(Closed) Doggy Depression :(

posted 6 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
Member
308 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Yup! 

My poor baby-girl had a rough year.  Once upon a time- I had both of my parents’ dogs.  One went back to live with my mom…. which was her “husband” lol.. and then a few months later the other one died of old age.  She was all of the sudden an “Only dog”.  I started to see some depression then.  She stopped eatting, lost a TON of weight (partially b/c there was no one’s bowl to steal food out of anymore… but seriously she didn’t eat for days sometimes).  This was also the time that my Darling Husband got engaged.  I started bringing her over to his apartment on the weekends- that was was hard for her.  Seperation Anxiety set in.  To make things even worse- few months after that we moved into our now home with my FI/Now Darling Husband.  Holy smokes.  I’m also a teacher— and the periods when I’m off she LOVES it— but then when its back to work time…. Oy!

Let’s just say….. this weekend I bought a carpet shampooer. 

She is on the dog version of prozac.  It does HELP (and it is inexpensive).  I’ve consulted a behavioralist- and he was willing to help—- for about 200 dollars.  At this time we were 1 month from our wedding- and I just couldn’t spend the money.  She’s (knock on wood) starting to adjust to me being back to work now—- but it seems to eb and flow… so I hope that maybe we can get through it this year.  Walking her- a lot- helps.  I wish I had some advice- but I’ve not found anything that 100% wrks yet either. 

 

 

Post # 5
Member
4352 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Is it possible to have someone come hang out with her in the middle of the day? I know you have a friend come by and check on her, but how long does that friend stay? Would it be possible to put your dog in doggy day care for part of the day once a week? That way she could play with other dogs while you’re at work. Or, do you have a friend who wouldn’t mind having your dog stay with them while you’re at work? Not all the time, but maybe once a week (like on Wednesdays so she isn’t stuck in her crate all day too many days in a row).

Our dog was a little depressed when we got her but it was a very different situation. She is a retired breeder and didn’t know how to function in a large space (our 2 bedroom apt is still huge to her because she spent her whole life in a crate). We think she was depressed because she didn’t want to get attached to her new, better life. Eventually she got used to the apt and us and came out of her shell. But again, it was a really different scenario.

Post # 6
Member
1021 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Aw, poor girl!

It sounds like you’re doing the right things by taking her to the dog park and trying to engage her. It’s good that her appetite seems to have come back, but if you notice that it goes away again I would think about taking her into the vet. Dogs can’t tell you when they are feeling sick, so you have to pay attention to certain cues. Not eating and acting lethargic are two sure signs that they just aren’t feeling right, whether it’s from the changes in her environment or an underlying health problem. At the very least, the vet might run bloodwork just to make sure everything looks normal.

Having a sad dog is heartbreaking. I hope she gets back to normal soon!

Post # 9
Member
308 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

One thing that HAS helped with my little lady…. is to treat her like a dog and understand “pack” behavior (Cesar the dog whisperer mumbo jumbo— I don’t watch the show- but some of it has helped out!)  I’ve read a lot about how if they think you’re an equal in “their pack” they miss you and get sad/ flip out when your gone.  But, if you are the dominant one in the relationship- the alpha dog- is allowed to come and go from the pack as they wish. 

Now, my dog is not allowed to sit on the furniture.  For whatever reason, when I started that rule my dog was just happier- I thought it would upset her more- but she was kinda relieved almost (i know, i read too much into my dog- but I’ve had her for 7 years… so I’m in tune with her somewhat) 

When I walk her she is not allowed to walk in front of me…. she must be at my side or behind me. 

When we walk into a door- she’s not allowed to go first. 

Also, mental exercize for them is good.  Mine has zero interest in toys.  But I have taught her a few tricks (even an old dog CAN learn new tricks) and she enjoys that type of play.

Post # 11
Member
53 posts
Worker bee

I don’t think you’re doing wrong by treating her as an equal. From what I’ve learned about dog training (which seems pretty extensive by now since our adopted mutt came with some annoying problems) Cesar Milan’s stuff is widely criticized. Since you’re the food provider and generally the one in charge, you’re automatically her alpha, I think. And since you’re not worried about aggression issues, I don’t think you need to worry about it. 

 

Have you tried getting her work to eat toys? We’ve got a Kong Wobbler that our dog eats her meals out of and it keeps her busy for a little bit. Since she has separation anxiety, we also stuff a Kong with her food & freeze it and leave it for her while we’re gone. That’s a good way of keeping her stimulated & tiring her out while using her food motivation to our advantage. If she’s ever not interested in her Kong, I add a little peanut butter to the mix so she’s all over it again.

 

Another fun thing could be teaching your dog nose-work. We’re working on it with our dog and will soon leave her food around the apartment for her to find. Hopefully your dog is food motivated enough that you could maybe do this too. It would keep her entertained & less bored during the day, which could help. 

 

Good luck!

Post # 12
Member
4352 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Oh your friend is staying much longer than I thought she was. We have a “dog walker” who lets our dog out when Fiance and I’s shifts overlap too long but she doesn’t stay very long. Its good that your friend can stay with your dog so long.

Post # 13
Member
2401 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I’d find a pack dog walker for her! She sounds like she wants a companion and with you being gone for long hours, this may break up her day and give her back her spunk. Look for someone who is experienced and frequently walks several dogs at once. 

Post # 14
Member
7293 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

Some great suggestions here!

I also reccomend having special walk time in the morning before work if you can manage it. Not only does she start her day with you, but you can practice leadeship and bonding plus she will get tired out and hopefully sleep her day away until you get home 🙂

Post # 15
Member
53 posts
Worker bee

If you do look for a pack dogwalker, be really careful. I take my dog to the dog parks in the day and come in contact with a lot of packwalkers who treat the dogs like shit. They’re walking 6-8 dogs who barely fit around the walker, the little ones get trampled on by the big dogs or dragged along behind, and if any of the dogs “misbehave” I’ve seen walkers pick them up by their collars and shake them around. Sorry to be a downer, but I’ve just seen it so many times and I know I wouldn’t want my own dog treated so shabbily. 

Post # 16
Member
351 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Not trying to scare you, but have you taken her to your vet for a check-up?  My last cat was diagnosed with depression and was put on anti-depressants briefly.  We later determined he wasn’t depressed at all, but rather had a serious heart condition that made it harder for him to be active.  He was put on medication which helped him for a very long time.

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