Many of us Michiganders know what it’s like to feel blue during the long, gray winters.

Well, just like humans, pets have a range of emotions – including depression. Read on to discover how to recognize the signs, and reasons for your pup’s sadness.

Some studies have shown that pets can actually become depressed when their owners use their smartphones too much. For dogs especially, they thrive on pleasing their owners, needing their attention and approval to feel loved and not neglected, similar to children. 

If your pet is sleeping more than usual, has a lack of appetite, is no longer interested in playing or going for walks, or whining/ whimpering more, these could all be signs of depression. 

Pets experience depression instantly after changes in their surroundings, such as an owner getting a new job or a member of their family moving away, or passing away. This is because dogs are pack animals and get upset when a member of their pack is no longer around.

Similar to human depression, there are many things to do to ease your pet’s blues. For pets,

encouraging exercise, rewarding with treats, or offering to go outside and play with them/bond can pull them out of their sadness. Animals take in a lot of our emotions, so just being positive around them and with them helps improve their moods as well. 

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local pet store if you have questions on this or any pet related topic.