Hi Cesar,

My nine-year-old Rottweiler has stopped eating since my husband and I separated. My husband has been deployed for most of the marriage so, for the first 45-90 days, it was not an issue.

Then last month, our dog—who has never had a problem eating—stopped eating. Then she lost all interest in her favorite toys. For years, we’ve gone for our 45-minute to over an hour walk. Now she loses interest and sometimes doesn’t want to leave the house. I’ve tried taking her to new places for walks and to get her interested again in life but nothing seems to work. She has lost so much weight, I see her ribs now. No eating at all.

I’ve been to vets, and they say there is nothing more they can do. Please, my girl is suffering; can you give me some advice? What can I do?

Christina Battagliese

Dear Christine,

Since your dog has already seen a doctor, we know that her problem is not medical; it is psychological. Your dog is going through mourning. She was comfortable with the pack as it was and was attached to the two energies of you and your husband. Now that those two energies don’t live in the same house, she has to go through a transformation, a very deep transformation, to learn how to live without that energy.

If this situation lasts three or four days, I would recommend giving her space and letting her go through it. Do not add to the pain by feeling desperate or sorry for her. When we feel too sorry for our dogs, it sends them weak energy, and it prevents them from moving on successfully.

However, it seems like this may have been going on for a longer period of time. If that is the case, get primal help; often another dog can help create a different state of mind. Take her to visit friends who have happy-go-lucky or calm-submissive dogs. Dogs with any other states of mind besides those two would not be healthy for her. As I often find with my pack at the Dog Psychology Center, other, healthier members of their own species can have a powerful effect on our dogs that often we as humans sometimes cannot provide.

If you need further assistance, I always advise consulting a local professional.

Stay calm and assertive – your dog really needs your strong, positive energy right now!

Cesar Millan

Have you helped your dog overcome depression? How did you do it? Tell us all about in the comments.

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