What can be done to cheer the dog up?
If you feel your pet is showing signs of depression that are clinical, the best thing to do is take him or her to the vet. The vet will do some tests to eliminate internal problems. As arthritis and depression do have similar symptoms, the vet may also suggest a X ray to determine this. In case all these causes are ruled out, then here are some things for you to try:
- Do spend more time with the dog by taking him or her for a walk or some such other activities
- Take the dog on a new route for a long walk so that the pooch is well exercised and is able to sleep well. But since the dog is depressed, this may be difficult to do at times.
- If you are in a position to walk the dog in the morning with sunlight, this will help the dog have a better day for the rest of the day.
- Indulge in some much loved treats as you take the dog for a walk. Be generous in your praise if the dog plays while walking and occasionally pamper him with treats. Be judicious in doing so as you do not want to condition the dog to expect treats when depressed.
- You can get a new toy as a means of distracting the dog and also keeping the dog happy. Interactive toys which require both the master and the dog to play are better
- You can also play some music for the dog. Though the efficacy of this is much argued about.
- Since dogs are more social and like to live in packs, bringing home a puppy could help. But this may not be a solution for all people as they may not be in a position to handle two dogs.
In case all the tests are done and if the vet feels that the dog is depressed due to factors around the home, the vet may also ask you to get some medical therapy for the dog. The dog may be prescribed Zoloft or Prozac. These medicines take a while to start showing results and isn’t it always better to get to the root of the problem by changing behavior? As far as possible try and make things more cheerful for the dog around the house instead of going for medicines. This will not only provide relief but also help in eliminating the problem.