You can always tell when your dog is happy, right: wagging tails and excited, playful barking speak for themselves? But it’s not so easy to tell why your pooch is sad or even depressed. Let’s try to figure out the most common reasons your fluffy friend might be upset.
TIMESTAMPS You haven’t set a daily routine and rules for your dog 0:25 You like to dress up your dog 1:17 You use words more than body language 2:01 You tease your pet 2:55 You pull on your dog’s leash 3:29 You don’t take your dog’s fear of water seriously 4:58 You hug your dog 5:30 You yell at your dog 6:15 You don’t play with your dog enough. 7:05 You leave your pet alone. 7:54 You let strangers pet your dog. 10:34 You’re depressed. 9:15
SUMMARY Dogs want, and even need, rules to follow! Consistency makes the world predictable to them, so they become more confident and less stressed. It’s OK to put a sweater or a coat on your dog during walks if you have a toy breed or a breed with short hair. Your best bet is a blend of washable wool and cotton or acrylic. They rely on your body language to try to figure out how you feel or what you think. Remember this: what’s funny for a human, can be hurtful and offensive for an animal. Your dog can not only read your body language, but also the leash tension levels. When you pull it, you signal that you're tense, nervous, or on alert, causing stress. Most dogs love swimming in the open water because it makes them feel free. However, even breeds that love swimming in lakes, lying in puddles, and running through lawn sprinklers might hate taking baths. Dr. Alexandra Horowitz has pointed out the typical signs of a dog feeling uncomfortable during a hug: ears pinned back, lip licking, yawning, and trying to get away. Dogs are afraid of loud sounds and can’t understand what you want from them. If you’re unhappy with your dog’s behavior, take a certain pose of your choosing, and make an upset facial expression. Your pet needs to release its energy, and if you can’t help with this, it’ll find its own way. And you won’t like it. Playing with your dog is important. Spend as much time as possible with it when you’re home. Follow a precise schedule. Veterinary behaviorist Dr. Ilana Reisner explains that your dog’s character or mood can be different, and even the most sociable and kind dog can be reactive. If you’ve noticed that your dog is sad, pay attention to your own state of mind. Your pet feels your mood, and if you feel bad, your dog can become depressed too.