If your Labrador appears to be sad you might want to know why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of possible reasons why it is sad and what you can do to get it to be less sad.
So, why is my Labrador sad? Possible reasons are that it is depressed, not getting enough exercise, ill, wanting more attention, it has an issue with its diet or it might have been mistreated.
Your Labrador could be being sad for a number of reasons and it could be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the exact reason and there are a number of things to do about it.
Why your Labrador is sad
Each of the different reasons why it is sad will likely come with some clues.
Below are a number of possible causes and what would make them more likely to be the reason.
Dogs can get depression like humans can and it might be the reason why your Labrador has been being sad. This would be more likely if your Labrador started doing it after something happened that might have made it depressed such as an owner or another pet dying or if it started being left alone for a long time.
In this case, it might begin to get better after a few weeks. It would help to give it positive attention throughout the day in the form of training, exercise and by playing with it. If it does not improve then the best option would be to take it to a vet.
Not enough exercise
Labradors are meant to get exercise on a daily basis. When they do not get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and it could be the reason why yours has been being sad. This would be more likely if it becomes happier when it is able to get exercise.
Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day when they are healthy adults. If yours is not getting much exercise, it would help to make sure that it does start to get more.
It could be the case that an illness has been causing it to be sad. This would be more likely if it started being sad suddenly and if it has been showing other symptoms of being ill such as fatigue or vomiting. If it seems like it might be ill, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
The issue could be with its diet. It might be the case that it is eating too much, not enough or that it is eating things that it should not be. An issue with its diet would be more likely if it started being sad after you changed its diet or if it becomes sad on days where you feed it certain things.
It would help to consult with your vet on its diet, to make sure that no one else has been feeding it without telling you and you can read about what to feed it here.
It was mistreated
The cause could be that someone mistreated it. This would be more likely if you adopted it from a shelter. This would be more likely if it started doing it suddenly or if it suddenly changes its behavior when a certain person is around.
How to tell if your Labrador is actually sad
Below are some ways to tell whether or not it is actually sad or it just seems sad.
It eats less
If your Labrador 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
It would also be a sign that it is sad if it suddenly becomes less active. Again, this could also be a sign that it is ill or injured and it would help to take it to a vet.
It avoids you
If your Labrador 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 help to take it to a vet.
Things to consider
What happened when it started being sad
It would help to consider what else happened when it first started being sad since it could be the case that there was an event that occurred that caused it to start doing it.
If it started doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as becoming ill or injured, a sudden change in its diet, becoming depressed or being mistreated.
When it is not sad
It would also help to consider when it is less sad since the timing could also have something to do with it.
For example, if it is less sad on days where it has gotten a lot of exercise it could be a sign that it needs more exercise regularly. Whereas, if it is less sad on your days off from work it could be a sign that it has separation anxiety.
How to get your Labrador to be less sad
Below are some things you can do about your Labrador being sad.
Ensure that its diet is right
As mentioned above, it could be the case that there is an issue with its diet. It would help to make sure that no one else has been feeding it without you knowing and it would help to consult your vet about its diet. You can also look here to see what to feed it.
Take it to a vet
If you cannot figure out why your Labrador has been doing it or it has started doing it suddenly, it would help to take it to the vet for a checkup. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Labrador and to rule out the possibility of it being ill or injured.
Give it exericse
If your Labrador is healthy, it is important to make sure that it is able to get exercise on a daily basis. There are apps you can download that will allow you to find a dog walker in your local area if you can’t always do it yourself.
Give it attention
It would also help to give it attention throughout the day by playing with it, exercising it and training it.
Reward it when it is not sad
It would also help to encourage it to be happy by rewarding it when it shows signs of being happy.
Avoid rewarding the sadness
It would also help to avoid encouraging it to behave in a sad way by avoiding giving it things such as toys, treats or extra attention when it starts being sad. Instead, it would help to reinforce it when it is happy and to try to redirect its behavior when it seems like it is about to start being sad.