Behind the small frame of a Dachshund, there lies a big personality. Highly inquisitive, these dogs want to know everything and happily roam around. They are happy to spend with the family and love to play with owners. However, the lack of attention, the absence of mental stimulation, and health problems may cause depression in Dachshunds.
Major changes in life or distressing events can cause depression in Dachshunds. A depressed Doxie exhibits behavioral changes following alterations in his emotional state. This leads to a number of changes in your dog, including
- decreased appetite
- sleeping more hours than usual
- looks disoriented and disinterested
- becomes a sad dog and prefers avoidance
- excessive paw licking
- sudden aggression
- regression in housetraining
Depression in Dachshunds needs the urgent attention of owners. Unless it is treated early, it may cause psychological problems, making your dog a threat to family members and strangers. However, it is important to know the root cause of depression in order to address it effectively and help your pet recover quickly. Unless you find out the context, it is difficult to bring back your dog to normalcy. Here are some important factors that can contribute to depression in these happy and motivated dogs.
Lack of Attention Causes Depression in Dachshunds
Doxies are attention seekers and love to be with their families all the time. They tend to become depressed when owners fail to give adequate attention.
Depression in Dachshunds is likely when you leave them alone for long hours. Even the absence of human contact or failure to play with your dog may lead to depressive disorder in these dogs. They may not be able to keep their mind stimulated and begin to feel the pinch of anxiety. This state of mind has a bearing on the interest in physical activities and the dog remains withdrawn. A depressed Doxie even begins to ignore activities previously he was excited to engage in.
To counter such depressive disorder from affecting your Doxy, you should spend quality time with him. Ensure that he has easy access to you and other family members. Do a few things they like, such as patting, brushing, or a hug every time you return home from the office. But don’t force him to do anything he resists. Even you may hire a dog walker or leave him with a friend he likes when you remain out of station for a few days at a stretch.
Depression Sets in When Your Doxy Does Not Get Enough Exercise
Obesity could be a reason for depression in Dachshunds. As your dog grows fat, he may have limited movement and this contributes to his social isolation. Weight increases the risk of joint pain and health disorders that may worsen the depressive disorder.
The absence of adequate exercise results in your dog not getting enough physical and mental stimulation. He may not get an outlet to release the pent-up energy or showcase his natural instincts. As a result, he becomes stressed out, and this influences his behavior and interests. This aggravates as he gets less exposure to new smells, sights, and sounds affecting his socialization.
Draw up an exercise plan considering the age, workout need, energy level, and fitness of your dog. Take him on morning and evening walks along with you. Let him play at least for 20 to 30 minutes outside everyday under your supervision.
The Surrounding and Depression in Dachshunds
The environment at home is a deciding factor in causing depression in your pets. A dog unable to adjust to the ever-changing and unpredictable situations may suffer from anxiety and stress, which could set the tone for depressive behavior in the long term.
A Doxy may also suffer from depression when it affects his owner or loved ones. Being intelligent, Dachshunds can easily guess the mood of their loved ones. If you are happy, he stays jovial. If you are sad, he tends to feel low. He may not expect proper attention from a cheerless owner. This forces him into depression. The death of a family member or another pet has a depressing effect on your dog.
Owners need to proactively deal with such depression in Dachshunds. They need to tend to their emotional needs and make sure the dog overcomes the tragic shock quickly. Get a new pet to give your dog company and bond with him more.
Behavior Correction May Lead to Depression in Dachshunds
Forced behavior correction puts your dog at the risk of depression. Punishment to stop the unwanted behavior by a dog may create a fear psychosis in him. He feels vulnerable to punishments and stops behaving to avert any negative situation. Such withdrawal prevents his natural instincts from expressing themselves and stress builds up in his mind, causing depression.
To avoid such depression in Dachshunds, you must stop punishing your dog. It is better to reward good behavior than to punish a dog for bad habits.
Depression in Dachshunds and Medical Problems
There are some medical conditions that may lead to depression symptoms, such as appetite alteration, change in the sleep pattern, disorientation, and unusual withdrawal, in your dog. Hypoglycemia, arthritis, thyroid issues, diabetes, and even cancer cause a dog to exhibit depression signs. Dogs with pain often go into depression quickly. Dental problem is another important cause.
Events That May Contribute to Depression in Dachshunds
- Sudden changes in life leading to distress
- Loss of companion
- Change of house or place
- Birth of a new baby in the family
- Alterations in the daily routine that the dog is unable to cope with
- Traumatic accidents
- Sudden grief in the family