Depression in Pets: Warning Signs and What to Do


If you’re feeling depressed, chances are your pet is too. Pets and depression go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly, so if you’re having trouble with mood swings or depression, you need to know what the warning signs are and how to help prevent them from happening in the first place.

Here are some common warning signs of pet depression, as well as simple steps you can take to help prevent it from taking hold of your furry friend and spreading it to you!


The visible signs of pet depression


-Aversion to being touched or petted

-Restlessness and pacing

-Self-neglect (e.g., an animal may not groom, eat, drink, or take care of its needs)

-Reduced responsiveness to stimuli Some warning signs are very similar to those for humans with depression.

If you think your pet is depressed, talk to your veterinarian as soon as possible so that you can work together on a treatment plan that will meet both of your needs.

A vet might prescribe anti-depressants, suggest behavioral therapy, recommend an alternate diet, or advise you on other options depending on the individual situation.

The most important thing is to get help now because the longer pets suffer from depression without treatment, the harder it becomes to reverse the condition.

Don’t wait until symptoms worsen. There’s no shame in reaching out for help if you think your pet is struggling with feelings of hopelessness, grief, sadness, anxiety, loneliness, or boredom.

Your veterinarian can diagnose the problem and offer appropriate treatments that will get both you and your pet back to feeling like yourselves again.


The invisible signs of pet depression

Signs of depression vary from animal to animal, but some general ones are decreased activity levels, lethargy, apathy, irritability, hiding, or shutting down.

If your pet exhibits these signs for more than two weeks it is likely they are depressed and you should get them some help. Just like humans, there are many different forms of treatment available including behavior modification and talk therapy.

These therapies can be done on their own or combined with medication depending on the severity of the case. It’s important that you find a way to relieve your pet’s stress so that they can once again be healthy and happy!

There are lots of ways to do this; one easy way is to provide them with chew toys. A study found that 70% of people who live alone report increased happiness after purchasing new toys for their dog.

Another option is going on walks or runs together, which not only gives them physical exercise but mental stimulation as well. Spending time with your pet will also lower their stress level and make them happier.

If you have tried all of these things and still notice no change then it may be time to seek professional help!


How to help your pet with depression

It’s often difficult for pet owners to tell when their pets are experiencing depression. The following are some signs that your furry friend may be depressed.

They seem unusually lethargic or apathetic, they don’t respond to normal attention, they’re sleeping more than usual, and they appear to have lost interest in food.

If you notice any of these behaviors it is important to contact a veterinarian immediately so that the situation can be addressed as soon as possible.

Your vet will likely do an examination, run blood tests, perform an x-ray, and possibly even a CT scan to determine the cause of the depression.

As with humans, there are many different causes of depression in animals including cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism just to name a few.

Veterinarians will take into account the physical condition of the animal before recommending treatment. Antidepressants may also be prescribed depending on what caused the depression in the first place.

Sometimes the best course of action is simply time and patience. Depression in pets can be hard on both owner and pet but having information about the symptoms and knowing how to address them if necessary goes a long way towards easing this burden.


Additional things you can do for depressed pets

Pets should be treated like family members. If your pet is exhibiting any of the following behaviors, ask yourself if they are a normal part of your pet’s routine.

If not, it could be time to call a vet. Symptoms include anything from decreased appetite or energy, refusing to go outside, and elimination issues such as urinary frequency or blood in the stool.

A general rule for vets says that any change that lasts more than two weeks needs to be addressed with a vet. A good question to ask yourself when you suspect something is wrong with your pet is whether you would want this type of treatment for yourself.

Would you choose to live in a cage 24/7? Would you be happy eating only dry food? Dogs need lots of physical exercises, so how much walking does your dog get?

Cats are very sensitive creatures. Is there an animal companion that can replace their need for companionship (a feline-friendly dog or cat)? Talk to your vet about all of these possibilities.


How CBD Oil can help pets deal with anxiety and other issues

CBD oil is already being used by humans for mood and sleep disturbances. CBD can also help animals that suffer from anxiety or depression.

One way this could be achieved is by administering it orally, but if your pet has a sensitive stomach, placing the drops under their tongue can work just as well.

If you are interested in giving CBD oil to your pet, consult with a veterinarian first before doing so. After following these steps, you will see a happier and healthier animal that is more at ease in stressful situations. 

After following these steps, you will see a happier and healthier animal that is more at ease in stressful situations. It’s important to remember that there is no shame in seeking professional help when necessary, whether it’s for yourself or an animal companion.

As you embark on this journey of helping your pet live a better life, know that there are many resources available for both people and pets alike!

There are plenty of veterinarians who specialize in veterinary behavioral medicine, which means they have spent years studying the intricacies of what makes animals happy and healthy.

There are also organizations like PAWS Animal Assisted Therapy, which offer service dogs for those struggling with depression and other mental health disorders.

I hope you find some inspiration here to take care of your furry friend!

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