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Is My Husky Depressed? 5 Signs & What To Do: Top FAQs

Is My Husky Depressed? 5 Signs & What To Do: Top FAQs

There may be times when you realize your Husky just isn’t the same bundle of joy they used to be. If this has been their behavior for a while you may start wondering “Is my Husky depressed?”

After digging deep into a lot of dog behavioral-science research, I put together this article to help you identify signs of depression in your husky, what are the possible causes, and how you can help your husky be happy again.

Can Huskies Get Depressed?

Much like humans, your Husky (and all canines) can get depression. Many universities have carried out studies on how advanced the brain is of our fellow canines. What was concluded is that all dogs, including Huskies, have the ability to develop complex emotions, much like we do. Your Husky can feel happiness, anger, jealousy, and even depression.

As these emotions are somewhat universal, they seem to trigger similar responses in the brain like us. The surprising result of this is that very similar behavior gets shown when we and our Husky feel the same emotion.

There are many reasons why your Husky may be experiencing depression and I will go through them below. On top of this, I will cover the symptoms that you can look out for.

5 Signs Your Husky is Depressed

There are some classic signs that your Husky may exhibit which could suggest they’re depressed. To what extent this depression will be, is very hard to analyze and will usually be depending on the cause.

It’s important to mention right away. If you do suspect your Husky to be depressed, even if you have a good idea of why you should still visit your local veterinarian. Professional advice is always the best route to go.

1) Lack of Interest

This one is very similar to us and is a major sign of depression for canines as well. If your Husky is demonstrating a clear lack of interest in things they used to like, especially playtime and going out for walks. This could be a sign something is quite wrong.

This could show itself with your Husky laying in their bed all day, with no enthusiasm or desire to move. They may not even want to go outside for a toilet break.

2) Changes in Appetite

With Siberian Huskies, appetite comes and goes quite easily and they are known for being difficult or fussy eaters. Despite this, a change or lack of appetite can suggest depression.

It will be harder to pinpoint depression with this one, but you must know it is a well-known sign that dogs show when they are going through some depression. If their change of appetite is coupled with another sign, this could be a reliable indication to go by. Appetite alone should not automatically be linked to depression.

3) Sleeping Habit

Just like having a lack of interest, sleeping a lot is also a sign of depression. A classic sign that affects us as well as our fluffy friends.

If you notice your Husky laying around, in their bed or on the floor just sleeping. Even when you try to play or tell them it’s time for “walkies” they simply just lay there and barely look at you. This is a pretty reliable sign that something is wrong whether its depression or something else.

4) Hiding and Avoiding

This is the sign of two things, this could be because of an injury (physically wounded) or because of illness (in this case, depression).

When a dog or your Husky starts hiding in places to avoid seeing or making contact with us or their other canine siblings, this suggests something is wrong. This is seen as a way of them protecting themselves from further contact with anyone or anything.

However, you should remember, just because your Husky is hiding or avoiding you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that YOU are the cause. This is simply a reaction.

5) Excessive Paw Licking

This one is always the least well-known. Yes, excessive paw licking or even chewing could be a sign of depression.

This one is not as well understood by science but this behavior is often linked to having physicological issues and is a way of pacifying/soothing themself.

This behavior could of course just be due to a cut, graze or some irritation on their skin, so it’s always best to inspect before making conclusions.

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8 Possible Reasons Why Your Husky is Depressed

Reasons Why Your Husky is Depressed

There are various reasons why your Husky could become depressed and I’ll go through them below.

While there isn’t as much scientific research to support dog depression like there is with humans, there are strong similarities. From these similarities, we are able to give some good explanations about what could be causing dog depression.

1) Bereavement

Your Husky will understand what it means when someone from your family is lost OR if you had another dog that sadly passed away. Your Husky will know what has happened and can often grieve the same way humans do. This is a common cause of depression with dogs.

On top of this, if YOU or someone in your family is grieving about something, this again can be sensed by your Husky and they can mimick your behavior.

2) Addition of a Baby or Spouse

If your Husky’s normal life becomes significantly impacted, which could be the addition of a newborn baby to your home, or perhaps a new spouse. This change may not go well with your Husky and depression could be the result.

Usually, dogs will adjust fine if you help and support them, but there will always be some cases where underlying psychological issues will play a part in how well the dog reacts to these situations.

With the addition of someone else in the household, your Husky may feel left out or not as important anymore. You are their pack leader and how you act with your Husky is very important. If they sense a lack of attention coming from you after the addition of someone else. This can trigger an emotional response.

3) Moving House

Again, this is to do with a significant change happening in their life. If you move home with your Husky it can be more difficult to understand and accept than it is for you.

