Not only us, humans, but even dogs and cats are also susceptible to depression. You have just had a new entrant in your family and your well-behaved pet dog shows signs of anxiety, restless, and appears withdrawn.
Don’t panic, wait…
Rodents and primates may also suffer from bouts of depression.
So, can a dog suffer from depression? Experts say yes. As experts point out, dog depression is not too different from humans suffering from depression. Let’s learn more.
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- What Are The Dog Depression Signs?
- Do You Know The Dog Depression Causes?
- Dog Depression Treatment
- Dog Depression Medications
- What Are The Foods to Boost Your Dog’s Health During Depression?
- How Can You Help In The Recovery Of Depression In Dogs?
- Do You Know About Cat Depression?
- Cat Depression Causes
- How To Treat Cat Depression?
- How To Prevent Depression In Cats?
What Are The Dog Depression Signs?
Depression in dogs is quite similar to what we people undergo.
Commons signs of depression in dogs include:
- Turn inactive and lazy
- Becoming withdrawn
- Sleeping and eating habits undergo a drastic change
- Avoid things which they previously enjoyed doing
Vets also warn that these signs could also mean these dogs are medically unfit and necessarily not depressed.
The first step is to contact your local vet and do a full checkup. A dog that dislikes going around could simply suffer from arthritis pain.
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Do You Know The Dog Depression Causes?
Any major shifts in a pet’s life could cause depression.
These changes can range from adding another pet, a new entrant in the family, to moving into a different locality or neighborhood.
- Talk to your vet if you find signs of depression and it is important to rule out any physical issues. If all the physical causes are eliminated and the condition is still not normal, it is necessary to treat for emotional issues.
- Changes in seasons increase the chance of depression in dogs. How do we say?. Dogs living in areas prone to hurricanes are known to suffer from higher chances of depression. When winter seasons could impact humans, pets are also not an exception.
- Fear or phobia could also be another reason for depression.
- Other than this a pet owner taking a new job can also cause depression in dogs.
The two most popular reasons for depression include-
- Loss of a master
- Loss of a fellow animal
- Pets are known to attach themselves to people’s emotions. When an owner passes away, the dog could imbibe the sadness of others. In most cases, he may not be getting the due attention he was already getting. This could also stress your dog.
- A dog can be depressed for no specific reason and this can be heartbreaking for you.
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Dog Depression Treatment
Some dogs come back much more strongly within a few months or a few days. The key idea is to keep them engaged and prefer things they simply like to do.
Exercise could get them out of depression. Give rewards when your buddy shows signs of improvement.
Never encourage their bad behavior by rewarding a depressed dog. The dog will start to believe that what he’s doing is right.
If the dog appears depressed because of a lost friend, then bringing home another pet may be helpful. Experts recommend getting another pet and it should be done after analyzing the dogs and the family needs.
Turn back the clock
We easily forget that canines were wild wolves who love outdoors. Lack of outdoor activity could also be a reason for depression. Play fetch and you are sure to see good results.
Time will heal any pain and be patient.
Shower more and more love. If you feel your dog is depressed because of your work schedule, then showing extra concern can work wonders.
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Dog Depression Medications
If exercise, motivation, vet massage, and nothing works, medication can treat this condition.
Some of the common medications prescribed for human depression are suggested for dogs. They include Zoloft, Prozac, and Paxil. Clomicalm is an FDA recognized drug that treats depression in dogs.
Most cases of depression are successfully treated with environmental enrichment and behavior modification.
Dogs recover much faster than humans and get better in a year or six months.
What Are The Foods to Boost Your Dog’s Health During Depression?
Talk to a vet for tips. A specialist can prescribe a list of food depending on your dog’s age, breed, and health condition.
You should select foods that are rich and nourishing in vitamins. This food will boost your dog’s immune system.
Take a look at some nutrients which will improve your pet’s health. Discuss with your vet and prepare a detailed food chart for your depressed dog.
- Foods rich in vitamins E, D, B, A
How Can You Help In The Recovery Of Depression In Dogs?
Fellow dogs can help a depressed dog get out of depression and within a few days, they may recover.
You can also hire the services of a reputed animal behaviorist.
In some cases, the condition can only become worse and could lead to a dangerous condition. Get help as soon as possible.
The best place to start a new life for your dog is at your vet’s.
Do You Know About Cat Depression?
Every cat has its own personality. In most cases, pet lovers have no clue why their feline is depressed. Learn more about frequent causes and your next best step.
Cat Depression Signs
Pay close attention to signs of cat depression.
- Excessive scratching – If you find your cat depressed, it may disturb furniture to relieve tension or stress.
