Did you know that it is possible for dogs and cats to get depressed too? Yes, depression among dogs and cats are real, and if the problem is not nipped in the bud, your pet will suffer from anxiety issues that can be detrimental on their health. Hence it will be important for us to learn how to detect, manage, and prevent depression in our pets.
How do you know if the pet is having depression
Unlike humans, the only way at which we can detect if the dog is having depression is by looking at various signals that the pet might be exhibiting. Some of these signals include:
Lost of appetite and weight: When the pet is depressed, it can lose its appetite and hence will suffer a drop in weight. This can be dangerous for the pet as the sudden drop in weight can lead to several health complications in your pet, so it will be important for you to monitor your pet for any loss of appetite and weight.
Barking when you leave the house: This is especially applicable if you have a dog as a pet. If you notice that your dog howls and barks loudly after you leave the house, then your dog is displaying signs of separation anxiety issue, which by itself is a subset of depression!
Shredded items at home: Of course, there can be cases of your dog not howling or barking loudly when you leave the house, but only for you to discover shredded pieces of items when you return home. If this resonates with you, then you might want to know that this behavior is actually a sign that your dog is depressed and hence is doing whatever it can so that it can get your attention! Note that you should refrain from scolding or reprimanding your dog if this is indeed the case as the abomination can cause the dog’s condition to deteriorate.
Sudden change in behavior: If your pet is usually energetic but you notice that it is suddenly showing signs of lethargic, then it might be a cause for concern as the pet might be feeling lethargic due to depression.
Prevention and managing depression in pets
There are multiple ways that you can help your pet mitigate the stresses that result in them having depression. Some are listed below:
Using peripherals: To help combat depression in your pets, you can opt to purchase peripherals such as snuggle shirts as they can help to keep your pet calm when they are feeling anxious.
Spending more time with your pet: One possible reason that the pet is feeling depressed is because the owner isn’t spending enough time with them. Hence, it will be good if you can allocate some time in a day so that you can cater to the pet’s needs for socialization.
Giving your dog CBD oil: In recent years, CBD oil is gaining quite a bit of reputation as it can help to alleviate some of the signs of depression that the dog might be facing.
If you notice abnormal behavior of your pet, you should by all means discuss your concerns with a trusted veterinarian. The key to resolving the problem lies in the early detection and treatment. If you know of someone who’s pet may be exhibiting signs of anxiety or depression, please share this article with them. As always, your respectful comments are welcome.