My Yorkshire Terrier is Depressed, What Should I Do?

It’s no secret that dogs can suffer from depression, and your little Yorkie is no exception.

Depression in dogs is not much different than that found in humans. Mopey and listless, the depressed Yorkie is almost another dog from your spunky little pup.

Dogs are naturally upbeat, and a dog that seems moody is a challenge.

The good news is, according to Bonnie Beaver, DVM, executive director of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.

It’s not uncommon for pets to get down, especially during periods of change; it’s rare for dogs to suffer from long-term depression. This is mentioned in a WebMD article.

Signs that your Yorkshire Terrier is depressed

Your Yorkshire Terrier may be acting mopey. He may be eating less than usual and seem listless and not his usual self.

It is normal for dogs to be quieter and calmer after behaving energetically; they may just be tired. However, when your Yorkie is depressed, he may:

  • Act sullen
  • May interact less
  • Be in an apparent bad mood
  • Eat less
  • Whimper
  • May show strange agitated behavior
  • Sleep less or more than usual

When acting sullen, he may hang his head, not wag his tail or in the case of a missing companion, search the house.

Dogs that interact less may not want to cuddle or play their favorite games. They may hide to rest, instead of laying down in their favorite spot.

Being in a bad mood and eating less go hand-in-hand; your Yorkie may just be picking away at his food.

Soft whimpering, similar to soft crying is another sign that your little dog is depressed.

Causes of depression on Yorkshire Terriers

There are several reasons why both male and female Yorkies would get depressed:

  • Although many dogs adapt quickly to a new environment, others begin to act grumpy when changes are made to the familiar.
  • It could be the addition of a new pet or baby, the loss of an animal companion, the loss of a family member or even the loss of another dog that he has played with, such as a neighbor’s dog.
  • You may have just moved to a new house or apartment; a change in your routine could also affect your Yorkie.
  • You may have changed from a stay-at-home job to one outside the home, and your little dog is reacting.

What are the symptoms of depression on Yorkshire Terriers?

According to PetMD, Symptoms of depression in Yorkies include:

  • Becoming withdrawn
  • Inactivity
  • Change in eating and sleeping habits

Vets make it known that some of these symptoms could be the sign of a medical problem, so be sure that your Yorkie gets a full checkup. 

Dogs that have pain from arthritis may no longer want to go for walks.

The two most common factors in doggie depression are the loss of a companion animal and the loss of a human or family member.

If you live in a winter climate, your Yorkie, like his human friends, can go through a type of SAD, or seasonal affective disorder.

Low levels of light can contribute to depression. He may also be feeling bored.

What can I do for my Yorkshire Terrier when he is depressed?

Many dogs bounce back from depression within a short time. According to the Yorkie Information Center, if a loss of a family member is the cause of moodiness in your little dog, the saying “time will heal” applies.

Since there may be feelings of sadness in the home itself, it is somewhat of a challenge for your little dog.

Following his usual schedule will give your Yorkie some comfort in experiencing the familiar.

If your Yorkie is mourning a person or pet friend, giving him an object with the lost one’s scent is not a preferred way to help him with depression; it only serves to prolong the grieving process.

Instead, challenge him with new places and adventures.

The best way to help the sad dog is to offer a new experience; something new will provide excitement, especially when they do not anticipate their normal walk.

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