Activities For A Gloomy Dog

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Introduction

Every once in a while, life deals a hard blow to those we love; even our furry friends from time to time. Whether it is from a loss of a companion or a sickness that may be getting them down, even the happy-go-lucky dogs of life can experience a bought of sadness. Of course, when this happens, we want to do all we can to get them back on their paws and happy again in no time. But what is the best way to actually accomplish this when dogs don't understand things the same way that people do? Thankfully, there are quite a few methods out there that can really help to boost your pup's spirits. One of the most important ones is to spend more time with your dog to let them know how loved they are. Check out some of the suggestions below to see what you can do in that time to aid in healing your puppy's heart.

Essential Oils

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0 Votes
Any Day
Free
Easy
20 min
Items needed
Certified Essential Oils
Carrier Oil (Olive, Coconut)
Activity description
Essential oils are a sometimes misunderstood option that truly helps to bring balance to the body, both mentally and physically. With research, you may be able to discover the perfect oils or oil blends that can not only help your sad dog feel happier, but also balance out any other issues such as an upset gut or balance issue. Of course, this is not to say that these oils "treat" any ailments, they simply help to improve the problems and provide some relief to whoever uses them. When considering this option for your pet, it is always a good idea to do a lot of research and consult your veterinarian for advice before moving forward.
Step
1
Research
As mentioned above, it is important to research essential oils and their uses before applying to your pet, as they are a very concentrated substance that needs to be diluted before using on animals. This is just to ensure that the amount won't be too overwhelming and your dog can receive the benefits of whatever oil is best for them, safely. A few excellent oils, for instance, that do wonderfully for depression or anxiety are oils such as Lavender and an oil blend called "Serenity" by DoTerra oils. There are many others, like Frankincense (which is considered the king of all oils) that would work great for any ailment that your pup has. But again, always research first and speak with your vet before trying anything new.
Step
2
Dilute
Once you have researched and found the perfect oil for your dog's needs, the next step is to dilute. Because a dog's immune system is slightly different than ours, they are more strongly influenced by the strength of the essential oils. So, it is important to dilute with a carrier oil; which is an oil such as Olive, Avocado, or Coconut. The general rule of thumb is to dilute according to the weight of your dog. So for instance, a dog that is 0-25 lbs would need a 75% dilution rate (1 drop of EO to 4 drops of carrier oil), while a dog that is 151+ lbs will only need 0-25% dilution rate (4 drops of EO to 1 drop of carrier oil). Your veterinarian can clarify this for you.
Step
3
Apply
After the preceding steps are completed, it is now time to apply the oil to the appropriate locations. Typically, the best place to apply the oil mixture is on the dog's paw pads as the feet link to many other places in the body directly. You simply dab a cotton ball into the oil and apply, or feel free to use your fingers if you would like. It's completely safe! Be sure to monitor your pet and if you notice any odd symptoms, you can remove the oil with plain carrier oil and check in with your vet to make sure that all is well. Essential oils can work wonders in the lives of those who use them, but it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to research and dilute before applying anything to your beloved best friend.
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Soak Up Sunshine

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Waste Bags
Activity description
Sometimes the best medicine that we can give to our sad dogs is some good old vitamin D. Dogs were originally intended to run wild and free under the sun and drink in all the fresh air without a care in the world. If their sadness is related to seasonal changes, a large loss, sickness, or perhaps just not getting outside enough, then there a few good ways to not only spend time with them, but also provide some extra sunshine to help boost their mood. Head outside with your pet, displaying a positive attitude that is sure to rub off on them.
Step
1
Take a walk
A long walk is really good for the soul as it allows your dog to see some new scenery, soak in the sunshine, and get lots of fresh air. They may even meet some new friends along the way that prompt a spark of happiness into their day. This type of walk (at least 1-2 miles) is perfect as it will also help to tire your pup out so they can get plenty of rest; which is also great medicine for the soul.
Step
2
Visit a park
Perhaps, while on your walk, you may come across a lovely park. Here would be a wonderful opportunity to spend some one on one time with your dog. It doesn't really matter what you do here, whether your play ball or simply sit and pat your pup, there is no doubt that spending time outside in the sun with their favorite person will help to boost your dog's mood in some way. If not, then perhaps you can have a friend bring over their dog to help encourage a game of chase. This interaction could be the perfect medicine if your pet has recently lost a close companion as it could help distract them and bring an extra boost of fun into their day.
Step
3
Have a picnic
While this activity runs along the same lines as visiting a park, it also includes an intriguing little treat for your sad pup. If you go on a picnic, not only will you be getting lots of fresh air and sunshine, but you can also pack some of their favorite treats and goodies! Hopefully, this will help to boost your dog's interest in what is around them once again and encourage them to eat if they haven't been. Know what your dog really loves (whether that is tempting training treats, fresh meats, or even fruits and vegetables) and bring that along on your picnic; with goodies for yourself as well, of course.
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Introduce a New Friend

