How Do Dogs Show Sadness?

Dogs are known for their loyalty and unconditional love, but they also experience a range of emotions, including sadness. In this article, “How do Dogs Show Sadness?”, we will explore the various ways in which dogs can express their sadness. From physical signs to behavioral changes, we will discuss the different ways that dogs show their sadness.

Physical Signs of Sadness

When a dog is feeling sad, there are physical signs that can be observed. These include changes in appetite and activity level.

Changes in Appetite

Dogs who are feeling down may show a decrease in appetite. This can be seen as a lack of interest in food, or even refusing to eat altogether. If your dog is not eating their meals, it may be an indication that they are feeling sad.

Changes in Activity Level

Sadness can also manifest itself through changes in activity level. Dogs who are feeling down may become less active than usual, and have less energy than normal. They may also sleep more than usual or become less interested in playing or going for walks.

Behavioral Signs of Sadness

Dogs are social animals and can experience a range of emotions, including sadness. When a dog is feeling down, they may display certain behaviors that can alert their owners to their emotional state.

Withdrawal from Interaction

One of the most common signs of sadness in a dog is withdrawal from interaction with people and other animals. A normally friendly pup may become uninterested in playing or cuddling, or may even avoid eye contact with their owners.

Loss of Interest in Activities

A sad dog may also lose interest in activities they usually enjoy, such as going for walks or playing fetch. They may also become less responsive to commands or cues they know well.

Increased Sleeping Habits

Sad dogs often sleep more than usual due to a lack of energy and motivation. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), dogs that are feeling down may sleep up to 18 hours per day.

Emotional Signs of Sadness

Dogs are very expressive animals and can show a range of emotions, including sadness. There are several physical and emotional signs that can indicate a dog is feeling sad.

Lack of Eye Contact

A dog that is feeling sad may avoid eye contact with their owner or other people. They may also appear to be withdrawn or uninterested in activities they usually enjoy.

Lowered Ears and Tail Position

Sadness in dogs can be seen through their body language. A dog’s ears may be lowered, and their tail may be tucked between their legs. This is a sign that the dog is feeling scared or anxious.

Unusual Whining or Howling Sounds

Dogs may also express sadness through vocalizations such as whining, howling, or barking more than usual. This could be an indication that the dog is feeling lonely or upset about something.


Causes of Sadness in Dogs

Dogs can experience sadness for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes of sadness in dogs include:

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is a common cause of sadness in dogs. This occurs when a dog experiences distress due to being separated from their owner or other family members. Symptoms of separation anxiety can include barking, howling, pacing, and destructive behavior.

Loss of a Loved One or Companion Animal

The death or loss of a loved one or companion animal can also cause sadness in dogs. Dogs form strong bonds with their owners and other animals, so the loss of these relationships can be difficult for them to cope with. Signs that your dog is experiencing grief may include changes in appetite, sleeping more than usual, and becoming less active.

Health Issues or Painful Conditions

Health issues and painful conditions can also lead to sadness in dogs. If your dog is experiencing pain due to an injury or illness, they may become depressed as a result. Other signs that your dog may be feeling sad due to health issues include lethargy, lack of interest in activities they once enjoyed, and changes in behavior.

Ways to Help Your Dog Cope with Sadness

Dogs can show sadness in a variety of ways, including lethargy, loss of appetite, and changes in behavior. If you notice your dog exhibiting any of these signs, there are several things you can do to help them cope with their sadness.

Provide Comfort and Reassurance

The best way to help your dog cope with sadness is to provide comfort and reassurance. Spend extra time cuddling and playing with them, take them on more walks, and talk to them in a soothing voice. You can also give them treats or toys as a reward for good behavior.

Increase Exercise and Stimulation

Exercise is important for both physical and mental health in dogs. Take your dog on longer walks or hikes, play fetch or tug-of-war with them, or enroll them in an agility class. Additionally, providing mental stimulation through puzzle toys or training classes can help keep their minds active and engaged.

Seek Professional Help if Necessary

If your dog’s sadness persists despite your efforts to comfort them, it may be time to seek professional help from a veterinarian or animal behaviorist. They can provide additional advice on how to best care for your pet’s emotional needs and may even recommend medication if necessary.


Dogs are incredibly expressive animals, and they have a wide range of emotions that they can express. In this article, “How do Dogs Show Sadness?”, we discussed the various ways in which dogs can express their sadness. From physical signs such as droopy ears and tail tucking to behavioral changes such as lethargy and loss of appetite, dogs have many ways to show their sadness. If you think your pup is feeling down, it’s important to pay attention to their behavior and provide them with the love and support they need. For more information on how to care for your pup, visit A Pet’s Home.

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