Huffpost Healthy Living

Dog Depression: Fact Or Fiction?

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Can well-fed, comfortably housed dogs show signs of depression or anxiety? Could these signs actually be indicators of chronic pain, or even chronic boredom?

...For those of us whose morning routine includes head-cradling, nose-kissing and baby-talk, and then that inevitable rock of guilt in the gut as we leave for work. Well, we know there are few loves as profound as a dog's love for his or her human.

And with that love, like many great loves, comes the anguish of perceived betrayal. And retaliation can be vicious.

Read More at ABC News...

Everybody knows, hell hath no wrath like a canine scorned. Aina Hunter, author of the ABC News story, knows first hand:

That first long weekend together, he was a joy. We chased rabbits in the graveyard, explored the urban landscape, lay in bed reading the Sunday paper. He gazed at me while I cooked dinner for two -- chicken and rice -- with enormous, almond-colored eyes. I took a photo when he closed them, long eyelashes fluttering, nostrils flared.

Tuesday morning I left for work. He sat at the door, cocked his head to one side and then the other as I grabbed keys and bag but, to his obvious consternation, not his new leash.

When I returned -- disaster.

My Jamesy had spent the day attempting to dig through the floor in an effort to squeeze beneath the door. The cream-colored carpet was in shreds; my landlady unsympathetic.

So is your dog depressed? Or is he just bored? Some vets recommend "food puzzles", which are:

Rubber dog toys in which you stuff dry food or treats. The simplest versions look like hand grenades, with a hole at the top. Others resemble preschool toys, and will take a smart dog hours to figure out.

Failing that, if your the root of your dog's issues is boredom, why don't you set him up with a blog? Come on, everybody's doing it!

Or, perhaps all your dog needs is a little spiritual guidance. Put him in touch with this little guy, he'll be sure to show your pooch how its done.

Or maybe your dog is just so blissfully happy, so contentedly calm, that he just seems depressed. Read all about the dao of your dog here.

The best answer for all your dog problems (and your waistline) is exercise, exercise, exercise! And if your poor pup is disabled or paralyzed, keep him moving with a doggy wheelchair.

What is your worst dog story? How do you keep your puppy pal happy? Would you ever give your dog anti-depressants? Tell us your thoughts below.

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