Cockapoos and other dog breeds are one group of animals that always seem to be happy to be alive. Cockapoos are known for their boisterous and lively personalities. Not all dogs have the same lust for life, though. You may not have realised it, but just like humans, dogs can suffer from depression. If your dog noticeably looks sad or does not show the same excitement they did before or that you would expect from them, it could be that they are suffering from doggy depression.
Although many cockapoos are very expressive if your dog does not look overtly sad or depressed, how can you tell they are suffering? Below we have put together a list of some of the signs and symptoms associated with canine depression that you should look out for your dog exhibiting.
Has your cockapoo developed any bad habits recently? Behaviours like digging, chewing, and excessive licking are often what cockapoos do when they are feeling stressed.
Much like us humans, when cockapoos are feeling depressed, they do not want to be around anyone. If your dog is always looking for refuge away from the rest of the people and animals in the household, whether it’s underneath a bed or in a closet, this could be a sign they are depressed. Furthermore, if they get frustrated or even take a snap at anyone that tries to engage them, this could be another sign of depression.
Changed Their Eating Habits
Has your dog changed their eating habits? Like humans, when cockapoos and other breeds of dogs are not happy or depressed, they often do not want to eat and may even avoid treats that they have eaten and enjoyed before. On the other hand, again like some humans, depressed dogs sometimes overeat to cope with their stress, anxiety and sadness.
Lost Their Interest
Are you noticing a pattern here? Many of the symptoms of a sad or depressed dog are the same as those of a sad or depressed human. It’s no surprise then that another common sign of doggy depression is your canine buddy being aloof and withdrawn. They often lack interest in being around people or engaging in activities that would normally be considered exciting, fun and enjoyable. Depressed cockapoos are usually very inactive and sleep more than wanting to go for walks and play with toys.
Following on from the above, if your cockapoo has unusual sleeping patterns in that they sleep more than they usually do, rather than doing other activities. This could be a clear sign of doggy depression.
Most Common Reasons Why Cockapoos Are Sad and Depressed
Now that you understand some of the most common signs and symptoms to look out for that may indicate that your dog is depressed, it’s important to look at the potential root causes.
In some instances, cockapoos appear depressed because they are fearful. It could be anything like a strange new scent they have picked up or been in an unfamiliar and unsettling environment. Obviously, dogs are not able to express their emotions in the same way as humans, so a sign they are afraid could be to withdraw from people and normal activities as a way of protecting themselves.
As noted above, cockapoos are not able to communicate directly with us verbally, which often makes it difficult to spot when they are suffering from some kind of chronic pain. Dogs often become depressed because they don’t know how to deal with physical illnesses and injuries they are suffering from. You must keep a close watch on your dog for any signs of disease such as difficulty completing even the simplest tasks, irregular stools, vomiting or a combination.
As is the case with us, their human owners, cockapoos are susceptible to the effects of grief from losing a friend. When another animal or dog in the same household dies, it is not unusual for a dog to become depressed. However, it doesn’t even need to be losing a friend to death. If they never see a neighbourhood friend again, this can cause them to feel depressed. Understandably, if their owner passes away, they can feel depressed too.
Bad weather, especially dull and rainy days, is enough to turn even the cheeriest person miserable. The same can be said for your cockapoo. While a few odd days here and there where the weather is dreary is unlikely to cause your pooch to suffer from depression if there is rain, storms and general dullness over a longer period, it could harm your dog’s mental well-being. There are even some cockapoos that will react badly to the whole season – winter for example.
Like many animals, cockapoos are incredibly sensitive creatures. All it takes sometimes is the smallest change to their normal environment to trigger negative feelings and anxiety. When your dog finds it hard to adapt to these changes it can lead to depression. Some of the most common environmental changes you need to be aware of are:
- The sudden move to a different location, even a change of house could cause depression
- A new baby or new member of the household
- Members of the household living away from home for a long time
- A member of the household moving permanently away or dying
- Even small changes to your dog’s routine can trigger depression.
Perhaps the biggest reason why cockapoos and other species of dogs go through bouts of depression is moving into a new home. When they are first brought into a new environment it can be incredibly stressful for a dog, especially during the first months. Fortunately, this kind of depression will eventually fade away as your new dog becomes available and familiar with their new home. If you feel that your new cockapoo puppy is finding it hard to settle in your home, there are some things you can do to make the process easier for him or her:
- Take your new dog to local dog parks
- Give them lots of potty breaks and potty training
- Provide some interactive toys to keep them distracted and stimulated
- Feed your new dog nutritious treats
- Encourage your dog to socialise
You also need to keep in mind that if your dog has lived elsewhere with a previous owner, they are likely to struggle with a new home. This is usually either because they miss the people who owned them before you or they were abusive.
What Can You Do If You Think Your Dog Is Depressed?
If you are sure that you are seeing the signs of doggy depression in your canine buddy, the first port of call you should make is to the vet. This will help to rule out any physical issues that could be causing it. If, though, your vet agrees that your dog is suffering from a bout of depression, there are several things you can try to combat it.
- Identify and Address Any Potential Triggers – if you can identify the direct cause of the depression your dog is suffering from, you may be able to ease its symptoms by removing the trigger. For instance, if you think your dog is depressed because they are spending a lot of time on its own, you could consider taking him or her to doggy day-care or getting a new dog as a companion.
- Be Patient – Some of the triggers of doggy depression, like environmental changes and grief, can take a while to get through. Exercise patience with your pooch and avoid getting noticeably frustrated.
- Spend Time With Your Dog Doing Fun Activities – one way to beat the doggy blues is by spending time with your cockapoo and doing fun things like going outdoors. The stimulation and fun can make your four-legged friend feel happier. Make time to do the things your dog loves doing, whether that’s going for a run, playing in the garden or socialising with his or her friends.
- Socialise – following nicely from the above, socialising is a key part of a dog’s good health. Letting your dog interact with other humans and other dogs can lift their mood and distract them.
- Modify Behaviours – If your dog’s bout of depression is causing troublesome behaviour, you need to change that behaviour and manage its environment carefully.
When these suggestions don’t, you may need to speak to your vet about prescription medication for your furry friend.