My Dog Appears Depressed
Is This Possible?
Can Cocker Spaniels Become Depressed?
We have just lost a 1 year old cat - my Cocker and my cat were great friends.
My spaniel is not eating, it seems she just wants to sleep - she can't be bothered getting excited about anything.
There is nothing like taking your dog for a walk and having to carry her home!
She is drinking, weeing and has the odd bowel motion which appear fine.
I'll check anal glands later today.
Reply from Pauline (Web Owner)
Hello Rachel, Yes, dogs can suffer from depression and there can be many causes, however, it sounds like your cocker is mourning the loss of her little friend, the cat.
I'm sorry, but I smiled a little when you mentioned carrying her back from a walk...I could just picture it in my head. We'd do anything for our dogs, wouldn't we?
All I can recommend is probably what you're doing already.
Give her lots of attention and cuddles to take her mind off her little friend.
Keep her occupied if you can, even if that means giving her a few extra tasty treats (you can always walk it off when she's better). Try stuffing a Kong with pieces of poached liver and chicken, or a chopped hot-dog - this can keep her occupied for quite a while.
Take her through some puppy obedience training again. When she gets it right, reward her with a treat.
Play some puppy games with her - my Cocker still loves hide and seek!
The training and puppy games will help to stimulate and occupy her mind - it may take her mind off your cat for a little while.
Reward her when she shows enthusiasm for anything - reward her positive behaviours.
If all else fails, and your dog is still behaving as though she's depressed, you might want to take her to see her vet, just to rule out ill health.
If the vet confirms that your dog is depressed, he or she may prescribe medication to help with your dog's depression.
I hope your Cocker is over her loss very soon - please let us know how she gets on.