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Why Is My Labrador Sad – Causes & What To Do

Seeing any sad dog pulls at any animal lover’s heartstrings. However, this can be even more true if the sad dog in question is our own. Labradors Retrievers are usually described as happy-go-lucky dogs who are always smiling and are always up for an adventure. In these cases, many Lab owners have likely asked themselves: why is my Labrador sad?

Labradors are sad when experiencing significant changes in routine and the environment. This includes illness, lack of physical activity, relocating, a change in diet, or anxiety from past events. Shyness may also cause Labradors to become sad.

Read on to learn more about some common causes of sadness in dogs and tips on how you can cheer a dog up. In addition to this, we will also be answering some other commonly asked questions about sadness in dogs. We will also be describing scenarios in which you should visit a vet about your dog’s sadness. 

Reasons Your Labrador Is Sad

There are six leading causes of sadness in dogs. Although most of them are natural and easy to remedy, illness and canine depression are valid causes to take your dog to the vet. Here are the six reasons your Labrador is sad. 

Your Lab Isn’t Feeling Well

Appearing sad is common for dogs who are ill or affected by a health condition. Some common symptoms of illness and pain in dogs include but are not limited to:

● Limping 

● Shaking or trembling 

● Vomiting and diarrhea 

● Frequent or infrequent urination 

● Loss of appetite 

● Lethargy 

● Sudden onset of aggressive behavior 

● Whimpering or crying when touched 

● Wheezing and coughing 

Although some symptoms such as a loss of appetite and lethargy are also signs of general sadness in dogs, other symptoms indicating pain or illness are not. If you think that your dog’s sad demeanor results from an illness or health condition, you should visit a vet about your concerns as soon as possible. 

You Moved

Moving homes can be hard on dogs, and this event can lead to sadness. This is especially true if you have recently moved away from friends, family members, and even other dogs that your dog is used to having around. Although this kind of sadness does take time to pass, it is usually relieved with the help of its owner. 

There Is A New Family Member

Like other children in the home, dogs can feel sad when there is a new addition to the family. Although this is usually an exciting and happy time for humans, dogs often feel left out as their owner has less time to spend with them.

Usually, dogs with this life change learn to love their new family member, and you can help relieve this kind of sadness in dogs by remembering to pay attention now and then. 

Your Lab Is Grieving 

The loss of a loved one or pet is hard on dogs as well as people. As a result, your dog could be acting sad because he is going through the grieving process. It is essential to spend some time with your dog during this time, engage in his favorite activities, and always reward happy behavior. 

Your Lab May Be Lonely Or Understimulated 

Dogs are social creatures, and they crave the attention of others. Therefore, dogs often feel sad simply because they are lonely or understimulated. This is possibly the easiest out of all of the causes of canine sadness to treat.

If you think that your dog is acting sad simply because he isn’t receiving enough attention, all you need to do is ensure he gets some extra TLC. 

Signs Of Canine Depression 

If your dog’s sadness doesn’t go away, he could have canine depression. Some common symptoms of clinical canine depression include: 

● Lethargy

● Increased sleep

● Loss of Appetite

● Seeming withdrawn 

● Not having an interest in activities they used to enjoy

It is crucial to visit a vet as soon as possible if your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms because these can also be common symptoms for severe illnesses and health conditions. 

What Does It Mean When A Dog Looks Sad

Although dogs can experience sadness and even depression, sometimes people misinterpret a dog’s contentment for sadness.

For example, many pet owners may look over at their pet resting on the couch when busy working and misinterpreting their contentment for being sad that their owner isn’t playing with them. 

How Do You Know If Your Lab Is Sad

You can tell if a dog is sad by looking at his mannerisms and body language. Some common signs of sadness in dogs can include things like:

● Disinterest in things they used to enjoy, such as playtime or walks

● Lethargy and an increase in sleeping 

● A decreased appetite 

● Avoiding eye contact

● Have a limp tail and fearful or nervous body posture 

● Increased shedding 

How Do I Know If My Labrador Is Happy

Like sadness, happiness in dogs can be detected through their mannerisms and body language. Some common signs of happiness in dogs include: 

● Signs of playfulness such as the play bow

● An overall relaxed body posture 

● Soft eyes

● Willing to make eye contact 

● Having an open mouth with or without tongue hanging out 

● Running and walking normally

How Do I Get My Labrador To Smile

You can get a Labrador to smile on command by teaching it as a cue. You can do this by using a dog training technique called capturing. We will break this simple process down into steps.

Step 1: Charge the Clicker

This is for dogs who are new to clicker training. You charge the clicker by giving your dog a treat every time you click the clicker.

This gives the dog a positive association between the clicker and a reward. For dogs who do not like the clicker sound, you can go through the same process with a consistent and short praise word such as “good” or “yes.” 

Step 2: Mark Whenever Your Dog Smiles: 

Next, you need to click and reward your dog with a treat every time he smiles naturally. You can make him more likely to do this by doing activities that make him more likely to smile. 

Step 3: Add the Cue: 

Once your dog has made the association between smiling and treats, he will likely start to do it more often. At this point, it is a good idea to add the cue. To do this, you pick a cue word such as “smile,” then you say it just before your dog gives you a grin on their own.

After doing this a few times, you should say the word and see how he responds. If he smiles, the training was successful, and if it wasn’t, don’t worry! Your dog likely needs some more practice. 

Step 4: Practice!: 

Like any other cue, it is essential to practice the smile cue regularly.

How Do You Cheer Up A Sad Dog

Having a daily routine where you incorporate activities that your dog loves is the best way to cure dogs’ sadness. You can do this by incorporating things like:

● Fun trips to places they love, such as the park or a hiking spot

● Incorporate his favorite games such as fetch or tug of war

● Spice up playtime with some new toys and games

● Always reward happy behavior 

● Get a vet if your pet’s sadness won’t go away

How To Keep Your Labrador Happy

The best way to keep your Labrador happy is to ensure that all of his needs are met. This includes physical needs such as diet and exercise and emotional, mental, and social needs through playing and social interaction. 

Things To Consider

There are some other things that you should consider when it comes to sadness in dogs. These include when you should see a vet and some tips for giving your labrador retriever a healthy and happy lifestyle. 

When To See A Vet

It is essential to visit your vet as soon as possible if you ever notice troubling symptoms. This could be a sign that your dog has a severe illness or health condition that requires veterinary care.

Sometimes what you think to be signs of sadness in your dog could be a symptom of something more serious. Some common signs of sadness that are common symptoms of more serious illnesses and health conditions include loss of appetite, lethargy, and an increase in sleep.

In addition to this, if you notice any signs of sadness along with other symptoms that seem unusual, you should go to the vet immediately.

Tips For Giving Your Lab A Healthy And Happy Lifestyle 

To give your dog a healthy and happy lifestyle, you need to ensure that all of its needs are met. These include physical, mental, emotional, and social needs. 

Physical Needs 

A dog who has all of his physical needs met have: 

● A healthy and balanced diet

● Adequate daily exercise 

● Treatment for any health conditions or injuries

Mental Needs 

Dogs need to be challenged. You can meet your dog’s mental needs by providing them with enough mental stimulation by doing things like:

● Playing with interactive puzzle toys

● Working on obedience training 

● Playing games like fetch or hide and seek

● Doing fun activities such as agility training, lure training, and more

Emotional and Social Needs 

As we have mentioned, dogs are very social animals, and they need adequate social interaction to live a healthy and happy life. Therefore, it is best to spend some quality time with your dog daily and take them out to experience the world to ensure their social and emotional needs are met.