Natural Remedies for Depressed Dogs

By Mark Fendelman

Dog depression is as real and painful as human depression. Maybe you haven’t heard about it before, but this condition can severely damage your dog’s health and spirit. If you love your pet and care for their well-being, you should definitely learn more about it. We will provide you a series of natural remedies that will help your furry friend overcome this difficult period.

What Are the Signs of Depression in Dogs?

Your best friend’s depression can be caused by various factors, such as grief or relocation. Sometimes getting another pet can be quite painful for them as well, because your dog will get less attention. If you happen to be in one of these situations and your dog seems changed, try to spot one of the following symptoms:

  • Tiredness: your dog sleeps more than usual
  • Appetite loss
  • Playing is no longer a priority: usual tricks or games are not appealing anymore
  • The dog seeks to spend time alone
  • Constipation
  • Lack of purpose: your dog no longer engages in any type of activity

Natural Remedies for Depressed Dogs

How Can You Help Your Depressed Dog?

If you realized your dog is depressed, it’s essential to come up with an action plan as soon as possible. It may lead to several physical problems because the immune system is weakened and can no longer fight off threats, such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

Give Your Dog a Treat

A natural, healthy snack can lift the spirits immediately. Give your dog a treat they won’t be able to refuse: a raw meaty bone. It will help them maintain clean, strong teeth and give them something to concentrate on. However, you must only give your dog bones that are safe. Never throw them something your neighbor or friend brought unless you’re absolutely sure you know where it came from.

Some Herbs Can Boost the Mood

Herbal remedies have scientifically proven effects on dogs and humans alike. Certain plants can alleviate some of the symptoms triggered by depression. The most useful ones are those with soothing effects. Your dog needs to relieve stress as well, and this is the first step of the therapy. Some of the same essential oils that work for us are also effective for dogs, but they must be used with extreme caution under the guidance of a professional.

The most common plants you can opt for are lavender and peppermint. Lavender is calming and peppermint is a pick-me-up. You’ll find high-quality herbs & essential oils online at Starwest Botanicals. Other homeopathic solutions include flower essences, like Bach Rescue Remedy. Before you buy anything, have a preliminary discussion with a vet. Certain herbs that are safe for humans might be dangerous for dogs.  Your pet shouldn’t even sniff them, let alone drink or eat them.

Go Out More and Play More

One treatment for dog depression is urging him to get out of the house. You have to make an effort to walk your dog more often or let them out in the yard for longer periods. They need to find something that draws their interest again because being trapped inside the house is not helpful at all.

Dogs need sunlight, especially if they are depressed because it acts as a natural mood booster. It supports the endocrine and pituitary gland function. These release essential hormones that have an uplifting effect on human and canine beings alike. Going out for a walk, running, sniffing, and fetching are things all normal dogs must do. If yours is no longer inclined to do any of these, you need to encourage them.

Spend at least 30 minutes outside and try to persuade your pet to play. You can try something fun like Frisbee. Buying a new toy might also work. If you show interest in that item, so will your dog.  Before you know it, you’ll start getting a glimpse of your old buddy.

Play Some Music for your Canine Companion

Dogs are particularly sensitive to any kind of sound, music included. Have you ever noticed its effect on your pet? Songs can influence an animal’s mood, as scientific research points out. Relaxing music can help them overcome depression easier. So, turn on your laptop and search for a chill-out music playlist. Don’t forget that dogs have an extraordinary hearing, so you shouldn’t play it too loud.

While you’re both listening to music, help your dog feel more relaxed by petting him slowly. This works like a relaxing massage in humans, and it will also help the two of you reconnect.

Boost Your Dog’s Diet

Consult a veterinarian for health tips. A specialist can indicate the best diet according to your dog’s breed and age. You should choose foods that are nourishing and rich in vitamins because this is what your pet needs right now to strengthen their immune system. Here are some ingredients you should look for when you pick your pet’s food, with a focus on balanced nutrition:

  • Omega 3 (from foods such as fish)
  • Organic vitamins (A, B, D, E)
  • Phosphorus
  • Turmeric
  • Basil
  • Calcium
  • Selenium
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Potassium

Spark Your Dog’s Interest

A healthy diet and physical activities are necessary to overcome depression faster, but this is a condition of the mind so you should work on that level as well. Engage your furry companion in stimulating activities that will get them out of the blues, like learning new tricks.

Obviously, it will take a little while before you convince them to join in, so you need to be patient and persevere. Think about your dog’s preferences and craft a game you know they would love. Like any game, you need to offer a reward. Get some of their favorite treats before you begin.

Your pet needs to move past this difficult time, and it can’t be done without your help. It’s hard to understand what’s happening to them right now, but rest assured there are ways to help them recover. The natural remedies we discussed in this article will help, but don’t hesitate to ask for a specialist’s opinion for severe cases.

Guest Author Bio:
Mark Fendelman is a very passionate writer, who loves sharing his knowledge about animals with as many readers as possible. Mark calls himself a dog-addict. “My 2 dogs are my best friends and I can’t imagine living without them,” says Mark. He is a regular contributor at Best10Anything.

✔ You may also be interested in reading:
30 Essential Oils that may not be Safe for Pets
Top 10 Natural Pet Supplements
Natural Treatment and Prevention of Liver Disease in Dogs
Natural Treatment and Prevention of Canine Cataracts

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4 Responses to “Natural Remedies for Depressed Dogs”

  1. Andy Mcnabby says:

    This was such an interesting read, i never even knew dogs could suffer from depression, i just thought they have bad days like all us humans. Thank you for this extra piece of knowledge, great blog by the way:)

  2. Seth B says:

    I had a friend who had one of her goldens pass away. She had 2 one 12 and the other 8. They were inseparable. When the older one passed the younger one immediately stopped eating after a few days. They ultimately ended up switching to really premium canned food and adding omega-3 oil to each meal, she began to eat, but her overall mood was still quite morose. Her and her husband decided to rescue a puppy to give Lacy a companion, and that is when they really started to see her turn a corner. They said that she would still look for her older sister, but teaching the puppy the lay of the land seemed to distract her quite well!

    It’s so amazing how attached our pets can get to their siblings, and yet so heartbreaking as well when they experience loss. I think that scents help a lot, so whenever I have to board my GSD so I can travel for work I always leave her with a tee-shirt of mine that I’ve slept with a couple nights and put a little of my cologne on. Sounds cheesy, but I think it is comforting for her!

  3. James says:

    Thank you for bringing some light to this subject. I know I’ve had dogs in the past that I think may have been depressed and didn’t know what could be done to make them a bit more happy. Pet owners should learn more about this topic.

  4. Leigh says:

    Depression on animals are mostly overlooked by pet parents as we would like to think that we’ve given them the best care we can. Thanks for bringing this issue to the table.

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