Your dog is an amazing part of your life. Your dog brings you joy, comfort, companionship and knows when you feel sick or sad. You want your pet to feel the same love and safety as you do. It’s heartbreaking when your dog stares at you wide-eyed with its head between its fingers.
Why do dogs look sad?
Many people debate whether this is a matter of perception, evolution, or whether the dog is truly sad. You may be desperate to bring joy to your dog’s life, but you might also become concerned about health issues or an emotional reaction to changes in your home.
You might also wonder if the sad expression could be a sign of a health problem or an emotional reaction. Continue reading to find out more.
Why do dogs look sad?
Researchers are trying to figure out what causes dogs to have sad puppy eyes. Scientific Reports published a study that found dogs change their facial expressions when exposed to human attention. Researchers studied 24 dogs from different breeds and ages to determine their responses to four scenarios. These were human attention with food, food without food, human attention with food, no attention with food, and no attention without food. Researchers found that dogs are more expressive when confronted by humans than dogs with food. Dogs were more likely than humans to raise their inner eyebrows in these situations, making them appear more childlike and sad.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published additional research that explored the causes of dogs’ facial expressions. Researchers speculated that dogs’ 33,000-year evolution from wolves into the loving pets they are today led to them developing strong eyebrow muscles, which allow them to make sad puppy eyes. According to the study’s authors, this was due to humans preferring the trait.
If your dog looks sad or longing, it might be because they are not feeling sad. You may see that your dog is trying to get your attention or connect with you.
How can I tell if my dog is depressed?
Dog depression is real. Dog depression is similar to depression in humans. Dogs that are depressed may display:
- A diminished appetite
- Excessive licking of the paws
- Loss of interest or disinterest in walking, playtime, and other once loved pastimes
- Poor or disturbed sleep patterns
- Excessive clinginess towards you or another member of your family
- Sudden destructive behaviours
- Accidents in the home
These signs could indicate that your dog may be in pain, suffering from a health problem or feeling deeply sad. Your veterinarian should be contacted if you observe any of these symptoms for a long time. Your veterinarian can help determine if your dog is suffering from any illness or physical pain and will help you find ways to get them back to being happy.
According to the American Kennel Club, dogs can feel emotional pain and even grief. Dogs can pick up on sadness and emotions, so their sadness could be a reflection of your own emotions or the emotions of a family member. This is something to pay attention to. It’s possible your pet picks up on your sadness and needs some self-care. You must take care of yourself to ensure your pet receives the best care possible.
Dogs may also feel depressed due to other factors, such as the death of a pet in the family or major changes in their living or home environment. It’s possible that they feel ignored if you have recently taken on more responsibility or are less available to play with them. You may feel jealous if a new pet or human has joined the family. They may be bored.
Why does my dog look so sad?
Sometimes, your dog’s large puppy eyes may make you wonder why they look so sad. However, researchers believe that this classic look is more related to evolution, communication, and connection than a dog’s emotional well-being.
Dog depression tends to be subtler. Pay attention to any changes in behaviour that last for a while, and think about why your dog might not feel as happy.
The bond you have with your dog is one of the most important aspects of their emotional well-being. You and your dog should find things that you both enjoy doing and give them time each day. You can make sure your dog is happy by giving them plenty of time to play, exercise, and cuddle. Talk to your veterinarian about dog depression.