Play with a favorite toy Go for a brisk walk Set up a doggy playdate with another canine friend Go for a ride in the car Offer a special treat
You can respect and respond to your dogs emotional needs without assuming they feel sadness the same way you do.
Why Do Dogs Look Sad?
Researchers have sought to understand what causes dogs to make the sad puppy eyes they’re known for. A study published by Scientific Reports found that dogs alter their facial expressions in response to human attention. Researchers observed 24 family dogs of various ages and breeds and their reactions to four different scenarios: human attention with food, human attention without food, no human attention with food and no human attention without food. While food didn’t impact the dogs’ expressions, the researchers found that the dogs were more expressive when a human faced them. In these situations, dogs were more likely to raise the inner eyebrow, making them look sad and more childlike.Additional research published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences dug deeper into what causes dogs’ different facial expressions. The authors of the study hypothesized that over their 33,000-year evolution from wolves to the lovable pets they are today, dogs developed strong eyebrow muscles that allow them to make sad puppy eyes. This, the study’s authors claim, was in response to humans’ preference for the trait.So if you’re wondering why your dog looks sad it may bring you some comfort to learn that the sad, longing look in your dog‘s eyes may not be sadness at all. It may simply be that they’re trying to connect with you or get your attention.
Why Does My Dog Look So Sad?
All this said, dog depression is a real thing. Signs of depression in dogs are similar to signs of depression in humans. Depressed dogs may exhibit:Signs like these may indicate that your dog is in pain, experiencing a health issue or experiencing deep sadness. If you notice any of these signs for a prolonged period of time, contact your veterinarian. They can help you determine whether your dog is experiencing physical pain or illness and help find solutions to get you dog back to their happy selves.Believe it or not, dogs do feel emotional pain, including grief, says the American Kennel Club. They can even pick up on people’s sadness, which means their sadness may be a reflection of your emotions or those of another family member. Pay close attention to this. If your pet is picking up on your sadness, it’s possible that some self-care could be in order. To ensure you’re taking the best possible care of your pet, you must also take care of yourself.Dogs can also feel depressed for other reasons, such as the loss of another household pet or a family member or a major change in their home or living situation. If you’ve recently taken on a new responsibility and have less time to play with them, it’s possible they could be feeling ignored. They may even be coping with feelings of jealousy if, for example, a new human or pet has entered the family. Or they may simply be bored.
Dogs and Feelings
So, how much can dogs actually feel? This has been a topic of study that has fascinated scientists, dog owners, and animal lovers for centuries. The most recent studies state that the emotional range of a dog is similar to that of a 2-year-old child. This means a dog’s emotional range is both limited and largely based on their external environment.So how do you know if your dog is sad?
Causes of a Sad Dog
If you notice your dog seems sad, be on the lookout for these symptoms that could indicate depression or sadness:A sad dog might show a lack of interest in activities that he or she once enjoyed such as going for walks or playing outside. They can also seem withdrawn from people including their owner. Additionally, dogs will hide or avoid people if they are physically injured.Noticeable differences in your dog’s weight or energy levels can mean something is wrong as well. Be aware of any changes in your dog’s sleeping or eating patterns for both can be signs of depression.So if your dog does not greet you with his or her usual enthusiasm, there is a chance they might not be feeling well! If this is the case, the best action you can take is to contact your local vet right away.
Changes in Environment
If your dog seems sad, chances are their environment might be able to give you clues as to what’s causing the rain cloud of their head. Dogs do not handle sudden change well, so moving homes or a change of scenery can affect your dog emotionally.If someone has recently moved out of the house or another pet passed away, your dog might be mourning or grieving the loss. Your dog might be more withdrawn at this time.On the opposite spectrum, if there has been a new addition to the family, your dog might feel a sense of neglect or sadness because of the shift of attention. They could also be scared of the newcomer!
A dog that is dealing with a health issue or a physical injury can act depressed and avoidant. If you notice this type of behavior, paired with a limp, lethargy, or any sign of an injury,contact your vet. Your vet can help diagnose your dog or give him or her the proper medication to heal.Another thing to keep in mind is listlessness can also be a side effect of the medication your dog is taking. If this is the case, let your vet know to prescribe another medication or take your dog off the current one.
Ways to Cheer Up Your Sad Dog
If your dog is unhappy, have no fear! A depressed or sad dog has to bounce back emotionally with a little help from their owners. Here are some ways to cheer up your sad dog.
Spending time with your dog can make them feel better. Playing with your dog will remind them that they are truly loved and cared for. You can also cuddle or go on walks with your dog.If you know other dog owners, trying to socialize your dog with other pets is another great way to uplift your best friend’s spirit.
Treat Your Dog
Does your dog enjoy car rides? What is his favorite toy? Treating your dog to their favorite activity or giving him a new toy can help to cheer them up. Also, since dogs love food, treat him or her to their favorite meal!
How dog sadness differs from human sadness
It’s well-established by now that dogs experience emotions. In fact, according to neuroscientist Gregory Berns, “they have feelings very much like we do, even though they don’t have words to describe them.” In other words, dogsSo how can you tell if your dog is sad? Dogs don’t cry, but they do have other physical responses to feeling unhappy. Here are some physical signs your dog might be sad:It’s important to note that