My Dog Appears Depressed
Is This Possible?

by Rachel
(New Zealand)

Can Cocker Spaniels Become Depressed?

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.

Kind regards,

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Is This Possible?

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Changed Dog

Sophie is doing much better now. Other family members returned home last week. Tail began to wag.
Returned to eating. Eyes are looking brighter.

Walking has been better, not quite 100% but we are getting there.

Thank you for your kind comments.

Depressed Dog
by: Anonymous

Yes, it's possible for dogs to become depressed.

My Cocker, Darcy, became depressed when we lost our lifelong pet, Dillon, last year. It took Darcy nearly 4 weeks to perk up.

He didn't seem to be interested in anything - and believe me we tried everything we could possible think of.

He wandered around the house and yard, looking so lost and dejected. All he seemed to want to do was sleep and lie around.

He's fine now though, he did lose a little weight, but that's all back on now that he's got his (healthy!) appetite back.

Don't worry, your dog will be fine - it just takes a little time.

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