Dogs can often have sad moments or give you that “puppy dog face” that makes them look like they are sad. If you dog is sad or isn’t acting like themselves, then it could be a sign that something is wrong. They could be tired, could be in pain, could be sad, could be sick, or many other reasons.
In this article we will talk about why your dog looks like they are sad, and what you can do to help! It is always important to monitor the health and behavior of your dog to make sure they are happy and healthy.
Dogs And Their Feelings
Many pet parents wonder what feelings your dog may experience or how dogs experience feelings. This topic has been heavily studied and debated over the years. Some recent studies indicate that a dog has an emotional range that is can be compared to the emotional range of a two year old child.
The two can be difficult to compare as they are two separate species, but this should give you an idea that dogs do feel emotions and that their emotional range isn’t as well developed as an adult human. It is also important to note that the emotional range of your dog is often heavily influenced by the environment that they live in.
Now that you have a better understanding of your dog’s emotional range and capacity, it is time to learn about how you can know if your dog is sad.
Signs That Your Dog Is Sad
It is important to keep any eye on your dog for any signs or symptoms that they are sad, depressed, or feeling uncomfortable. It’s possible that each dog will react differently when they are sad or upset, but below are a few common signs or symptoms that your dog is sad:
- Lack of energy or changes in energy levels
- Lack of appetite or changes in daily appetite levels
- Your dog is lethargic or sleeps more than they typically do
- Changes in activity levels or willingness to play
- Hides under or bed furniture such as a bed, couch, or hiding in a closet
- Changes in sleep pattern
- Lack of interest in people or completely avoids people
Each of these symptoms might be different based on the personality of your dog. The main thing to look out for is a noticeable difference in behavior. If your dog is normally energetic and affectionate but now avoids people and doesn’t want to play then there could be something wrong.
Based on the symptoms displayed, your dog could be sad, could be depressed, could be anxious, could be physically injured, could be tired, could be sick, or a number of other things. These symptoms may only last a day or two, or it could consist over a longer period of time in which you should reach out to your veterinarian to run a few tests.
If your dog has a drastic change in energy levels, appetite, and is sleeping a lot more than normal, this could mean your dog is physically hurt or is sick. These are more serious symptoms which make it even more important to speak with your veterinarian.
What Can Cause A Dog To Be Sad?
There are many different reasons that could cause your dog to be sad. Most times it is a change to their environment or a recent trauma that is causing them to be sad or act differently. Below are a few of the most common causes of a sad dog:
A Change In Their Environment
If the environment your dog lives in has recently changed, your dog might feel sad or anxious about the change. Most dogs take some time to get accustomed to change and this could throw them off of their normal routine.
Some common changes in environments could be your family moved to a new house, another pet or family member not living in the house anymore, a new family member has moved in and your dog is feeling neglected, or many other possible changes.
When making big life decisions or changes it is important to think about how the change will impact the health and mental health of your dog. Many dogs will take some time to get used to big changes.
Your Dog Is Physically Injured or Sick
If your dog is sick or physically injured it is common for them to act sad and to avoid humans. This may cause your dog to lose their appetite or sleep more than they normally do. If you notice your dog walking with a limp or being in discomfort, it is important to call your vet and get your dog looked at.
If you see a noticeable change in your dogs appetite, sleep patterns, or energy levels then it could be a sign that your dog is sick. They could have an upset stomach from something they ate or be struggling with a virus or infection.
These symptoms could also come as a side effect of any medicine they are taking. It is important to always keep an eye on how your dog is acting and take action when you see a noticeable change.
How To Cheer Up A Sad Dog
If you have a sad dog or a pup that isn’t quite acting like themselves, then don’t worry! There are multiple different things you can do to cheer up a sad dog. Below are a few of our favorite things to do to help your dog feel more comfortable and to cheer them up.
Spend Time With Your Dog
It’s possible that your dog is sad and feeling neglected because a change in environment or a new family member such as a new baby in the house. One way to fix this is to spend time bonding with your dog! Take a walk, play fetch in the backyard, or cuddle up on the couch and watch a movie together.
Another great way to spend time with your sad pup is by taking them to doggy daycare or a dog park! Spending time with other dogs can actually help lift their spirits and this a great place for your two to bond and spend time together.
Dogs can be considered companion animals or “pack animals” who value the time they spend with their family. It is important to spend time and bond with your dog when they are sad or feeling down.
Teach Your Dog New Activities
There are dozens of activities and adventures that you can experience with your dogs. And thanks to social media we are able to get new ideas on a daily basis. There are some dogs who have learned how to hike, surf, or even skateboard! Read about Otto the skateboarding dog who holds a Guinness Record for his skating talent. We have seen more and more skateboard brands as well as other adventure sports begin tailoring their content towards dogs because they understand how important it is for most pet parents to spend time with their dogs.
It doesn’t matter what the new activity or adventure is but creating new memories with your dog will help to improve their mood as well as yours! Dogs love new adventures and they love bonding with their family so we highly recommend you think about some new activities or adventures you can go on with your dog.
Spoil Your Dog!
Sometimes it pays off to spoil your dog. If they are sad or feeling down you can think of a few ways to spoil them to help cheer them up. This could be buying them a new toy to play with, giving them a healthy and tasty snack, taking them to a doggy playdate, letting them go for a ride in the car, or doing anything else that you know they will love!
These types of activities can help to improve the mood of your dog if they are feeling down or have been going through a lot lately. It is important to do these types of things sparingly and to not go overboard as your dog might learn to take advantage of this.
You always want your dog to be happy and healthy so mixing up the activity or thinking about different ways to spoil your dog can be healthy for them as long as the activities are healthy and safe options.
Give Them Some Space
Sometimes one of the best things you can do is to give your dog some space. Maybe you just moved to a new home and your dog is struggling to adjust. They might need some constant love but also a little bit of space for them to overcome the changes.
This doesn’t mean you should ignore your dog. And you should always make sure they aren’t sick or in physical pain, but some dogs enjoy some time along to rest and get used to new situations. This will depend on your dog’s personality but it might just help your dog rest and recover.