dog depression treatment

How Does Dog Depression Treatment Work?

Depression in dogs can be difficult to diagnose but it is believed that dogs do suffer from depression. Depression can lead to weight loss or gain, lethargy, and multiple behavioral problems. For more information about the symptoms of depression in dogs, go to What are Dog Depression Symptoms?

How Dog Depression is Treated

There are many ways to treat depression in dogs. You can categorize most treatments as being either pharmaceutical (using drugs) or non-pharamceutic (natural or not using drugs).

Before you decide on a treatment, it is important to understand why your dog is depressed. Learn more about the causes of depression with this article Dog Depression: How to Spot it and Treat it. It is also important to consider your dog’s daily schedule, reasons why your dog might be depressed, evaluate what you are willing to do to help your dog, understand your dog’s overall physical health, consider your dog’s personality, and determine what your dog really likes to do.

Some natural things you can do to help dog depression can include maintaining a routine, providing consistency in training and rewards, spending time playing, interacting, and exercising your dog. Considering the benefits of getting another dog could be a good option depending on your dog’s personality.

There are drugs that can be used to treat dog depression. Many are the same drugs used in human medicine to treat depression.

Behavioral disorders in dogs are frequently the reason for veterinary visits. The focus of treatment should ideally be placed on training and behavior. However there are specialists working in the field of animal behavior that have increasingly adopted drugs employed in human behavior modification for use in domestic animals. Please discuss the use of any drug with your vet.

Pharmacological treatments for depression in dogs can include drugs such as:

Once you start your dog on drug therapy, it is important to understand that this will be a lengthy process (months). These are not drugs that you just start and stop. Side effects can occur and the drug may be stopped or reduced until side effects abate and lower doses attempted. Do not stop or start any medication without the guidance of your veterinarian.

How to Know What Option is Best For Your Depressed Dog

Natural treatments work best. The treatment that is going to work best for your dog will depend on your dog. What may work great for one dog may not work at all for another dog. The very best treatment is to identify what is causing the depression and create solutions to make it better. You can start with the natural treatments and move to drug therapy if that doesn’t work.

How to Know if Treatment Is Working

It can take weeks of consistent changes for some dogs to get out of their depressed funk. Improvement may come slow but is often a gradual change. The best way to know if the treatment is working is to see positive changes in your dog such they are more engaged with you and your family and doing things they like to do such as eat and play.

Dog Depression: How to Spot it and Treat it
Is My Dog Depressed? How to Help Your Pup
What are Dog Depression Symptoms?
What is Puppy Depression (the kind People Get)?
Dogs that Lick Themselves – Understanding Acral Lick Dermatitis
Our Stress, Depression, Joy…Can Dogs Tell?
Not Feline Fine: Dealing with Feline Depression
Does Your Dog Need Anxiety Medication?