In this article, we will answer the following question: Why is my Yorkie sad? We give you 13 possible causes of sadness in dogs and help you manage it.
Why is my Yorkie sad?
There are several reasons why your Yorkie is sad, and it is important you take all of them into account and also pay attention to additional symptoms. Some of the possible causes that explain why your Yorkie is sad are the following:
- Physiology – Periods such as heat, high temperatures, or physical exhaustion from intense activity can cause changes in your dog and can be identified with sadness, but they are normal. They respond to a physiological need and your dog returns to normal once that period has passed.
- Diseases – If your dog has a fever, severe pain, or any other pathological process, he may also show signs of sadness or depression. In these cases, you will also observe other associated symptoms, so it will be easier to identify. Some examples of this can be fever, complaints to the touch in specific areas, physical changes.
- Improper care (food, activity, and motivation) – Your dog is very adaptable but has specific and specific needs due to its species and its own individuality. If you do not satisfy them, the well-being and health of your dog can deteriorate and present psychological and organic imbalances and reach states of boredom and demotivation.
It is important that your Yorkie has weekly routines and dynamics that respond to his specific needs so as not to have sustained behavioral changes such as apathy, anxiety, depression, or sadness.
- Trauma – There are events of prolonged or intense stress that can trigger a cascade of neurotransmitters and hormonal mediators in your dog. These cause behavioral alterations in your dog’s body such as frustration, learned helplessness, fears, depression, or spontaneous phobias.
- Routine changes – Change of home, schedules, change of owner, new members in the family or house, or prolonged loneliness … Sudden changes influence their daily routines and can make your dog sad, as well as cause disorientation, insecurity or nervousness even serious emotional imbalances.
- Before suspecting that your dog’s behavior is caused by an emotional or behavioral problem, you should go to the vet to carry out a general check-up and rule out that our best friend suffers from a viral disease, such as distemper or parvovirus. In these cases, we can see that the dog is sad and does not want to eat, has crohn’s, trembles, and does not get up.
- It can also be due to parasitic disease, whether we are talking about external parasites or internal parasites, thus showing that the dog is sad and has diarrhea, vomiting, or scratches excessively.
- In other cases, we could speak of a hormonal disorder, such as psychological pregnancy in non-neutered dogs. Any of these problems can cause the symptoms mentioned above.
- Separation: when we separate the puppy from its mother and siblings, especially when it is done promptly (before 2 and a half months of age) it is very likely that an episode of sadness or depression will appear that will last until the little one suits your home.
- Changes in the family unit: as in the previous case, a dog that has been separated from its family, whether we are talking about humans or other domestic animals, may experience a process of sadness and even depression until it adapts to that new circumstance. The birth of a baby, a death, or a new animal at home are also some examples.
- Use of punishment by the tutor: studies indicate that the use of punishment is not only less effective than positive reinforcement, but it can also cause the appearance of behavior problems, including fear, aggressiveness, or sadness.
- Loneliness and Lack of Stimulation – Yorkies are social animals that shouldn’t spend more than 6-8 hours alone a day. Likewise, they require attention, affection, physical stimulation, and mental stimulation. Lack of enrichment can also cause a state of sadness and depression.
- Negative experiences: a very stressful, negative, and even traumatizing situation for your dog can cause depression, but also act as a trigger for various behavior problems in dogs. Dog fights, a run over, or a serious injury are some examples of situations that can cause these types of consequences.
How to help a sad Yorkie
Before any change that you observe in your dog, the first thing is to go to your veterinarian. There, all the information that you can offer will be evaluated and the necessary clinical tests will be carried out to reach an accurate and objective diagnosis.
If the veterinarian does not discover organic causes, it is recommended that you consult an ethologist (a veterinary specialist in behavior). He will perform a behavioral diagnosis on your dog and thus be able to determine a treatment based on behavior modification, guiding you and helping you correct any errors acquired in your coexistence.
Once organic problems have been ruled out, it will be essential to review the causes that explain “why is my Yorkie sad” since only in this way can we solve it effectively.