After being put in a new environment that they are unaware of, it can be quite a strange feeling for them. Confusion and unfamiliarity could cause them to begin sad or depressed.

4) Someone in Your Household is Depressed

All dogs, including Huskies, are very good at sensing how we are feeling. Our emotions and moods are fully understood by our fluffy friends and it can have a real impact on the way they feel too.

If you or someone else in your household suddenly changes their demeanor or behavior, it’s not uncommon to see a corresponding reaction from your Husky.

If you are feeling worse than usual, depressed or sad, or even if someone else is. This could definitely be the cause of your Husky feeling the same.

5) Punitive Behavior Training

As time goes on, more and more people stop this type of training thankfully!

Punitive training is a method of training where you punish the dog when they do not get it right or when they do something “wrong”

This training is not only ineffective but it’s also training your dog to be fearful and scared. Two emotions that create an unstable dog. This form of training will encourage your dog to become distant from you, in an attempt not to be punished by getting something wrong, depression will nearly always be the result when subjected to this kind of training.

Positive reinforcement-based training is by far the best training method.

6) Not Enough Exercise

The Siberian Husky is the ultra-marathon runner of the dog world. Exercise is one of the most important parts of their life. If a Husky does not receive their required daily exercise it’s without a doubt it will have a negative effect on many aspects of their health, and depression could be triggered.

Huskies can easily run 100 miles per day, and enjoy doing it. This goes to show how much they are capable of (and desire) Without proper physical and mental exercise, your Husky will suffer in many ways.

7) Lack of attention

Huskies are a high maintenance breed, on top of their demanding exercise needs, they also need quite a lot of attention. Considered by many as the No.1 most attention-seeking breed today!

Huskies are pack dogs, but they love their humans just as much. Without giving them uninterrupted attention throughout the day, they could start developing the feeling of loneliness and separation anxiety. If your Husky feels like this for too long, it can eventually lead to depression.

This can also happen if you spend many hours of the day out of the house and your Husky is left alone. We all have busy lives and work is important, but this is something you really need to think about if you’re currently leaving your Husky home alone

8) Underlying Health Problems

One of the worst and most serious issues is if your Husky has some health problems that you aren’t aware of.

There are many different health issues that can cause our Huskies to be in pain or discomfort which can lead to many sad outcomes. Depression can easily happen if they are in prolonged pain or discomfort.

This is why we have to be the most attentive we can with our pets and always monitor them. Whenever there seems to be something wrong like this, a trip the vets is absolutely necessary.

Here’s What To Do About It

Firstly, if you suspect your Husky could be depressed you must take them to the vets. It’s very important to rule out any health problems that you may not be aware of.

If your Husky is healthy then you can start trying to help them get back to their happy playful self.

The best way to help your Husky back to being happy is to try and go back to the routine you had with them before you noticed the change.

Ensure you give them as much attention as you can, make them a part of your day, and treat them like you would any other loved one.

Encourage them to go for walks with a new harness or leash, grab a new squeaky toy from the store and start playing with it in the other room, even if they don’t come at first, keep it up, eventually their curiosity will beat them and they’ll come to see what’s happening.

If your Husky is a social Husky, which nearly all are. Get them in the car and take them to a nearby park or lake where you know there are other dogs, encourage interaction with other dogs and this could help bring a spark back. Taking them on an exciting walk will definitely help them gain some interest again.

With any attempt you make, if you see a hint of positive reaction from your Husky, don’t change your approach, just be very focused on what worked and extremely consistent with it. Any sign of positivity, do more of what caused that.

After a while, it will be a good idea to start training exercises, even if your Husky was already trained, go through basic training again and reward them when they get it right. Huskies are hard-working dogs and the desire to have a “role” is rooted in their genes. The praise that you give your Husky after they successfully give you their paw or sit down when you say, will have a big effect on them.

Last Thoughts

It’s important to remember that our Husky’s behavior can be caused by many different things and even if your Husky is displaying some of the signs we mentioned above, it doesn’t mean they have depression.

Always assess things over a period of time and try to be aware of any recent changes that could be responsible for your Husky’s recent change of mood.

One thing that is absolutely necessary is to visit your vet whenever you suspect something is wrong with your Husky to rule out any further health issues.

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Helpful Resources
https://www.cesarsway.com/warning-signs-of-dog-depression/
https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/features/depression-in-dogs#2
https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2018/06/13/depression-in-dogs.aspx

Check out more breed information on huskies here: Siberian Husky Breed Info here.

Disclaimer

The advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice in any context. Before making any decisions that may affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. For the FULL disclaimer Visit Here


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