Children in school, long work days, errands, are many obligations that prevent us from spending more time at home with our pets. Excessive loneliness can lead to unhappiness, sadness and other side effects. But sadness can also be due to multiple reasons. If you are wondering “why is my dog sad?” in our Las Almenas blog we are going to help you identify the symptoms of sadness. In addition, we are going to show you the tricks to keep your dog entertained during your absence.
How do I know if my dog is sad?
Surely there is no one who knows your dog better than you do. That’s why if you’re thinking about it and wondering “why is my dog sad?” it is essential that you pay close attention to how he reacts, how his body language is and if he is having changes in his usual behavior and you notice the following symptoms:
- He spends more hours sleeping.
- He has decreased his usual activity.
- You notice that he/she is lacking appetite.
- He does not seem to be interested in or enjoy those things and stimuli to which he used to always respond.
- He is apathetic and shows a certain flight attitude.
- He has aggressive reactions and destructive behaviors, bites objects in the house, rolls around where he should not….
- Barking has increased and, in the case of howling or crying, has become continuous.
Is my dog sad because of loneliness?
If your dog spends the dead hours at home, he may show inappropriate behaviors to get your attention. He may show an unusual sadness, but this pain can also manifest itself in other ways. So, if your furry friend feels ignored or neglected, he may chew on furniture or any other object in the house.
This type of destructive behavior is just another way for your pet to express his emotions and get your attention.
It is also possible that his discomfort may result in gastrointestinal sequelae because the dog stops eating properly and suffers from anorexia.
However, if you are asking yourself “is my dog sad because of loneliness or does he have separation stress?” let’s be clear that these are two different issues. Dogs feel separation stress when they are distanced from their siblings, their mother or a specific person. So, when there is separation stress, that discomfort continues, even if there are other family members in the house. However, when we talk about loneliness, the moment the dog feels accompanied, stress and sadness are reduced.
What other causes explain why my dog is sad?
If you don’t think it’s because of loneliness, but you are still wondering “why is my dog sad?” you can find the answer by going to your veterinarian.
Sadness in dogs is not only due to emotional problems. There are other physiological reasons that can answer your question “why is my dog sad?”, such as viral diseases (canine distemper or parvovirus). It can also be a parasite infection or any disease or health problem that makes your dog sadder than usual.
If physiological problems and loneliness are ruled out, you should think about other causes:
- Change in living habits.
If you have moved house or if someone in the family has left or a new member has arrived at home, these circumstances may be the answer to your question of why my dog is sad.
- Trauma and negative experiences
Has your dog suffered a negative experience, such as an accident or an injury? In these cases the cause of your furry friend’s sadness may be a negative experience that could even lead to depression.
- Lack of affection
It is not enough for your dog to be accompanied, he needs your affection, as well as physical and mental stimulation. That is why, even if you spend the day at home and work with your dog, if you can’t pay much attention to him, this can be the cause of his sadness.
What should I do if my dog is sad?
The first thing you should do is to rule out that it is due to a physical illness for which you should go to the vet. That said, if you don’t want to keep asking yourself “why is my dog sad?” try following these tips:
Facilitate physical and intellectual activity.
For your furry friend to be a physically and emotionally healthy dog, you should make sure he gets daily physical exercise. You can also exercise his mind with skill and entertainment activities that he can practice when he is alone at home.
Follow stable routines
Routines work very well with dogs because it gives them emotional stability. So try to have an orderly eating and walking schedule.
Provide a healthy diet
To guarantee the physical and emotional well-being of your dog, it is essential to follow a diet that adapts to its needs, age and particular characteristics.
Do not neglect your dog’s hygiene
The hygiene and cleanliness of your dog and his belongings also prevents certain diseases, which influences his physical and mental health.
Give him lots of affection and company
In addition to spending time with your dog, it is essential that you interact with him and strengthen your bond. Treat him with love and attention so that the dog feels confident and secure without the need to get your attention by misbehaving.
Provide toys and entertainment
Since it is not always possible to ensure someone’s presence in the house, you should provide him with interactive toys that will keep him stimulated during your absence. Give them to him when you are leaving the house, so he will associate the moment of your departure with something positive.
When you return home it is important that you remove that object of play so that he does not get used to it and, in exchange, dedicate some play time with you.
If you need more ideas on how to entertain your dog at home, we invite you to read our article Dog toys – what’s the best option?
If during your absence, your dog has made a mess, do not punish him. We have already explained in other articles that dogs are not able to associate a reward or punishment with something he did hours ago. If you punish him hours after his misdeed, he will not understand why you are punishing him and he will feel more confused and, possibly, sadder.
Allow him to socialize with other dogs.
Your dog’s socialization is also important for his emotional development. Take advantage of walks to let him play with other dogs and release tension. He will feel more entertained and happy.
Use a dog day-care center
If you plan to spend many hours away from home, you could resort to a doggy daycare. This is an establishment where you can leave your dog on a regular basis, for example, every morning while you are at work.
You can also leave him at specific times, or for several days, depending on the time you need. In these day-care centers, dogs are cared for without being caged. In addition, they learn to coexist with other dogs, they have a great time, they have fun, they forget the things they should not do when they get bored, such as chewing your shoes. In short, your dog will be stimulated physically, emotionally and socially, which will make him a much more balanced dog.
You can also use a dog sitter to walk your dog daily while you are at work and the kids are at school. In addition to alleviating his needs, he may socialize with other dogs, and be more entertained and accompanied.
Have you ever noticed your dog is sad?
Have you ever noticed that your dog is sad? What did you do to improve the situation? You can tell us about your experience on our YouTube channel and Facebook and Instagram profiles. Here, below this article, you also have your space to tell us if you have ever thought that “my dog is sad”. Leave us your experience and recommendations, so we all learn from each other!
Remember that sadness in dogs can hide disorders and pathologies that can influence your dog’s well-being. For this reason, if you have reason to wonder “why is my dog sad?”, you should take your dog to the vet to rule out any disease and they can guide you in terms of recovery.
From Las Almenas we hope that all these tips will help you to detect and avoid any problem of sadness and loneliness. We continue to publish tips and news from our breeder through our profiles on Facebook, Instagram and the Las Almenas YouTube channel. At Las Almenas we want to continue helping you with the care and health of your dog, so we invite you to become part of our Almenas Family, see you soon!