Dogs certainly experience bouts of sadness, but can they suffer from major / clinical depression?
The highly acclaimed veterinarian, Dr. Nicholas Dodman, believes they can not. Dr. Dodman differentiates between two types of depression:
- "State depression", which animals experience at the loss of a beloved animal or human friend. For humans, this is what is known as "situational depression".
- "Trait depression", which is despair and depression which occurs for no specific reason. This is what is known as "major depression" or "clinical depression" in humans.
Regardless of classification, the symptoms of dog depression include: sad mood, loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed, change in appetite or weight, difficulty sleeping or oversleeping, physical slowing or agitation, and energy loss.