Background info: I have two dogs, Jessie (6yo, F, ACD) and Gus (9yo, M, ACD x Beagle). Both were adult rescues, Jess has shown many symptoms of canine PTSD, several of which have waned over the past year that I’ve had her.
I recently picked up extra shifts at work, which seems to be taking a toll on Jessie emotionally. Usually these shifts only consist of 4-5 hours, but I have been working more doubles which means I’m gone from 10am-7:30pm. During the day Gus and Jess are either in their outdoor dog run (very large) with a dog house and a few toys. If the weather is bad, they stay inside and upstairs because I am living at home (college) and my mother sells baked goods, so the dogs can’t be near the food we sell. My siblings are home in the afternoons, and my sister lets them out and plays a bit with them when she gets home from school.
Jess has gone off of her feed – she gets Nature’s Logic for breakfast and dinner and a raw chicken neck with her dinner. Lately she’s been refusing her kibble and eats only the necks. She has also gained a lot of weight, which leads me to believe she’s been much less active during the day than usual. When I get home, we used to play wrestle a bit, but she doesn’t want to do that anymore either. She won’t play with Gus either, so now he’s just a ball of wired up energy when I get home.
Any suggestions as to how I can help her feel better? I can’t drop hours at work or she’ll have to start hunting for her own food. I have a couple of puzzle toys for her, one of which I leave out during the day because it doesn’t have any loose pieces, but she quit playing with it. I’ve been thinking of getting some stuffable Kong-like toys. Any ideas? Herbal supplements? Games or exercises?
It sounds like a possible health problem more than anything. I don’t know much about what it could be, but has she had a checkup lately?
My boy, Shasta, went through severe depression (I genuinely thought he might die, it was that bad) when his best bud was tragically killed. I was quite shocked as well, so I spent just as much time with him as I could. I did things to get our minds as off of it as possible. Sometimes I’d just sit w him on the couch for hours at a time, we were that sad. It really choked me up to see him jump and get excited at every little sound or smell, just hoping Otto would come back.
He stayed that way for a good week or two. A month after Otto died, we rescued another dog (hoping to be Shasta’s new friend), and it seemed to make things a bit worse, as the rescue dog was /very/ annoying to him.
Anyway, I’m thinking this is a totally different depression than what Jess may be going through.
But definitely, try to keep her as busy as you can with toys and (when you can) sports. Try finding a class for herding, agility, frisbee, etc. Something that will get her mind focused and body active.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by Shasta220.
I’m sorry to hear hear that Jessie is not doing that great. I would also recommend a physical to see how her health is doing. A blood test will help in ruling out some things or diagnosing them. If Jessie was doing better when you were home more and that is the reason she is not doing so great then getting someone to do the things with her that you used to do might help.
If she is missing you I hope that finding her a human companion that can be with her for an hour or so in the middle of her day will help her out of her depression. Dog’s never have all the options that we do to fill time. They can become very attached to someone and that is a huge responsibility for that person. I hope that Jessie feels better very soon!
Also considering her breed. CDs are very very loyal and often “overprotective”, so if they don’t have their human there giving them a job, they will become depressed. It’d be like a husky never allowed to run, a Bull breed not able to do sports, a collie never able to herd, do agility, or even obedience!
So try to get Jess active by getting active yourself…..after she’s had an exam, because running her if there is a health condition might make things worse.
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