Activities For Heartbroken Dogs

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Introduction

Losing a canine friend or a human companion is difficult for both dog and owner. If you notice behavioral changes in your dog that cause concern after a loss, then it's best to seek veterinary advice. Heartbroken dogs exhibit symptoms of depression; they may show signs like decreased appetite and water intake, loss of interest in humans and other dogs, sluggishness or laziness, and increased whimpering or moaning. Loss of a loved one, sudden change in lifestyle, or a move could be causes for this melancholic state. Thankfully, there are a lot of proactive ways to care for a dog with an aching heart. While attending to your dog's needs, you can also introduce different activities that may alleviate the symptoms and pave the way for your dog's recovery. At this time, it's important to show your pet dog your unconditional love and support. Spend more time with your furry friend and show that you care and that you are there to provide the love, care, and attention that they need.

Mealtime Magic

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
10 min
Items needed
Treats
Natural Food Items
Recipes
Activity description
They say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach - and we're convinced it's the same way with dogs. Happy dogs eat with much gusto, and sad dogs often have faltering appetites and lowered interest in food. Have a discussion with your veterinarian and ask for advice as to food changes. Your vet can recommend palatable foods (of both homemade and kibble variety) that may peak your pal's interest. Make mealtime an important part of your recovery plan and help your dog regain interest in food!
Step
1
Keep mealtime consistent
To help your heartbroken dog regain zest for life and in turn, their appetite, maintain their schedule of eating at certain times of the day, making sure not to skip a meal. There may be times when they won't eat single a bite from their bowl, but it's important to make sure they know that it is time to eat. If your pup does not touch their meal, put it in the fridge and store it for next time.
Step
2
Try a new food bowl
There are food bowls on the market that can make eating more fun for your dog. A nice raised bowl can aid in digestion or a bright hued puzzle bowl can add some fun and color to mealtime. Though some experts recommend not making changes in the life of a heartbroken dog, a new bowl is a minor adjustment that may add interest back into mealtime.
Step
3
Vary the menu
Speak with your vet about varying your pet's meal. If their lack of interest in food just isn't relenting, offer a homemade diet of boiled chicken and rice. Many canines will welcome a small change. Once their appetite returns, you can slowly reintroduce the previous diet.
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Doggy Play Date

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Any Day
Free
Normal
60 min
Items needed
Leash
Activity description
Maybe your dog is feeling down due to the loss a fellow canine companion or human friend. Loneliness and separation anxiety are two reasons why dogs suddenly fall into a depressed state. This sudden change could be very difficult for them to deal with, much like how humans cope with loss. A hole left by a relationship loss will definitely be difficult to heal, but through time it will get easier. In the meantime, you need to find ways to ease the loneliness or boredom. The last thing you want to do with a heartbroken dog is leave them alone. Now more than ever, it is important to stay with them and lavish them with attention. A good way to begin the mending of a heartbroken dog is to introduce new companionship. Allowing new relationships to grow between your dog and other dogs (or even humans) may be beneficial for your pet!
Step
1
Find a friend with a perky dog
Chances are that if you are a dog lover, you have friends that have canine pals as well. Initiate a get together, let your friend know the situation, and express your feelings as to your hopes for the outcome of the play date.
Step
2
Set a day and location
The setting of your play date is also important. Outdoors areas, like public parks, are excellent as they allow for physical activities and plenty of interaction with canines of all sorts. Alternatively, an indoor play date can offer privacy and one on one interaction, and all party members can focus on the companionship that you are trying to form.
Step
3
Be patient
A heartbroken pet is grieving; if your dog does not seem keen to participate in the activity, do not give up. Encourage interaction and chances are that your pet will be pleased with the distraction. Take advantage of the change in demeanor and be sure to take your pet on an outing often to help alleviate the sadness and enable them to move on.
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Outdoor Games

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Leash
Frisbee
Activity description
Much like humans who work out to work off their sadness, dogs need this same level of increased activity in order for the brain to release the good stuff: endorphins and serotonin. These are known to calm down the mind and reduce stress and anxiety. Aid in the production of these good chemicals by helping your dog work up a sweat. Depressed dogs often exhibit a total lack of energy. Some dogs may even go into hiding and resort to destructive behavior to deal with their melancholy, boredom, or loneliness. Avoid this by enforcing a good schedule that is not only consistent, but involves you being there for your dog.
Step
1
Short and long walks
You can alternate the length and intensity of daily walks to accommodate the mood of your dog. Add some variety, such as a different route or neighborhood, just to pique your dog's interest in everyday life. Even if they are feeling quite lazy, pursue the walk to signal that it is time for fresh air and a change of scene.
Step
2
Throw a Frisbee
A simple game of catch or fetch between you and your dog is good physical activity for both parties involved. Choose an easy sport that involves one-on-one interaction; this may help to lift your pal's spirits. This not only builds a sense of teamwork but also builds trust and camaraderie between the two of you. This is important, so that your dog understands that you will be there for them when they need you.
Step
3
Change the scenery
Sometimes a change of scenery can do a lot to cheer a dog up. Take your dog on a nice day trip away from the home; it can be a day trip or an extended weekend. Often, a change of pace and atmosphere is just what is needed to adjust the mindset from sadness to happiness. A day trip to a nature park or the beach is fun for the both of you. Bring along your pup's favorite toys and take some time out to toss the ball or throw the Frisbee.
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More Fun Ideas...

Agility or Training Fun

Getting your dog involved in an obedience or agility class can prove to be a healthy diversion from heartbreak. Meeting new canine companions and stimulating their brain with the training could be what is needed to allow your pet to move on to happiness again.

Veterinarian Checkup

These checkups are of utmost importance for your dog. If you have reason to believe that your dog is sad and heartbroken, you will lose nothing by taking them to their vet. The symptoms should be properly diagnosed, and you will find out if medication will be part of the recovery process. Often, the vet can perk up your pet's spirits with a smile - and the overall health examination will be a good idea as well.

Conclusion

A heartbroken dog is similar to a heartbroken human. We know that this scenario cannot be fixed overnight. Activity in the form of walks, classes, training, and play dates will all assist in the recovery of your companion. Most importantly, patience and simply being there will aid in the return of your pup's playful personality.