Having a Sad Dog: The Science Behind Your Dog’s Emotions

Having a Sad Dog: The Science Behind Your Dog’s Emotions

A sad dog should be taken seriously. Sadness is an emotional state that we usually associate with human beings. It is the feeling of helplessness, grief, and despair. But wait a sec, do you know that your lovely dog can also be sad? Yes, like humans, dogs can experience all the emotions mentioned above.

If you want to understand how and when your dog is feeling sad and how to help, keep reading until the end!

1- How Does Your DOG Brain Process Emotions?

Many researchers and scientists argue that dogs in general experience the same emotions humans experience. These include joy, fear, sadness, love, and others.

2- What are the Physical Signs of a Sad Dog?

Dogs are close friends to human beings. They share a number of similar things. one of which is feeling sad. Because dogs cannot speak, we have to rely on the physical signs they demonstrate to understand their feelings. You can say that your dog feels blue if you notice the following physical signs:

– Lack of Appetite is a sign of a sad dog

You will notice that your dog loses interest in food or he starts to show some changes in his appetite.

– Sleeping More

You have to closely examine whether your dog starts to sleep more than he used to. For example, if your dog used to sleep for around 14 hours, and now for 15 hours, then your dog may be showing a sign of sadness.

– Stop Playing can tell you that you have a sad dog

A sad dog tends to ignore playtime. Even if you give him his favorite toy and the time needed to play, he usually does not get excited as before.

– Sudden Aggression can be a SIGN of a sad dog

While your dog may be aggressive for several reasons, it can be a sign of sadness as well.

– Whimpering & Whining

It is known that dogs use their noises to communicate. Therefore, as a pet parent, you have to understand the communication styles of your dog to better understand her.

You may also see other signs of sadness such as:

  • Hiding
  • Peeing and pooping in other parts of your house
  • Licking constantly

3- How Can You Tell If Your Dog Is Sad?

As we have said above, there are some signs that she usually shows when she is sad. If you notice such signs, then your dog might be sad. Furthermore, there are other elements that you can monitor to examine whether you have a sad dog or not. These are the following:

– Look into The eyes of your dog

It was once said that eyes are the windows of the soul. Thus, if you want to know how your loyal friend feels, just look into his eyes. Dogs tend to make their eyes look smaller when they are sad. Moreover, they avoid eye contact with everyone including you.

– Notice Your Dog’s ears

Sad dogs stop being responsive to all the sounds that used to interest them before. You will see that there is no response when it comes to your dog’s ear movements. For instance, your dog may not respond to you when calling her name.

– see the paw licking

To feel comfortable, dogs are usually seen licking or chewing their paws. See if your dog does the same movement as it might be a sign of sadness.

– Pay attention to your dog’s head

You can know if your dog is sad by noticing her head. A sad dog usually keeps her head lowered when they are sitting or standing. Once lying down, however, she will rest her chin on the ground.


Wagging the tail is a sign of happiness, but the opposite is true. In other words, if you notice that your dog’s tail is held down, this could be clear evidence that your dog is depressed.

– Watch your dog’s body movement

If your dog is sad, you may see that your dog stands passive. Usually, his head is down while his tail is lowered. Your dog may appear to you as tired and can barely move.

– Your Dog starts shedding

Your dog may start shedding as he may feel stressed, sad, and depressed. Shedding is a sign that your dog is sad. So pay attention to it.

4- What can you do to help a sad dog

There is a lot that you can do to help your dog be as happy as he was before. The first thing you should do is never stress or panic. Try to follow the steps included below:

– Take your dog to the vet

Once your dog starts behaving in an unusual manner, you have, of course, to take him to the vet. Sometimes, it is hard to distinguish whether your dog is sick or sad. For this reason, it is wise to take him to be checked.

– recognize the source of sadness

Try to know what makes your dog feels sad. A dog in good condition is unlikely to feel sad out of the blue. The main cause that can make your dog feels sad is some changes in routine. this may include moving to a new house, being alone for most of the day, or having a new dog or family member in your house.

– Give more time to your dog

Dogs love it when they get the attention they need. Therefore, if you want your dog to be happy, you need to spend as much time as possible with him. You can, for example, go for walks, play games, or simply sit together and watch a given movie.

– Socialize Your dog

It is a good idea to take your pet to a park where other pet parents bring their dogs. This will enable your dog to socialize more and build some friendships.

– Maintain your dog’s routine

Dogs are creatures of habit. When they follow a certain routine, they feel secure and reassured.

5- what to keep in mind when your dog is sad?

As mentioned above, when your dog starts to feel blue, it is vitally important to understand her feelings and emotions. Give her some time and closely examine all her movements. Keep in mind that your dog may have some underlying health issues. Thus, you need to take them to the vet to make sure that they are not.

If you followed all these steps but your dog is still the same, it is a good idea to seek professional help, in this case, a veterinary behaviorist. Your lovely dog may need some behavioral modifications to overcome her sadness. Do not forget to make sure that your dog is eating well. This is because food can also affect the psychology of your dog. Remember to give her only designed dog food.

Last Words

Always remember that dogs have feelings as well. They experience nearly all the emotions that you do. Be kind to your dog and try your best to make them as happy as they were before.

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