If your dog has suddenly started being sad you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. In this post, I will show you common causes of why dogs can suddenly start being sad and what you can do to get it to be happier.
So, why is my dog sad suddenly? Possible reasons why your dog is sad suddenly are being stressed or depressed, illness, injury, boredom, a change in its diet or daily routine, feeling left out, being in a new environment or someone mistreating it.
There are actually many reasons why it might be acting sad suddenly and it might be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are many things you can do about it.
Why is my dog sad suddenly?
Below are common reasons why dogs can start being sad suddenly and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours has been doing it.
Stress or depression
The reason why it has been doing it might be that something has recently caused it to become stressed or depressed. This would be more likely if it started acting sad after an event occurred that might have caused it to get stressed. Such events could include an owner or another pet dying, another pet being added to the family or moving homes.
In this case, it should improve over the course of a few days or weeks. It would help to give it positive attention in the form of training, exercise and by playing with it. If it does not improve, it would help to get help from a vet or dog behaviorist.
Illness or injury
Another possible cause could be that it has gotten an illness or injury. This would be more likely if it has also been showing other signs of being ill or injured such as vomiting, being fatigued when awake, limping or crying. If it seems like it might be ill or injured, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
If your dog recently misbehaved and you got mad at it, your dog might be acting sad because it is actually being submissive. This would be more likely if it has been trying to avoid you, if it has been showing other signs of submissive behavior and if it has been sulking.
Dogs are generally meant to get exercise on a daily basis. When dogs do not get enough exercise, it can cause them to behave abnormally and it might be why yours has been being sad. This would be more likely if it has started doing it since getting less exercise.
If it is healthy, it would help to make sure that it is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.
A change in its daily routine
Dogs generally like having a consistent daily routine and it can cause them to act sad when their daily routine gets disrupted. This might be the reason why yours has been acting sad. This would be more likely if it has started doing it since a change in its daily routine. Changes could include walking it at a different time, feeding it at a different time or waking up at a different time.
Feeling left out
The cause might also be that it has been feeling left out. This would be more likely if you recently got a new pet, you have been away from home a lot lately or if you have been giving it less attention than usual.
A new environment
If you recently adopted your dog or moved homes, it could be the case that it is unsure of its new environment. In this case, it should begin to improve over the course of a few weeks or months. It would help to give it positive attention in the form of training, exercise and play. If it does not improve it would help to get the help of a vet or dog behaviorist.
A change in its diet
Another possible cause could be that there is an issue with its diet. It could be the case that it has been eating things that it should not, it has been eating too much or too little or it has not been getting the right nutrients in its diet. This would be more likely if it has started behaving that way since a change in its diet or if it recently ate something it shouldn’t have.
The cause could be that someone mistreated it. This would be more likely if it avoids certain people or if you know that someone was recently aggressive towards it.
In this case, it would help to ensure that it is not put in a position where it might be mistreated again and to give it positive attention regularly. If its behavior does not improve over the course of days or weeks, it would help to get help from a dog behaviorist.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when trying to figure out why it has been acting sad.
What else happened when your dog started acting sad
It would help to consider what else happened when it first started acting that way since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.
Things that might have happened could include:
- A change in its diet
- It started getting less exercise
- It started showing signs of being ill such as vomiting
- Someone was aggressive towards it
- You started leaving it alone for long periods
- If an owner left home or passed away
- You got a new pet
What time your dog has been acting sad
If there is a certain time that it tends to be sadder, it would also help to consider what is different at the time that it tends to be sad.
For example, if it does it more when it does not get exercise, it would be more likely to be due to a lack of exercise. Whereas, if it does it at around the same time that you leave home, it might be due to separation anxiety.
If it has been acting sad constantly, it would make it more likely to be due to illness, injury, something it ate, being fearful, stress or depression. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
How to tell if your dog is actually sad
It might be the case that your dog seems to be sad but it actually isn’t. Below are some ways to tell whether or not it is actually sad or it just seems sad.
It eats less
If your dog has started eating less suddenly, it could be because something has been causing it to be depressed. It could also be because it has become ill. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
It is less active
Another sign that it is sad would be if it has suddenly started being less active. This could also be a sign that it is ill or injured so, again, it would be best to take it to a vet.
It avoids you
If your dog has suddenly started avoiding you it would also be a sign that it is sad or depressed. However, it might be the case that it does it due to being fearful if you have been aggressive towards it.
It’s displaying compulsive behaviors
Suddenly displaying compulsive behaviors such as constantly licking itself would also be a sign that it is sad or that something is causing it to be stressed. In this case, it would be the best option to take it to a vet.
How to get my dog to be less sad?
Below are some things you can do about your dog being sad.
Take it to a vet
If it has been showing signs of being ill or injured, it has been being very sad or it is concerning for you, the best option would be to take it for a checkup with the vet. By doing so, you should be able to rule out medical causes and to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog.
Give it exercise
If it is healthy, it would help to make sure that it is able to get the recommended daily amount of exercise for its breed and age.
Avoid punishing it
It would also help to avoid punishing it since it might be contributing to the behavior. Instead, it would help to train it with the use of positive reinforcement training, to reward it when it shows signs of not being sad and to try to redirect its focus when it seems likely to start being sad.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
It might be the case that you have encouraged the behavior by giving it things it wants when it acts sad. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention when it acts sad, it might have learned that acting that way results in it getting rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it shows signs of not being sad, to give it positive reinforcement training and to give it attention throughout the day.
Get help from a dog behaviorist
If you cannot get it to stop being sad, another option would be to get help from a dog behaviorist. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to see why it has been behaving that way.
Ensure that it is getting the right diet
It would also help to make sure that it has been getting the right diet, that it does not have access to things that it shouldn’t be eating and that no one else has been feeding it without you knowing.
Give it attention
It would also help to give it attention throughout the day by exercising it, training it and playing with it.
Why is my dog sad and not eating?
If your dog is sad and not eating, it could be due to health problems or depression. In this case, the best option would be to take your dog to a vet for a checkup.
Why is my dog sad after a haircut?
If your dog is sad after going to the groomers, it is likely to be because it can be quite a stressful experience for dogs and it can exhaust them. It is likely that your dog is actually tired due to the stimulation from the haircut. If your dog also cries or whines after the haircut, it could also be because your dog was feeling stressed and is letting you know.
Why is my dog sad for no apparent reason?
If your dog seems to be sad for no apparent reason, it could be due to things such as illness, not getting enough exercise, not eating the right diet, your dog misses someone or feeling left out. However, it could also be the case that your dog is not actually sad which would be more likely if your dog has been behaving normally in other ways.
Why is my dog sad all the time?
If your dog seems to be sad all the time, it could be the case that your dog is hungry, ill, depressed, not being able to sleep properly or misses an owner who recently left. It might also be the case that your dog is not actually sad but just behaves that way naturally. In this case, it would help to consult with a vet so that you can get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog.