fbpx

SIGN UP FOR A TREAT

Subscribe to our Newsletters and Receive 20% Off* your First Order with Us!

Receive first-hand access to exclusive discounts, helpful tips and advice on all things health & wellness for your dog.
* Valid for Online Shop Purchases Only. Does not Apply to Products Already on Offer.

A happy dog is a healthy dog

October 23rd, 2017

10th October was World Mental Health Day. It doesn’t say human mental health day so it made me think about dogs’ mental health. Can they have mental health problems? Do you look at your dog sometimes and think: he looks sad… depressed… why he is obsessively digging… or chewing his feet? Let’s have a look at some of the problems our dogs can face and how can we help.

What can cause a dog’s depression and what can we do?

First of all, we have to recognise the problem that’s leading to the depression. This can be:

Physical illness  Contact your vet to rule out a physical cause. If it is an illness, when your dog recovers, his mental health will improve as well.

Grief  Dogs can experience the grief just the same as us… when they lose their human or animal friend; when a family member moves out… all of this can cause depression.

Environmental Changes  Some changes like moving to a new home can affect a normally happy dog. It may take some time for the dog to adjust.

Us  When we are sick or depressed our dog is able to pick up on our energy and may begin to feel the same as we do. Also our dog can get depressed if we are not with him. This is called separation anxiety, which can show in different ways such as sadness, depression, barking, destroying the kitchen.. So what can we do?

• Exercise your dog and make it fun and interesting

• Teach your dog new tricks, games…

• Let him play with other dogs

• Get another dog. Especially if his depression is caused by losing a friend

• Seek the help of a dog behaviourist

Anxiety in Dogs
Anxiety in dogs has similar symptoms as in humans.
Common symptoms include:

• Trembling
• Withdrawal or hiding
• Excessive barking
• Attempts to escape
• Self-injuring behaviour
• Diarrhoea or vomiting.
• Reduced activity.
• Destructive behaviour

Separation anxiety is a frequent problem in dogs, because they have difficulties being alone. Dogs are pack animals and from birth they are used to be together with other dogs. So if our dog suddenly stays home alone, it is something completely new for him. But because of the way we live our dog has to learn how to be alone. Here are few tips on how to prevent separation anxiety:

1. Do not carry your puppy everywhere – it’s very tempting especially with a new puppy
2. When teaching your puppy to stay alone for long periods of time, start with just a few seconds, a minute, leave the puppy in a different room. A few drops of Comfort Blend on the dog’s bed can help. If the puppy is quiet, reward this behaviour, if not ignore it.
3. Do not pick your puppy up if she cries or jumps on you – little attention seeker 🙂
4. Reward your dog with attention when she is calm and quiet.
5. Always stick to the same routine before you leave your dog home alone.
6. Ignore your dog 20 minutes before you leave and 10 minutes after you return ( I know this is hard – but even a few minutes would help. And you have to think, I’d rather do this than deal with an anxious dog, which is very traumatising not only for the dog but for us as well). Comfort Blend can help you and your dog.
7. Leave your puppy with a friend, in doggy daycare, etc.
8. Make sure all of your dog’s needs are being met, like regular exercise, mental stimulations, etc.

How aromatherapy can help. 

There is no one single best essential oil for depression and anxiety. There are some oils, however, that work better than others on certain problems. That’s why in Vita Canis’ calming products, Comfort Blend and Calming Floral Spray, you can find a synergetic blend of essential oils. Synergy is where the action of two or more substances (essential oils, in this case) achieve an effect, of which each is individually incapable. Let me mention a few of the oils I use: Bergamot essential oil in the Comfort Blend reduces nervous tension, anxiety, stress, insomnia, depression… It also stimulates the activity of certain hormones, dopamine and serotonin, which induces feelings of relaxation. Petitgrain essential oil has a relaxing effect, it helps overcome depression, anxiety and stress, and is uplifting. Sweet Basil is uplifting, refreshing, works well against depression and anxiety. Another important oil in our blend is Neroli essential oil. Like lavender, this essential oil is one of the most popular essential oils. It has a greatly relaxing effect on the body and mind, relieves muscle spasms and calms heart palpitations.

As a loving dog owners we can help our dogs. The more we know about depression and anxiety in dogs the easier it is to find ways to help.

Jitka xx

Back

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Blog Entries

Motion sickness: What can you do.

16th January 2020

What implications could a car journey have for your dog? Most dogs get excited when walking towards a car but for those who suffer from motion sickness, the brakes come on, the tail goes down and they’ll most probably crawl or try to escape. Just as a human knows, dogs like this know that even… Read More »


5 Reasons Why the Elderly Need a Pet.

9th January 2020

I’m writing this blog while visiting my parents in Slovakia. It’s so nice to be home and to spend time with them because I get to enjoy mum’s cooking, play cards, watch old films, chat and of course, walk Cherry 😍. Do you remember her? She’s the little black and white chihuahua that changed my… Read More »


Jumping into 2020

3rd January 2020

Dogs can’t make new year’s resolutions. Also they can’t change their daily habits to improve their lives without us. It’s our responsibility to ensure our dog is looked after when it comes to weight, exercise, brain stimulation, and overall health.  With this in mind… here are 5 Practical New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Owners! 1. Keep… Read More »


First Aid: Is your up to scratch?

31st December 2019

For many of us our dog is our most loyal companion. Period. As dog owners we’re fully responsible for our dogs well-being, however, many owners would struggle to help their dog in an accident or emergency. Just like us, our dogs are susceptive to serious health conditions like strokes, poisoning, heart attacks, broken bones or… Read More »