Is Your Dog Sad? Try These Strategies for How to Cheer Up a Sad Dog

Updated: June 06, 2022

We always find things to do whenever we feel sad, but it’s not like that for our furbabies. Luckily for us, we can cry, communicate, and vent out our feelings whenever we feel the need to. Our dogs can’t. This is the reason why it’s our responsibility as pet parents to cheer up our sad dogs.

Why does my dog look sad? Dogs have a unique way of communicating their thoughts and feelings to us. So, if you notice your dog acting differently, they might be feeling down and sad about something. We all want to know how to make dogs happy when they are sad. In this article, we’ll talk about why your furbaby is feeling blue, signs to look for to know why they’re sad, and the different strategies on how to cheer up a sad dog.

"Dogs love routines and even the most inadequate change in the day-to-day schedule they’re used to can be a big deal for them. "

Is Your Dog Sad?

Do dogs get sad? Yes, they can. Your dog may be feeling down if you notice the following:

  • Unusual sleeping time and sleeping on a different spot from where they used to sleep or take a rest
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Not interested anymore in activities they used to love (like playing fetch, going to walks, and many others)
  • An increase, a decrease, or a total loss of appetite
  • Sudden weight gain or weight loss
  • Sudden behavior changes (like accidents, excessive grooming, excessive linking, excessive barking, eating of poop, among many others)

Note: These are just some of the many signs that may appear when your dog is feeling sad. If you’re thinking, “my dog seems sad and tired all the time,” then it could be the sign of a health condition or anxiety. If your dog seems sad all of the sudden, it is worth a trip to the vet to make sure that these changes are really because your furbaby is sad and not from an underlying health condition or illness. Consult your veterinarian about it for proper diagnosis.

What Is Making Your Dog Sad?

Why is my dog sad? Your dog’s sadness may be because of a number of possible reasons. It can be because of:

  • Routine changes. As stated by I Heart Dogs, dogs thrive on routine. A happy dog is one who knows exactly what to expect from their life: what time they will be fed, what time they will be walked, and how much time they will get to spend with their favorite human.Dogs love routines and even the most inadequate change in the day-to-day schedule they’re used to can be a big deal for them. It stresses them out and makes them sad. These changes can include a slight change in feeding time, transfer to a new house, and a different arrangement of furniture at home.
  • Separation anxiety in dogs. Do dogs get sad when you leave? A lot of furbabies feel lonely whenever their pet parents leave home for work or leave home for a couple of days. These dogs may also experience separation anxiety, as this type of anxiety is triggered when dogs experience separation from the people or sometimes things they're attached to. To help your furbaby manage separation anxiety, you can give them Pet Parents® Calming Supplements. These dog anxiety supplements will help reduce your furbaby's anxiety and will help keep them calm and relaxed. Pet Parents® Calming Supplements are made with Suntheanine® that helps prevent your furbaby from feeling drowsy after taking it. What’s more amazing? These supplements contain Vitamin B1 (also known as Thiamine) that supports healthy stress and anxiety management.
  • The coming of a new family member (a new baby or a new pet). Some dogs can’t easily take in or accept a new family member, particularly because they’ve been so used to being the center of attention at home and then suddenly somebody else takes their place. They get jealous and become sad when they are ignored. While a new family member or furbaby is exciting for you, it can be a big adjustment to your dog. Remember to give your dog some time apart from the new baby or furbaby while they adjust to the new living situation and use positive reinforcement when they are around them. This will help your sad dog to learn that the new family member is a good thing!
  • The leaving or sudden loss of a family member. Like us, dogs also grieve the loss of a friend or a companion, may it be a human friend or a fellow pet. Do dogs know when you are sad? Yes, in fact dogs can sense sadness as well as see your behavior changes. If your dog seems sad all of the sudden after a loss, they are likely grieving just like a human would.

Strategies to Cheer Up Your Pup

How can you turn your sad dog into a happy dog? Here are some strategies to help cheer up a sad dog:

Stick to a routine

As mentioned, dogs easily get stressed with changes in their routines. This is why to help cheer your pup up, you have to have a routine and stick to it. Providing your furbaby a daily routine will allow them to know when they are going to eat, when they are going out for a walk, and when they are allowed to run around & play fetch. With this, they are able to understand what exactly is going on and will give them comfort and a sense of security.

Exercise with your dog

Another way how to cheer up a sad dog is to exercise. Just like how you need exercise to keep you fit and happy, it works just like that for your furbaby, too! You can exercise together with your dog by walking, hiking, jogging, swimming, playing frisbee, and a lot more. These exercises will help develop the bond between you and your furbaby and will also improve their focus, concentration, and mental health.

When you start to exercise more with your pup, it is beneficial to provide your dog with Pet Parents® Hip and Joint supplements. These supplements promote healthy joints by establishing improved flexibility, reducing inflammation, and strengthening your dog's cartilage and joints. Providing these supplements will ease your mind and will keep both your dog & family happy and healthy!

Exercise can also help to decrease anxiety and create a bonding experience for you and your furbaby. You can incorporate exercise in training or utilize dog exercise equipment. There are lots of options to choose from, so you can find the one that works best for you and your dog.

Is Your Dog Sad? Try These Strategies for How to Cheer Up a Sad Dog

Reward a Positive Behavior

Giving your furbaby treats when they are feeling sad is one of the first things that may come into your mind to try to cheer up your pup. But as much as we want to believe this is okay to do, it isn’t. Giving treats while they are feeling down might teach them to link negativity and feeling sad with obtaining rewards.

You want to make sure that you reward only the positive and desirable behaviors of your dog. According to The Spruce Pets, do and try fun activities with your pup, like playing brain games or going out for a walk. If you notice your dog enjoying whatever both of you have decided to do, give them a reward! A reward can be anything from a belly rub to giving your dog their favorite toy or chew!

When giving your dog a chew for a reward, make sure you only give them the high quality and safe ones like Gnawtlers®. Gnawtlers® are premium antler chews you can give to your furbaby without having to worry if it might break or splinter and hurt your dog. Gnawtlers® also gives you peace of mind as you no longer have to worry if the chews are healthy for your dog as they are jam-packed with nutrients like magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, and zinc. Gnawtlers® are also great to help keep your dog mentally stimulated.


Another method of how to cheer up a sad dog is through socialization. Dog socialization is more than just exposing your dog to the environment they’re at. Socialization also means your dog should be learning how to properly associate and relate in different situations.

Dogs are social beings and they can easily sense and determine when something is not right or when somebody else is feeling sad. This is one of the main reasons why socializing your dog is important and essential to maintaining a happier life for your furbaby.

Spend More Time With Your Dog

Whatever is making your dog feel sad, the most important part solution is you spend more time with them. You might not know what exactly is making your furbaby sad but by giving them more attention and interaction, they will know you love them.

Note: Sadness, stress, and anxieties in dogs, when not managed properly, can progress into depression. Can dogs get depressed? Yes, dog depression is not only real, but it is a serious issue. If you see signs of depression in dogs in your furbabby or dog depression symptoms, it is best to consult your vet on matters like this and to know what else you can do for your furbaby.

" Gnawtlers® are premium antler chews you can give to your furbaby without having to worry it might break or splinter and hurt your dog. "

What are the best ways how to cheer up a sad dog? By just being there for your dog—as simple as feeding them on time, playing with them longer, giving them belly rubs randomly, having them sit beside you while you’re binge-watching your favorite TV series—it’s more than enough to tell them you love them and ease the sadness they’re feeling.