Identifying Depression In Pets

  • Pets, like people suffer from depression. People with depression often say they feel sad, anxious, irritable, and desperate or have thoughts of suicide. They may also experience a change in appetite. People can also have a change in interest in activities they otherwise enjoy.

    You doubt that you suffer from depression based on your conviction that it is important to be aware of this condition. These non-specific characteristics may include changes in your activity level, appetite, and interaction with others More often, there is something that causes the onset of this relapse. Even seemingly normal events, such as the arrival of a new child or moving home, can cause changes in pets. There is a period of adjustment, and we can assume that there is a period of depression.

    If your pet has any of these odd signs and your veterinarian should be notified promptly. Many times, basic health problems can produce similar physical signs. For example, humans and animals with arthritis or discomfort in a certain area of their body may be less active and restless at night. Animals with uncontrolled diabetes or dogs with hypothyroidism can be lethargic. If your vet can not identify physical problems after a physical examination he may recommend tests, such as blood tests and x-rays, then the diagnosis of depression might be more apparent. You can also keep a diary and record measurable behaviors, such as the length of a pet’s walk or how your pet interacts with his toy or other pets.

    Warning Signs Your Pet May Be Depressed

    Decreased Appetite

    Another suspicious sign of depression can be a pet with a healthy appetite that suddenly loses interest in eating. It can be a dog that usually cleans the bowl and looks for more but, suddenly loses interest in his favorite meal. Or an animal can leave some bites, which she never did before. It is very important for your vet to review your pet if you notice a change in appetite to make sure you do not have a basic problem. Change of appetite can be a sign of any number of diseases and medical conditions.

    Decreased Interest and Activity Level

    If you notice that your pet is spending more time sleeping or just abandoning daily activities, that’s something you should consider telling your vet. If your pet strives to keep you home and suddenly loses interest when you leave the room or house, it can also be a significant sign. Reducing overall activity is much easier to detect in a younger pet that tends to be more active than older animals. Some animals will slow down during aging due to normal aging processes, but it should not encourage the owner too much to communicate with them in some way. An example could be raising your pet’s leash and calling him three to four times to take him for a walk. Rather than running for you, your dog or cat can take time to get close to you. A cat that is usually very enthusiastic about rolling a ball or a toy seems to lose interest in the toy. You may have to throw the ball or shake the pencil for a few minutes before the cat is interested. And the level of interest may vary from slow access almost to not approaching. Simply watching how your pet plays with a toy from a distance regardless of age, may differ from the gradual start to the sudden occurrence.

    Decreased Interactions with Owners and Other People

    When a pet, who loves being with owner suddenly wants to be alone more can be a major indication of depression. Animals suffering from depression may even ignore their owners when they come home, Your pet can sleep in bed all day or in the corner of another room from you or the rest of your family. Be observant and pay close attention.

    What Can You Do to Help Your Pet?

    If your pet is diagnosed with depression, there are some things you can start at home. Give him more structure. Keep him on a schedule of predictable and fun activities. Some animals seem less concerned when there is a daily routine that an owner follows.
    Try to attract your pets to the activities they like and enjoy. Do not give up because your pet needs to be more tempted to participate in these activities. Be sure to take your dog for a walk in the new neighborhood or park. Drive a new place to peak his interest. New toys and toys that offer different sounds or smells can be very stimulating especially for cats. Interaction with your pet, touching or talking with her/him can also be helpful. Work on some basic exercises that your pet already knows. You can use a new food reward or interesting smells to stimulate your pet’s emotional stimulation. This will help you maintain your mental stability. Avoid situations that may scare your pet.

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