Lack of Attention
There’s a reason why dogs are often saddest in the morning before you leave for work and happiest when you walk in the door after—they want to be around you. “Dogs are social animals and love to be with people,” says Carol Sumbry, a certified dog trainer and associate certified behavior consultant. “Many are left alone long hours without access to human contact, access to bathroom facilities, or an outlet for their energy or natural instincts.”
This, Sumbry says, can lead to depressive behavior, but for many owners, there’s not much they can do about their job schedules. That’s why it’s important to spend quality time with your dog when you can, and that can take many different forms, including physical activity, mental stimulation, brushing, petting, or any other number of activities.
But Bowers says when a dog begins to behave in a depressive way, he or she might stop doing some things they enjoy, but not others. She says owners should latch on to the behaviors they still show interest in. Don’t force them to do something they don’t want to do, even if it previously excited them. That might make matters worse.
If the time you are able spend with your dog doesn’t seem sufficient, consider hiring a dog walker or asking a friend to stop by while you are gone.