Jealousy is a strong emotion that makes people and dogs act out of character. It triggers protective and aggressive instincts in both parties, but does it kill?
Humans, definitely not. How about dogs?
The amygdala is the part of your dog’s brain responsible for envy. But unless you surgically remove it, your pet would always react jealously when they detect a rival for your attention.
It is the reason dogs get jealous when they smell other dogs on you. Or when you hug someone else. But can a dog die of jealousy?
No, not even when the amygdala projects jealousy so strongly that your pet is provoked to do the extreme. Fear is the reaction that invokes jealousy, which may ultimately cause aggression in dogs.
Extreme jealousy may make a dog act in a manner that it would need to be put down. Repeatedly putting a jealous dog in a scenario where they must compete for your attention or other valuable resources never ends well.
But when the desire to protect a scarce resource becomes extreme, it will only affect your dog’s actions, not kill them.
Jealousy grows in dogs, like it does in humans. You feed this feeling in your pet each time you display affection to others and exclude them.
Can a Dog Get Depressed From Jealousy?
Yes, a dog can get depressed from jealousy. However, it will only happen when you repeat behaviors or scenarios that make your pet believe they must compete for your attention.
If your pet is among the jealous dog breeds, pay extra attention to the signs of prolonged jealousy in dogs.
But even dogs that are not on this list can succumb to jealousy when they feel neglected. Their temperament will determine if your pet will display their envy through aggression or depression.
Six signs of depression in dogs include:
1. Loss of appetite.
2. Reduced energy.
3. Lethargy or a lack of interest in their favorite activities.
4. Excessive grooming.
6. Withdrawing and spending time alone and in darker areas of the home.
A medical condition may cause depression in dogs, but emotions like boredom and jealousy may also be responsible. However, you can prevent these mental conditions from escalating in your dog by training them to adapt to your social situations.
You can also avoid occasions that cause prolonged feelings of jealousy in dogs. For instance, when there is a new puppy in the household, ensure that your display of affection towards your two dogs is equal.
Preferential treatment will only result in resource guarding, which develops into jealousy in dogs. Reward your pet when they have been good in social situations and ignore their bad behavior to discourage it.
What Happens When Dogs Get Jealous?
What happens when dogs get jealous? Their emotions affect their actions. A jealous dog’s reaction may be mild or severe, depending on your pet’s temperament and history.
Some of the signs of jealousy in dogs include:
2. Misbehaving or acting in a way that draws attention to your pet.
3. Acting needy or clingy.
4. Excessive grooming.
If you fail to alleviate jealousy in your dog, it can lead to depression. The alternate reaction would be aggression, which may put you and your pet in unfavorable situations.
It is okay if you have neglected your dog so much that they are now showing signs of depression. Pets will often pull through these periods on their own. But you need to show them more love and attention and help them feel safe.
An aggressive dog can still be redeemed. With the right tools and commands, you can control the force of jealousy in your pet.