Depressed dog

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Hi peeps.

What can I do to help my dog Sam. He seems very depressed and doesn’ want to go for any walks or go out for a drive which he loved. I do have a ramp for him to get in and out of. I know he hates the rain. Was wondering if I should get a essential oil burner and some oils to try and lift his mood. Any advice please

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Firstly, poor Sam! Has he been diagnosed with arthritis or any other medical conditions? If he does have arthritis, what treatments are you currently using? If he is painful this would certainly contribute to a low mood.

As for essential olis- there is some evidence for their use in dogs.. There is a product called Pet Remedy which you can spray or use as a plug in diffuser which may help. Be warned, it has a slight smell when you first use it but it wares off after a while! In humans, Lemongrass is one of the essential oils thought to make a big difference to patients with depression.. May be worth a try? With anything like this make sure your dog can’t lick it!

Other things to consider would be introducing “brain games” so perhaps scent work, use of feeding toys or teaching new tricks. Spending time doing anything with your dog shouldn’t be overlooked!!

You could also try bringing the outside world to him! It may sound silly but take a walk and pick up some branches, rocks, leaves… anything that will smell to Sam like it doesn’t come from his garden. Scatter them about in the garden and let him explore!

Anyone have any ideas of games they have tried with their less mobile dogs?

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Hi DizzyLizzy,

I’m sorry to hear too that Sam is feeling down. I would second Kathryn’s questions around having an accurate diagnosis and any treatments he is currently on. Also brain games such as activity and snuffle mats, games of hide and seek (using cups under which you hide treats is low intensity). I’ve also seen a homemade game where 2-3 empty plastic bottles are strung on a string that is suspended between 2 poles. Treats are put in the bottles and the dog has to work out how to get them by flipping the bottles over.

It may be that changing his pain medication may help also.

Hope fully we will get more drier weather spells soon. It has been a long winter this year!


Warm wishes,


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