In general, to provide your dog with a balanced state (physical and psychological), it is important to meet his needs. Provide motivations through:
- Food and physical activity adapted to their needs: Food is one of the pillars to maintain good health for your dog. Daily walks should be frequent, since in addition to meeting your needs, it keeps you active and fit, and they are a great source of stimulation and motivation (new smells and sounds, social relationships, etc.)
- Firm routines: Trying to maintain consistency in your daily routines is essential to strengthening stability. If changes in these routines are approaching, the ideal, whenever possible, is to carry out a process of progressive adaptation (habituation).
- Optimal hygiene and care: hygiene routines (baths, brushing, deworming, vaccinations, and periodic check-ups) are necessary to prevent and maintain good health.
- Strengthening the bond: spending time with your dog and maintaining frequent interactions is very important to strengthen your bond by generating trust and security.
- Enrich their environment: Offer him games and entertaining activities that he can do when he is home alone. There are many toys of various types that keep them free from boredom and apathy.
- Pay more attention to canine language: It is obvious that any owner knows his dog, however, during a stage of sadness or depression it is important to pay much more attention to the body language of the dog to be more respectful with him.
We will avoid behaviors that can generate unnecessary stress and, whenever possible, we will provide positive and pleasant experiences that promote well-being and a positive mood. A quality walk or a bowl of homemade dog food is simple but effective examples.
- Spend more time with your Yorkie: As we have explained, a dog should not spend more than 6-8 hours a day alone, however, spending more time by his side also means paying attention to him. It is not necessary to be constantly stroking him, it can also be positive to have a brushing session or encourage him to follow us around the house when we do our daily tasks.
- Promote calm and relaxation at home: There are some relaxation exercises for dogs that, in addition to improving the bond with our best friend, are very effective for those dogs that have stress and anxiety problems. Of course, it is important to point out that we must be very constant and do them on a daily basis so that they are really effective and have a real impact on the dog.
- Improves the quality of walks and daily exercise: Physical activity is essential for dogs, therefore, we must ensure that the dog performs a minimum of between 2 and 4 daily walks, combined with physical exercise whenever possible.
Playing fetch for the ball, jogging for 15 minutes, or simply giving him some time off-leash in a safe and spacious space are activities that will help our best friend develop his muscles and feel more satisfied in his day.
- Practice obedience or mental stimulation: Just as we exercise our best friend’s body, we must exercise his mind. We can practice short daily sessions, between 5 and 10 minutes, of basic obedience for dogs, teaching them basic commands, such as sitting, lying down, staying, or coming here.
And, in fact, even if you have already learned them, it is worth reinforcing them so that you do not forget them and know how to execute them in all kinds of situations.
Diagnosing a symptom such as sadness in dogs can be complex because you could slip into subjective perceptions or, conversely, overlook important causes that are undermining the health and well-being of your dog.
For this reason, when you notice that your dog is sad, as well as any other behavioral and physical change or you have doubts regarding what you are observing, visit the vet to remedy it.
Whether we have identified the cause that is causing sadness in our dog or not, it is highly advisable to visit a veterinarian specialized in ethology or a licensed professional canine trainer or educator to issue diagnosis and provide us with a list of exercises and guidelines.
The first and most recommended thing is that you go to your trusted veterinarian and inform him of the state of apathy that your dog is experiencing: sometimes infections or organic diseases are manifested with sudden changes in his attitude.
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FAQ on Why is my Yorkie sad?
How do I know if my Yorkie is depressed?
We can say that a Yorkie is depressed or sad if:
You observe a decrease in response to stimuli
Your dog has apathy
You see that the appetite decreases, even reaching anorexia
His behavior changes, you even notice an increase in howling or moaning
He spends more hours sleeping than usual
Has a flight attitude
Has aggressive or impulsive reactions.
You must be attentive to their reactions in order to better focus the diagnosis by the professional and above all, be realistic. Sometimes the concern and empathy you feel for your dog can make you see misleading signs of a problem that does not exist.
Why does my dog seem sad?
Your dog seems sad if there is something that scares him, there are several changes in your household or something that made him vulnerable happened recently. Whether we have identified the cause that is causing sadness in our dog or not, it is highly advisable to visit a veterinarian specialized in ethology or a licensed professional canine trainer or educator to issue diagnosis and provide us with a list of exercises and guidelines.
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