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Doggy Blues

Sad DogPup got the blues?  Sounds silly, right?  But your dog can suffer from depression just like you.  There are a number of reasons for doggy sadness including the loss of a loved one or dog sibling, an injury, a move or even a change in weather.  These are just some reasons why our pups can feel down in the dumps.  An example is the dog who has injured a cruciate ligament.  Not only is she being confined to rest and heal, she can no longer go up and down the stairs to greet you.  She is not allowed to play with her dog friends and run after the rabbit in your yard.  The dog may exhibit excessive sleepiness or experience a loss in appetite.  And if feeling sad is not enough, an emotional imbalance in your pup can cause physical stress and a weakened immune system too. 

Most dogs will snap out of their depression, especially if caused by an injury or illness and they start to physically feel better.  But in the case of the dog who’s human sister just left the house to attend college, the gloominess may need some intervention from you.  If the dog has lost interest in food, toys, or treats, it’s time to take a proactive approach and get involved.  Start initially with spending more time with her…..walking, being outdoors or engaging her with new toys.  Taking a trip to the park or arranging a playdate with a doggy friend is another idea to retrieve her social personality.  If this approach still seems to have no effect on her mood, then it’s time for a trip to the veterinarian for some blood work just to rule out any physical ailments.  A conventional veterinarian will most likely prescribe an anti-depressant such as Prozac (Reconcile) which has been shown to increase aggression, cause digestive upsets, hyperactivity and excessive panting.  A holistic approach will include herbs and flower essences such as Honeysuckle or Star of Bethlehem that has been proven to lift the spirits of an unhappy pup.  

Whatever the reason for poochy being sad, offering her some stimulation and encouragement should help elevate her mood and put a smile back on her face. 


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