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September 15, 2010

Do Dogs Get Depressed?

I've wondered about dog depression on the odd occasion. Mostly because it seems sometimes our first "son", Mojo gets depressed. He looks all pathetic and mopes around the house. He sighs a lot and seems generally unenthusiastic about things.

His favourite thing to do is go for walks, especially if we take him to the doggie park where he can chase his ball. But during his bouts of what I sometimes think is depression, on walks he turns into a big jerk and doesn't listen and can be somewhat belligerent.

I found out that like humans, dogs do occasionally suffer from bouts of depression. They get lethargic, stop eating, and drink only minimal amounts of water, stop wanting to play, and even lose drastic amounts of weight.

I wonder what could cause this in our normally, happy-go-lucky Mojo. Could it be a change of scenery? We moved from his happy home in McKenzie to a new home in Auburn Bay where for a long time he had no yard. Being a new neighbourhood it had no mature trees, grass and bushes to sniff and pee on. But that was almost three years ago now. Although he doesn't know it now, we are looking at doing it all over again in November when we move to Mahogany. Sorry Momo!

Could it be a chemical imbalance, needing medication to correct it? Well I'm pretty sure I would never ask a vet to prescribe doggie Prozac. I'm a strong believer that drugs is never the answer!

Apparently even the weather can adversely affect a normally happy dog! Which is a likely possibility, especially with the past couple of summers we've had.

I really wonder though if it has something to do with Mrs. Nate and I bringing new members into the family. When Mojo came home as a puppy it was only him and our three cats, Sneaky, Monster and Mr. Goo. Since then, both Sneaky and Monster have passed away and we have since adopted Oscar (dog #2) and two more cats, Chloe and Burberry. Everytime we bring in a new pet, it changes up his routine for meal times and walks. I really think he doesn't like the change and he especially doesn't like the new family members taking our attention away from him.

So then is Mojo just spoiled?

Now some people believe dogs are just dogs and we as pet guardians tend to humanize them too much. I know Mrs. Big Nate and I are guilty of this because we do look at all our pets as our children.

So perhaps, we are just causing these feelings of angst in our Mojo by the way we treat him and the other animals in the house.

Don't worry Mojo, you are still Mommy and Daddy's favourite! I know we're not supposed to pick favourites but he is our very first puppy and he really is a good boy!

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