Recognizing Depression in Your Pet
Pets can get depression just as humans can. Sometimes it is more difficult to detect depression in our pets, because pets don't complain, but many signs can indicate depression: They may stop eating, drink less water, stop wanting to play, lose weight, develop insomnia, or have less energy than normal.
What Causes Depression in Pets?
Many factors promote depression in pets, including:
- Grief from a loss
- Change of environment
- Separation anxiety
- Change in climate
- Health issues
- Dental issues
One of the biggest causes of pet depression is the loss of a playmate or friend. Perhaps a child in the home has grown up and moved away, the pet's owner has changed or passed away, or another pet in the home is no longer there, leading to depression in your furry family member.
How to Treat Pet Depression
Pets can grieve like humans grieve, and it can be just as difficult to pull them out of their depressed state. When you recognize depression in your pet, take steps to treat their symptoms and cause of depression immediately. Make your pet's day more exciting by providing them with more activity. Liven things up for your pet! Buy them a new toy, take an extra walk with your pet, give them some extra attention, cuddle them, and make them feel cared for and loved. You'll get mood-boosting benefits as well: cuddling and stroking your pet can lower your blood pressure and heart rate as well as your pet's, leading to a calm relaxed feeling. Pets help humans with their depression, so let's do them a favor in return and help them with theirs! Explore local options like a pet park or pet daycare where your pet can play with other pets. Schedule play dates for your pet so they may be in contact with a "friend". You may want to ask your vet about anti-depressants if you've exhausted all of your options but find your pet is still depressed. Depression can be life-threatening to your pet if left untreated for too long. Prescription medications may help to perk your pet back up again, but they do carry a high risk of negative side effects, so consider them only as a last resort. Whenever possible, try using an all-natural supplement and natural methods to heal your pet. Take healthy, natural steps to treat depression in your pet, and you may soon see a return of the care free fur ball you love so much.
Photo Credit: This Year's Love