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Dog Friend
Doggy Daycare
Leash
Activity description
One of the best cures for a sad mind are distraction and interaction! If your pup has recently experienced a loss of a pup pal or simply seems more down the usual due to inactivity, there are a couple of great ways to get them out and playing with new doggies. While this may solve the problem, it is important to watch your dog and how they are interacting with the others. If they seem timid the entire time or show signs of stress (such as yawning or excessive licking of the lips and nose) then the extra activity may be too much for them at this point in time. If so, you can go back to more of the calmer suggestions mentioned up above and work your way towards interacting with other dogs once more.
Step
1
Set the date
If you are meeting with a friend, then you'll want to pick a date that works well for the two of you to meet up. Whether that is for a small day meet up or an actual, weekend getaway, it doesn't matter! Just be sure to have plenty of time to accomplish what you set out to do; get your dogs together for some fun and mood-boosting good times. A few great suggestions to do in this scenario are a hike, dog park, or camping trip (depending on how your dog is feeling).
Step
2
Find the right place
If you are going to go to a doggy daycare in order to get your dog lots of interaction time, you will want to do research for what is in your area in order to find the perfect place. Everyone's needs will differ, but as your pet is suffering from the gloomies, you may want to talk to a few of the daycare owners to discover what they offer and how well they monitor or care for the dogs. Obviously no matter how your dog is feeling, you want them to be watched by people who care and will keep them safe, but since your pet will need some extra attention, it is important to make sure the owners/caregivers know that and are willing to do what it takes to help your fur-baby feel safe and secure in their environment.
Step
3
Read the signs
As mentioned before, you want to watch how your dog interacts with others initially. If they are doing fine and just seem a bit timid, give it a bit of time and see how things play out. However, you don't want them to develop defensive tendencies such as aggression. So if you notice that your dog is getting aggressive, licking their lips often, or yawning often, it may be best to take them out of the high energy area of all the other dogs and let them slowly warm up to it in time. Their health is the most important thing in this situation, and perhaps interaction won't be the number one fix right away. Keep an eye on them and speak with your vet if you have any concerns about what to do to help.
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More Fun Ideas...

Switch Up the Diet

If you notice that your dog is not eating as well as they used to or perhaps are not interested in their food, then it may be a good idea to speak with your vet about some alternative diet options. Perhaps your dog's down mood is coming from a lack of something in their diet. Or, they may just be bored of it. Whatever the case may be, sometimes a change is all it takes to get your dog feeling great again, so it doesn't hurt to do some research and consider a few different options.

Get New Toys

Switching up scents and playthings around your dog's environment can be a great way to stimulate them when they feel gloomy. Perhaps take your pup to the store and let them pick out their own toy if they are feeling well enough to do so. If not, then you can have a good time finding them goodies like a new bed, fun squeaky toys, and bones; whatever it takes to get that little tail wagging again.

Receive Medical Attention

If all else fails and you feel that your dog needs extra medical help to feel happy again, your vet will be able to help with that. Considering all the tests come back positive and your pup has acceptable blood work results, then they may be able to get medicines such as Prozac and Zoloft, which are known to help with depression. Before going this route, however, it may be wise to go to a few behavioral experts first to see if things can be resolved that way. It may help your dog learn to cope with whatever may be troubling them (such as a new baby, puppy, recent loss, or move) and help them to overcome that gloomy feeling without the aid of medicine.

Conclusion

Even though down days can really be a bummer, it is amazing what just a little bit of tender loving care can do to help boost the spirits. Some of the most common reasons why a dog may feel gloomy come from big changes in their life, such as a new baby in the house, a new puppy, the loss of a companion, or moving to a new location. For those dogs that are even more sensitive, things like a diet issue or simple lack of sleep can cause a gloomy disposition. Because of this, it is important to watch your dog's behavior, do your research, and perhaps try a few behavioral classes above all else. While it may be something serious enough to need medication to resolve, other times just a bit of extra attention and reassurance that your dog is still loved even in the face of all these changes, is just what the doctor ordered! So remember to give lots of loves and pets, and maybe even some special snacks for good measure. Hopefully this will help to get your peppy pup pal back to feeling their bubbly self in no time.