Animals, just like humans, have all kinds of emotions. We typically perceive them as being happy, excited or maybe just tired, more than anything else. It’s important to know that pets actually can become depressed, and we should know how to tell and what to look out for to confirm that emotion.
How to Tell If Your Pet I Depresses
If you suspect that you have a depressed dog or cat, first thing’s first: consider the context. What kind of animal do you have? Cat’s sleep all the time, so just because your cat is sleeping a lot doesn’t mean that it he or she is depressed. A dog, on the other hand, doesn’t quite sleep as much, so maybe keep an eye out for other odd behaviors that might confirm your suspicion.
Also, situationally, has anything happened recently that would cause this? Has any change taken place that would require your animal to go through an adjustment period? Examples of this would be another pet passing away, a change in your work schedule that keeps you from being around as often, or a move to a new home. Do a little research to understand what your particular animal struggles with, mentally.
Cats struggle with a change of environment and are very territorial, whereas dogs tend to adapt more to that type of change and struggle more with loss of companionship. Understanding your animal and the context of their current situation will tell you a lot about what they might be going through.
Other than examining the animal and the context, look for clear cut signs of depression. Some of these signs are lack of appetite, weight loss, and a general mopey nature or significant change in personality.
What You Can Do If you Dog is Depressed
If you determine by observation that your pet is depressed, consider the cause. If you’ve recently gone back to work, and your puppy’s days are filled alone and without your companionship until you get home at night, try to make an adjustment. If it’s possible, pop home for lunch some days to play a quick came of fetch with him or her, or make more of an effort to be active with the dog after work, even if that means heading to the park. If there are really no changes you can make to accommodate your pet, head to the vet. There are certain animal medications that will treat depression and anxiety to help your furry friend get over the hump.
Don’t ignore your pet if you think they’re down. Do your best to figure it out, and don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian, if all else fails, what you can do to help your pet feel better.