Gettin’ Rid of That Doggie Depression

With school back in full swing from kindergarten to college, students aren’t the only ones adjusting to new classes and different schedules. Dogs often suffer from a sort of “doggie depression” during periods of back-to-school and schedule changes at work.

According to a recent MSNBC.com article, one of the major reasons dogs show signs of depression–including laying down and “moping,” or sleeping for unusually long periods of time–is that they become distressed when their owners’ work or school schedule changes.

In the article, animal behaviorist John C. Wright said animals come to depend on routines and predictability, and when those routines change, animals can become distressed.

Luckily, there are some things pet owners can do to help get rid of the blues. Animal behaviorist Mary Lee Nitschke said lots of exercise helps release “feel good” chemicals in the brain called endorphins. The endorphin release helps to stave off those sad, mopy feelings.

The best solution, however, is simply time. Once the dogs get used to a new work or school routine, they should be back in tail-wagging shape soon enough.


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