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How do I know if my dog is sad?

We humans have a strong tendency to project our emotions onto the animals we observe. And if animals are not devoid of emotions, they do not have the same awareness of the world as ours and their relationship to the events they face is more "raw", less elaborate.

For example, your dog may be sad. But how can you be sure that he is really sad?

Observe your dog's behavior to know if he is sad

In humans, emotions can be read on the face. Scientists conduct many experiments to find out what the basic emotions are. Kindergarten and elementary school children are regularly asked to draw minimalist pictures where only the eyes, eyebrows and mouth, depending on their position, can signify a particular emotion.

A dog's face is not structured in the same way as a human's and the expressiveness of this body part is essentially limited to showing or hiding the fangs.
To identify your dog's emotions, you need to observe him and note the differences in his behavior compared to his habits. And you'll find that we have a lot in common with our four-legged friends in terms of behavior. If you can't know exactly what emotion your dog is working on, you can be sure that something is wrong and, once you understand the cause of his worries, you can do something about it.

Aggression in a dog that was not aggressive before is an extreme behavior, the source of which can be sadness. It is important not to wait for a catastrophe to happen before reacting. Consult a veterinarian quickly!

But beyond aggressiveness, there is also a whole range of reactions that should be deciphered.

Your dog's sleep

A healthy and happy dog sleeps between 8 and 10 hours per 24 hours, roughly the same amount as a human being. Unlike cats, dogs are active during the day.

If your dog wakes up at night and sleeps most of the day, he's not doing well. Take him to your veterinarian to check his health. If all is well, your dog may not be getting enough attention or exercise. Your veterinarian will be able to direct you to solutions that will help your dog regain his well-being.

Your dog's appetite

Like sleep quality, regularity of appetite is a major sign of good physical and psychological health.

If your dog does not eat with the same eagerness, if he leaves leftovers in his bowl while you give him his usual ration, it means that your dog has psychological or physical health problems. Don't delay in consulting a veterinarian for a thorough examination and diagnosis, as your dog's health condition can deteriorate rapidly.

Your dog's energy level

Each dog, depending on its breed and character, has its own behavior. Dogs are generally sought after for their companionship, so you may have established a rhythm and routine for playing and going out.
If you notice that your dog no longer reacts positively during these times of exchange and physical activity, or that he even remains prostrate, something is wrong.

When a dog is sad, he may start destroying objects in his environment in your absence, whereas he used to respect them. These are signs of hyperactivity that should alert you. Seek immediate medical attention, especially if your dog starts urinating and defecating when he was clean.

Similarly, if your dog no longer parties with you when you come home, or doesn't want to be petted as much, then you need to ask yourself what's causing the change in his behavior.

Your dog wants your attention

Unwanted barking can be a sign of a lack of attention. If he feels the need for activity when you're not taking him out enough, he'll do anything to get the message across to you. And if you are slow to respond to his requests, if you drag your feet to meet his needs, he may become apathetic and even depressed.

Your dog may also be constantly glued to you, following you wherever you go. This type of behavior can be observed when you move to a new place, while the dog gets used to its new surroundings. If the behavior continues, there is something on your dog's mind and it is important that you find out what it is.

Welcoming a dog into your life means taking care of him and giving him what he needs. If the dog is not satisfied on a relational level, it can quickly become unmanageable or lose its will to live. Take good care of your companion! Watching him live is an essential step to understand who he is, beyond the main criteria common to the breed.