It is often difficult to communicate with or understand our dogs. This is a problem faced not just by Shih Tzu dog owners but dog owners in general. With humans, it is often easy to tell when they are depressed. It can be expressed either by verbal communication or body language. Depression in humans can affect general well-being and productivity leading to suicidal thoughts in some people. However, you wouldn’t have to worry about your dog getting suicidal. Here are the things to look out for to know if your dog is depressed. As well as some of the common causes of depression in dogs.

Signs of Depression In Dogs

The following paragraphs talk about the common signs to look out for depression in dogs.

Loss of Appetite

Loss of appetite is a common sign of depression. Dogs who generally have a huge appetite tend to lose their appetite when depressed. Sometimes, the loss of appetite might be due to medications or underlying health issues. So, if you notice that your dog won’t eat its food. It is best to seek medical attention immediately. ” Fill out the puppy match form to find a Shih Tzu puppy”

Lack of Interest In Activities

If your dog all of a sudden lacks interest in going out with you on walks or playing fetch. It is a clear sign your little friend is mentally disturbed. One might wonder, what goes on in the minds of gods that they are even able to express some human emotions. Well, it is just the way they are. You can only love them and care for them to the best of your ability.

Destructive Behaviour

Sometimes, dogs do not know how to process their emotions. While some portray signs of depression by withdrawing or becoming more inactive. Others tend to be destructive, chewing things they shouldn’t and generally being very headstrong and hard to deal with. When you notice this, it is a call for attention.

Extra Needy

Generally, most dogs love attention. But, if your dog becomes extra needy and craves so much of your attention. Couples with some other signs. Your dog is most likely suffering from depression. Your dog might lay next to you inactive. But, when you wake up to step out of the room. They follow you, trying to stay as close to you as possible. They are just being extra needy and need more of your attention.

Loss of Potty Training

Although this is a very strange way for a well-trained dog, it actually does happen. Sometimes, depressed dogs just get so overwhelmed with their emotions that they lose their potty training. This can be especially difficult to deal with if it is your first time dealing with a depressed dog or have never had to personally potty train a dog.

Common Causes of Depression In Dogs

These are the common causes of depression in dogs. We have discussed the signs that a dog might be going through depression. So, in the following paragraphs, we will discuss the common causes and how to fix them.

Life Changes

Some major changes in a dog’s life such as environmental changes can in some cases lead to depression. So, if you own a dog, whenever you move, it is important to remember that upon settling. You should take time to help your dog adapt to its new environment.

Loss Of Owner or Companion

It is common for people to grieve when they lose a loved one. Especially if they had a very close relationship with them. Did you know dogs also go through a grieving phase if they lose their owner or pet companion? If your dog expresses some of the signs mentioned above right after the passing of their owner or pet companion. They are most likely depressed. You might want to consider getting them a new playmate or showing them extra care and attention.

Underlying Health Condition

When a dog is in chronic pain, it may show signs of depression. So, whenever you notice an abnormal behavior in your before rushing to the assumption your dog is depressed. It is first of all important to rule out any underlying health condition.


Just like humans, dogs might get depressed if they are isolated. The feeling of not being wanted really gets to them. So, it is essential to create time for your dog so they do not feel lonely. Cats on the other hand don’t mind being isolated. As long as they have food, water, and a clean litter box. They are doing just fine. It all adds up to one of the reasons why dogs make great pets. Especially for people looking for a more social connection with their pets.

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Inadequate Physical and Mental Stimulation

You should not buy a dog if you plan on just letting It by itself all day without interaction. You need to do more than give your dog food or take it out to potty. They need physical and mental stimulation such as playtime, going on walks, or any outdoor or indoor activities that get them moving. This is very true, especially for dog breeds that are genetically wired to be active dogs or working dogs. “Searching for shih tzu puppies for sale? Click here to check out this post.”

Treating Depression In Dogs

If there is a significant event that recently occurred such as environmental changes, or loss of owner or companion. You can simply give your dog more attention and spend extra time with them. It should help them go through that state and regain their normal mental state.

However, if you are unsure about the cause of depression, seek advice from your vet. You can read more about depression in dogs from the official AKC website. I also find that this post from Sandy Eckstein about depression in dogs is an amazing read.

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