Dog Depression

I have a Cocker Spaniel who until 3 weeks ago was a lively little fella. He now won't get out of bed and sleeps all day - he looks depressed ! You should know that we went on holiday for 2 of those weeks, picked him up on the Fri and then on the Sat moved home from the UK to Amsterdam - arrived yesterday. The only time he looks happy is when I take him for a walk. However it takes ages for him to go to the loo. What can I do? To add to this, we are currently in temporary accommodation and will be moving to our permanent apartment in 3 weeks, so another move for the little fella.

Travel and long periods of time without owners present can be problematic for certain dogs. Some dogs, especially those with very close bonds with their owners, can become depressed while in boarding or while their owners are away. Some dogs react more strongly than others, depending on the dog’s personality and how used to travel and separation that they are. The uncertainty of their new surroundings can lead to the dog feeling anxious or fearful, and can also lead to depression and decreases in appetite and water intake. Stress can also make dogs show signs of illness that have previously not been uncovered. Dogs are very stoic creatures and underlying health issues may not come to light until after a period of stress, such as moving or boarding.  Spending more time with your dog can make them feel more secure after a period of being away.  Go for frequent walks, play with a favourite toy and brush them daily.  Sometimes a little extra TLC will help those blues go away.

Keep in mind that during and after travel, some dogs can become dehydrated. Any time your dog seems excessively lethargic or not themselves, it is necessary to see a veterinarian as soon as possible. A physical examination can determine if dehydration or another issue is a factor in the behavior change.