Older Dog Depressed With New Puppy


They say that the dog is the man’s best friend, and if you have a dog, you know that this is true. Because you love your dog so much, you want your dog to stay happy as much as possible. 

As your old dog slowly fades, many families often decide to get a new puppy. This is both to keep the old dog happy and because they want a new puppy before the old dog dies. 

This can, however, result in the old dog becoming depressed because of the new dog and all the attention the new dog is getting. Here are the most asked questions with great answers to each question.

Why might an older dog get depressed by a puppy?

First of all, it is essential to ask the question; Can dogs get depressed? While dogs do not have the same ability of reasoning as us humans, they can experience depression just like we can.

One reason for a dog to get depressed can be if you add a new family member in the form of a young puppy. When getting a new puppy, it requires a lot of attention. You have to teach it a lot of different things and discipline it. Furthermore, a puppy is so cute that it is nearly impossible not to always want to sit, cuddle or play with it. If you have an old dog that has been in the family for many years, it can feel like it isn’t getting the same amount of attention and that the new puppy is being loved more.

Sometimes it can also just be because of environmental change. Maybe your old dog simply has to adjust to the new addition to the family. In the beginning, it can be heartbreaking to see your old dog not wanting to play with the puppy or play with it, but typically this gets a lot better as soon as your old dog has adjusted to this new edition of the family.

Naturally, you want your older dog and puppy to get on as fast as possible. There are several different ways you can achieve this. First of all, you should make sure to still give your older dog plenty of attention. While the puppy is new and cute, you have to still make sure that the older dog feels just as important and show it that you still love it just as much as before the puppy arrived.

How can you help your older dog and puppy get on?

 Furthermore, try to make your older dog be more together with the puppy. With time, it will get better. Have them sit together, get treats together, and go on walks with them together. This way, the older dog will slowly learn that the puppy is just a new companion in life.

What common mistakes do people make that make things worse?

The first mistake people make is to almost panic when they see that the old dog doesn’t appreciate the new puppy as much in the beginning. If you own an old dog and get a puppy, you have to accept from the beginning that it can take up to a few months before the old dog and new puppy really settle in. Commit to this process and do not panic when they don’t settle in right from the beginning – it is completely normal. You will be surprised how two dogs that look like they hate each other suddenly can become best friends for life.

Another mistake is not introducing the dogs properly. It is important that you make sure to slowly introduce the dogs to each other, instead of just suddenly throwing the puppy into the home. By having them slowly meet and greet each other, there is a much bigger chance that you will experience a smooth and hassle-free relationship between the dogs.

Just like us humans, dogs get jealous. When you get a new puppy, it is important that you pay attention to both and not just the new little baby. The old dog will need the attention to feel like it is still being loved and hasn’t just been replaced. 

 We also highly recommend that you do not change the old dog’s current sleeping arrangements. Let the dog continue to sleep in the same spot as it did before the arrival of the puppy. Otherwise, it can cause a territory dispute between the old dog and the puppy, and it can cause a lot of stress for the old dog, as it may seem like her entire world suddenly is being changed. 

What are the signs of dog depression?

There are many different signs of a dog experiencing a depression. Here are a few of the most common signs.

Appetite changes: When a dog is depressed or very sad, it can lose all interest in food and lose a lot of weight. If your dog’s appetite suddenly is changing a lot, you should consider that the reason could be depression.

Sleeping more: We all know that dogs sleep a lot. They typically sleep when the owners are at work or in school, as well as when the owners are sleeping. But, when the owners are home, the dog is filled with energy and ready to play games and have fun. If your dog suddenly starts sleeping all the time, even when you are getting home, this could be a clear sign of depression.

Loss of interest: Another major sign of depression is if your dog suddenly completely loses interest in everything it normally would love. If there is no interest in going for a walk, playing, or something else it normally loves, this is a clear sign of depression.

Why do dogs get depressed?

In order to be able to actually do something about the depression your dog is experiencing, it is important to know what the cause of the depression is. Here are some different reasons why a dog suddenly can become depressed.

Physical Illness: Health problems are one of the main reasons for a dog to act depressed. For that reason, you should contact your dog’s veterinarian right away if it seems like it is depressed. This way, you can quickly rule out any physical cause for your dog’s depressed behavior or determine what the physical cause is. If there is any physical cause, you should naturally follow the doctor’s treatment recommendations. Hopefully, your dog’s depression will disappear as soon as it is healthy again.

Grief: Dogs can get very depressed if they experience the loss of animal or human companions, just like us. Perhaps a family member has moved out, or a dog in the family has died. There is no way of explaining this to a dog, so you simply have to just show the dog a lot of love and give it time to become happy again.

Environmental changes: Sudden environmental changes can be hard on a dog. If you are moving into a new home, it may seem like a long process for you because you have been planning it for months. But for the dog, its entire world is suddenly being completely changed in just a few hours. A dog can show signs of depression from this sudden world-changer. All you can do is to continue giving the dog love and time for the adjustment. 

What help can you get?

Luckily, there are many new solutions and ways to get help if your dog is acting depressed. First of all, you could contact an animal behaviorist. You can often get in contact with one through your dog’s veterinarian. You could also talk to your breeder. The breeder of your dog normally has a lot of experience with this, so there is no doubt that they most likely can give you a helping hand.

If your dog is from a rescue center, you could contact the rescue center. If you are lucky, the veterinarian has been through this 100’s of times and knows exactly how to help you. 

Closing Thoughts

As you can see, there are many different reasons why a dog can get depressed. It may be because it feels like you aren’t giving the dog as much attention as it needs, it can be caused by some physical illnesses, or maybe it is because of environmental changes. A depressed dog is a sad dog, and as a dog owner, it is important that you make sure to keep an eye on your dog. Different signs to keep an eye on could be appetite changes, loss of interest, or sleeping more. If your dog is acting like any of these videos, it is important that you get it checked out. Take it to the veterinarian to rule out any physical problems. After having ruled out any physical issues, you simply have to slowly make the dog feel happy and joyful again.

James Grayston

My name is James and I love dogs. have owned four Golden Retrievers in the past 15 years. Currently I own two "Goldies"- a five year old and a seven month old. The photo shows me with our youngest when she was about 7 weeks old!