- Spraying – A depressed cat will urinate in different places and may prefer their own scent. There are plenty of factors for urinating outside but sadness, depression, and stress are common issues.
- Watch closely, your cat may pass urine where the scent of missing companion lingers to create their own memories.
- Poor eating habits – If your cat stops eating, it could be due to some unhappiness. Depressed cats may snub foods and can lose interest.
- Bad grooming – This could be due to ill health. Cats that are depressed stop grooming and have unkempt looking fur.
- Excessive sleep – A sad cat sleeps a lot and if their daily hiding place has been touched, this can also mean stress.
- Hiding – A sad cat will appear dull and lose interest in activities he enjoyed earlier. He will be more reclusive.
Most quiet cats turn clingy and the fear or phobia of changes can cause aggression.
- Body gestures – There is plenty of bodies, fur, ear, and eye positions that can indicate depression in cats. Some silent forms of communication include hair standing on one end, tail tucked, and ears held back can show your pet feline may be sad.
- Vocal signs – Some animals produce a kind of screeching sound to express sadness. Cats produce mournful, low-pitched yowls. Purrs do not show happiness and at times, quiet cats can turn vocal while some cats can become quiet.
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Cat Depression Causes
There could be a ton of reasons why your pet kitty is feeling depressed. Be prepared to shower your cat with extra attention and time.
If pain causes abnormal behavior, then the vet could be the ideal solution.
Loss of a close companion
Losing a close friend is not only hard and your pet is no exception. When a close companion is no more, your pet cat may become depressed.
This is a temporary abnormality and your cat may turn normal within a short period of time.
If your cat becomes depressed due to the loss of a fellow cat, bring home a new cat. Try nutritional supplements and pheromones as part of natural remedies to treat cat depression.
Injury or wounds
Illnesses can make your cat feel unhealthy. The cat may –
- Feel tired
- Suffer from hormonal imbalance
- Refuse to eat
- Feel nauseated
Conditions that can affect your cat’s happiness include
If you believe your kitty is sick due to physical ailments, then visit your vet as soon as possible.
How To Treat Cat Depression?
Try a simple routine
Cats love a fixed schedule. When a cat has lost a good friend, your cat may feel anxious that something is missing.
These cats understand that there is no one to take care of them and grooming is a big issue. When someone feeds them on time, this will give them their lost confidence.
Stick to a schedule. Spend daily face-to-face time stroking and cuddling them. Try clicker training when they misbehave.
Avoid sitting idle. How to make them happy?
- Obedience training – Obedience training is useful for both dogs and cats. It will help your cat fight depression.
- Install scratch post – Place scratch post near their favorite place or bed. Scratching can help your cat feel better.
- Build high perches – Cats love heights and create perches near a window for them to play and climb.
- Puzzle feeders – Distribute a few pieces of kibble in an empty Make your cat move around. Provide interactive puzzle feeders.
- Hunting games – Keep a few tasty treats and let them get one. Praise them again and make them get the next treat. They will use their sniffing ability and mimic their hunting activity.
- Playtime – Spend 10 minutes a day and play with your cat. Don’t have too many expectations and take it easy and slow.
Anti-depression Medication For A Depressed Cat
If your depressed cat fails to eat, talk to your vet and then take appropriate action.
Try these prescription drugs
- Zylkene – Derived mainly from a milk protein, this natural anti-anxiety issue acts like Valium.
- Feliway – This pheromone promotes scent messages.
Foods To Boost Your Cat’s Health
Contact your vet and feed them with foods rich in natural nutrients. Depressed cats need healthy food on a daily basis.
Never stop the prescribed medication as long as your vet asked you to continue.
How To Prevent Depression In Cats?
If a bonded friend passes away, the surviving cat may feel disappointed.
Give the living cat a one time chance to thank his partner. Allow them to sniff the body and let them accept death.
In this way, the intensity of the problem will be processed.
Try to protect your cat. Spend time fussing and playing with them. If you think something chaotic is going to happen, try a Feliway diffuser.
Create a lot of activities for natural play and behaviors. Leave interactive cat toys.
An empty cardboard box filled with animal straw would make an excellent toy.
Do Cats Understand Human Emotions?
Yeah, it’s true. Felines do recognize human emotions. Felines can understand sadness but they have limited ways to express their emotion.
Never shoo away your cat if it sits on your lap.
Cat Depression – Never Shy Away From The Problem
Accept your cat’s abnormal behavior. Try laser games to lift their mood. Meet your local vet and talk about your cat’s condition.
Love and care are all they need and nothing else.
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