7 Warning Signs of an Unhappy Dog


Dogs are often called “man’s best friend,” and we can attribute that to a variety of reasons. But the truth is that many people adore dogs because they are overwhelmingly friendly, happy, and compassionate creatures. Their joy is contagious, and makes us feel good! dog health insurance

So, it might come as a surprise to hear that dogs are also capable of feeling depressed, just like us humans. And unfortunately, dog depression isn’t as recognizable as human depression (which is notable for being difficult to diagnose), making it difficult to try to turn your dog’s proverbial frown, upside-down.

7. Change in Appetite

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Having little to no interest in food can be an indication that a dog is unhappy. On the other hand, unhappy dogs may also choose to increase their food intake, as food can serve as a comfort to them. Whether it’s an increase or decrease in appetite, any change can be a clue about a pet’s state of mind. A change in eating habits can also result in a change in weight, so if you notice your pet has lost or gained a few pounds, it could be a sign they’re feeling down.

6. Changes in Sleep

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Like humans, when a dog is depressed it sleeps a lot. Dogs sleep a lot anyway, especially when they are alone. But if it seems excessive or they are sleeping more when you are around, it could be a sign of unhappiness. If you notice that your dog is not reacting as much when you come home or doesn’t seem to want to get out of bed, it could very well be depressing.

5. Changes in Behaviour

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Behavior changes could be situational or they could be a sign of an unhappy dog. If your dog has lost interest in things it used to enjoy, like going for walks, playing, or any other activities that it enjoyed, it is a sign of unhappiness. Pacing is another thing to look for, as is unusually destructive behavior. A happy, well-balanced dog won’t destroy its home, toys, clothes, or anything else laying around.

4. Avoidance or Hiding

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Dogs are pack animals and love to be around their people. If it suddenly starts hiding or wants to be left alone this is an indication that it could be depressing. When a dog is very ill it will do this, but if that is not the case, it could be suffering emotionally.

3. Aggression

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This is similar to behavior changes but to a much further extent. If your well-behaved furry loved one suddenly snaps at you, something is surely wrong. It can be something as simple as a growl, or a full out snap. Or maybe your dog attacks or fights with its closest friend. Dogs are not usually aggressive without being provoked, so if this happens there is definitely something wrong.

2. Paw Licking

Unlike cats, dogs don’t clean themselves by licking excessively. If you notice that your dog is licking or chewing its paws a lot it could mean that it’s unhappy. It could also mean that there is an injury on their paw or they have something stuck in it. If this is not the case, there could be something wrong emotionally. Paw licking is a way to soothe themselves from their woes.


A stressed-out dog has the tendency to shed a lot – so much, in fact, that they may have bald spots on their body. If this is the case, seek advice from a veterinary professional!

Luckily, there are many ways to help dogs out of an emotional slump. Taking stock of how a dog is feeling is the first step to getting them back to their happy and healthy self. If they experience a prolonged dip in mood, you may want to check in with their veterinarian to see how they can help.