5 easy tips to sense depression in your furry friend

It’s 8 am and you have to go to work. You stare at your sleeping dog and say to yourself in a moment of cruel honesty, “Wow, I wish I was this dog”. Well, guess what? Your dog also has its days! How can you know? Understanding what your pet feels is a challenging mission but very much possible.

Here are five easy tips to find out if your furry friend is depressed:

 

  • Appetite Changes

Loss of appetite in any living creature is a big warning sign. If your pet is not eating at all or is eating less and reluctantly, there is a chance that the reason is a chemical imbalance, caused by clinical depression–ot very different from humans. Good food and a healthy diet are just as important for our pets as they are for us. If we want them to stay happy we must be extra aware of their eating habits.

  • Change in Sleeping Habits

Your dog sleeps late?  Does her physical exercise of the day consist of moving from couch to couch?  Excessive sleeping could be a pretty good indication of depression.

  • Loss of interest

Simple as it sounds. He doesn’t wait on the porch when you’re coming home anymore, doesn’t show interest in his favorite toys or treats. Is he basically acting like a teenager? Depression could be a good explanation.

  • Avoidance or hiding

A strong indication of depression is if your pet suddenly starts to hide from you or dislikes being touched. Even though it could be a sign of an injury or physical pain, it can also be a way for your pet to express its emotional pain.

  • Excessive Licking

In some cases, compulsive licking or biting, or any signs of aggressive behavior, can be indications that your pet’s mood is out of balance.

Some animals also show signs of anxiety or sporadic howling and whining.

All these symptoms can indicate depression – it is important to observe your pet carefully!

Did you notice some of these symptoms in your pet? It’s time to act!

As the awareness of depression in pets has begun to rise, drug manufacturers have started offering antidepressant drugs (similar to the ones for humans) for dogs and cats. Although a certified veterinarian might prescribe these drugs, we think this should be the very last option. There are quite a few things you can do at home once you notice symptoms of depression, and we suggest trying them before giving your loved one antidepressant drugs. These drugs usually have many side effects such as headaches, nausea, general tiredness and many more.

Firstly and most importantly, you should check with your vet if your pet is not suffering from any other health issues that could cause similar symptoms and therefore might need medical treatment. If that is not the case, here are some effective ways of dealing with depression with no medicines whatsoever:  

Just like humans, pets can go through some hard times, and just like humans, sometimes pure love is the best remedy! More cuddle time, or showing more affection after a long absence and before leaving the house can be game changing!!

Another option is to try and eliminate factors that may disturb your pet’s serenity and calmness, such as loud noises. A different cause you should consider is that your furry friend is just feeling lonely — in that case  a companion can sometimes do miracles. Domestic cats and some dog breeds have a hard time staying alone for too long, so being in good company can be the answer to all their problems! Well, not all of them, but you see the point.

If none of these works and your pet is still feeling down, you might consider homeopathic remedies. CBD is reported to improve symptoms of depression by modulating the actions of the endocannabinoid system. It can enhance the activity of the receptors to which serotonin binds in the brain, and therefore can change its mood for the best. Oh, and it’s natural!  

Sometimes noticing something is wrong can be tricky, especially since communicating with our pets makes us face quite a few challenges. But, it is definitely not impossible and once you do it, the road to a better lifestyle is not as long as you might think!

Our own welfare and happiness are elusive, and the same goes for our pets. All we have to do is make sure it’s still there!

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