In this article, we’ll discuss common doodle dog depression symptoms and how to be aware of potential causes of depression.
The best strategies for helping your doodle feel better both short-term and long-term.
As a doodle owner, you want the best for your furry friend. But have you noticed your doodle seems a bit down lately?
Acting anxious, hiding more, or not wanting to go on walks? Unfortunately, doodles can suffer from anxiety and depression, just like humans.
Their mental health and happiness are just as vital as their physical health. The good news is there are several things you can do to help boost your doodle dog‘s mood.
With love, support, patience, and the right treatment plan, you can get your doodle goofy and wagging its tail again in no time.
Keep reading to learn more. What to do to get them back to their playful, energetic self.
What Are the Causes of Depression in Doodles?
The following are the common causes of depression in doodle dogs.
Some doodles may be born with a predisposition to depression. Breeding lines where depression is common tend to produce more depressed dogs.
Lack of Exercise or Play
Doodles are energetic, social animals and need daily activity and interaction. Without exercise and play, they can become bored, lonely, and depressed.
Lack of Social Interaction
These dogs thrive on human companionship and bonding with their owners or families. Isolated or ignored doodle dogs are much more likely to become depressed.
Stress or Trauma
Difficult life events like injury, moving to a new home, losing a family member, losing a canine buddy, or being mistreated can trigger depression in Doodles.
An underlying health problem can sometimes manifest as depression or make symptoms of depression worse. Having your vet examine your doodle to rule out any medical causes.
Why Are Doodles Prone to Anxiety?
Doodles, like Goldendoodles and Labradoodles, are prone to depression and anxiety for a few reasons.
They are very social dogs and crave human interaction and bonding. They can become sad and anxious without enough quality time with their owners.
Doodles have high energy levels and need daily exercise and activity. Lack of physical stimulation can lead to restlessness, frustration, and even depression in dogs.
Aim for at least one long walk or jog, play session, or trip to the dog park daily to keep your furry friend physically and mentally engaged.
These dogs were bred as companion dogs and thrived on having a job or task to do.
Giving them interactive dog toys, teaching them commands and tricks to practice, or even essential agility.
Search and rescue training are great ways to challenge them mentally and boost their confidence and mood.
Change in environment or routine can upset your furry friend. Also, changes in feeding and sleep routines can trigger anxiety and depression.
When changes do happen, give your dog extra love and attention to help them feel secure.
Diagnosing Depression in Your Doodle
Some common symptoms of depression in dogs include:
Noticeable Changes in Behavior
Doodles with depression may show changes in their behavior in the following ways.
- Lack of interest in activities or social interaction. Depressed doodles often seem apathetic in activities they usually enjoy, like walks, playing, grooming, or eating.
- Changes in appetite or sleep patterns. They may sleep more often, eat less or less, or not.
- Excessive whining, barking, or destructive behavior. Seeming withdrawn, less engaged, or affectionate.
- It appears more anxious, fearful, or irritable for no reason.
- Poor concentration
- Acting more clingy or needy for attention and affection.
- Excessive licking and scratching.
The following are the common physical symptoms of depression in doodle dogs.
- Lack of energy.
- Flattening of ears.
- Weight loss or gain.
- Gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea, constipation, or vomiting.
- Skin problems due to excessive licking or scratching.
What To Do If You Suspect Your Doodle Has Depression
Before assuming your doodle dog has anxiety or depression, take them to the vet for a checkup. Many medical issues can cause dog behavior changes, so you will want to rule those out.
Infections, injuries, organ problems, or other illnesses may be the culprit. If your vet gives your doodle a clean bill of health, then anxiety or depression is more likely.
Keep Records and Monitor Your Dog
Start keeping a journal to record your doodle’s symptoms, moods, behaviors, sleep, and eating patterns. Note the frequency, intensity, and duration.
Look for any triggers or patterns. This information will help your vet accurately diagnose the issue and determine the best treatment. Take videos or photos of any concerning behaviors to show your vet.
Seek Professional Help
If you suspect any signs of depression, consult with your vet, as medication or therapy may be needed.
Your vet can properly diagnose the condition, determine the underlying cause and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.
This may include medication, behavior modification training, environmental changes, or alternative therapies like massage or acupuncture.
With the right treatment and your patience, your furry friend can start to feel better.
Treatment Options for Doodle Dog Depression
The following are treatment options for doodle depression.
Behavioral therapy, such as positive reinforcement training, can help improve your doodle dog’s mood and reduce symptoms of depression.
Reward and praise your dog when they seem happy or playful. Give them treats and extra playtime when your doodle shows interest in toys or activities again.
Behavioral therapy helps make positive behaviors more rewarding so your dog will want to continue and increase them.
Many dog behaviorists recommend talk therapy or counseling for anxious or depressed dogs.
You can talk to your dog gently, reassuringly about their anxious thoughts and help ease their worries. Let them know they are safe and secure.
While they may not understand your exact words, your calm, loving tone can help make them feel better
Increase Exercise and Training
Getting your doodle dog more exercise and playtime can boost their mood and ease depression.
Take your doodle for longer walks, go to a dog park to play with other dogs, or engage in more active play at home.
Exercise releases endorphins that naturally improve mood and act as a stress reliever. 10-15 minutes a day can be a game changer.
Basic training or learning new tricks is excellent mental stimulation for doodles and can take their mind off of anxious thoughts.
Teach them commands like “sit,” “stay,” or “come,” or fun tricks like “roll over,” “shake,” or “speak.” Make training sessions short, fun, and rewarding.
Mental stimulation and bonding with you will help brighten their mood.
Sticking to a Routine
Establishing a regular feeding, walking, play, and sleep schedule or routine can have a therapeutic effect on a depressed doodle dog.
Having predictable times for meals, exercise, training or grooming, and sleep gives dogs a sense of security and stability.
Disrupting your dog’s routine can intensify symptoms of depression or anxiety. So, be sure to get your doodle back on a familiar routine as much as possible.
For severe or persistent depression in doodles that does not improve with other treatments, anxiety medication may provide relief.
Medications are available for dogs but should only be given under guidance from your vet.
Anti-anxiety meds for dogs work by altering chemical levels in the brain to ease symptoms. Medication, combined with behavioral and environmental changes, can effectively treat depression.
How to Improve Your Doodle’s Emotional Well-Being
To help improve your furry friend’s emotional well-being and help them live a better life, here are some tips:
Spend Quality Time with Your Doodle
Doodles are companion animals and need lots of interaction and bonding time with their owners.
You will want to set aside time to spend quality one-on-one time with your dog each day with activities.
Activities like belly rubs, ear scratches, cuddling, walking together, and playing with toys like balls or puzzles. You can also bond with your furry friend during grooming time.
Provide Reassurance and Affection
You will want to give your dog extra love and reassurance if it seems particularly anxious or upset. Speak in a soft, gentle tone, cuddle, and hold them.
Your affection will help ease their distress and remind them they are safe. With time and consistency, their anxiety should subside.
Without adequate attention and affection from their owners, doodles can become sad, anxious and develop separation anxiety.
Doodles are friendly, playful, intelligent, and loyal pets that make great family companions.
They are affectionate dogs that like to bond with their owners. This means they can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone.
Doodles with depression may show noticeable changes in behavior and physical symptoms like weight loss. If you suspect any signs of depression, see your vet.