Can Pets Get Depressed?

Does your pet seem depressed?  If you thought this emotional condition only occurred in humans, think again. Pets can actually get depressed too. Even some of the most lively and happy animals have been known to develop depression. They feel down and do not exhibit their normal behavior. The following is some helpful information to help you understand this condition so you can help your pet if they develop it.


Warning Signs

The warning signs of pet depression are similar to those seen in humans. Here are three common ones to be aware of:

  • Your pet has less energy and seems tired.
  • His appetite has dropped.
  • He is not playing as much as normal.

If you notice that your pet is exhibiting these symptoms, it might be a good idea to take him to the vet. The vet can perform tests and rule out any other problems.


Causes of Pet Depression

There are many different reasons that pets become depressed. In most cases, they relate to loss or change. For example, a pet might become depressed because someone dies in the family. They also might become depressed if there is more stress in the home. In addition, pets are known to develop stress during moves. Sometimes pets can become depressed if they are left alone for too long – particularly dogs.


Treating Pet Depression

Is there a remedy for pet depression?  Medication is rarely used. In some cases, pet owners have to work on stimulating the animal’s appetite. However, most of the time depression treatment focuses on helping the animal bounce back. This involves minimizing the stress in the home, plenty of exercise, playtime, and other helpful remedies. If the animal is grieving because of a loss, the owner can try to make the environment more comfortable. When moving to a new house, it is a good idea to introduce each area of the home gradually to the animal.

If these remedies do not work, contact your vet. It is important to have a happy and healthy animal.


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