Research shows that though pets are a good source of companionship to people, they can face depression attacks too. It’s therefore important to pay attention to your pet in order to see any changes in your pet before the condition gets worse. Depression in pets is caused by different factors such as loss of another pet or owner, underlying medical problems and big changes like moving to a new neighborhood. Any major lifestyle change can have an impact on a pet just as it would on human beings.
Pets always exhibit different symptoms like withdrawal whenever they are depressed. Other symptoms may include changes in how the pet interacts with you and others around him/her. Others, especially dogs may exhibit other behavior changes like whining or howling without probable reason. It’s advisable to pay close attention to how your pet behaves after the occurrence of any major event and look out for any symptoms above.
If the depression is because of loss of a fellow pet, getting a replacement can be helpful. If it’s because of relocating to another place, try to keep the pet’s routine as normal as possible. By having the routine they had before, they can easily adjust to the new environment without being affected. You can also try to introduce a new member of the family in phases as you give the pet enough time to adjust and accept the new addition. Be with them the first few times before they get used to each other. This will give your pet a source of security and they won’t feel like they are being replaced in any way. Buying new toys like a new dog feeder toy for those with dogs can also be helpful, especially if the dog no longer wants to eat.
Another tip to help you deal with your pet’s depression is keeping them very active after any major changes. Take them out for walks as frequently as you can and make sure you keep them running and playing the entire time. This will ensure that they enjoy themselves while not dwelling on the changes around them. You can also make time for your pets and rearrange your schedule to spend more time with them. Cuddling, stroking and touching can give your pet reassurance that they are still loved thereby reducing the depression. Some pets like dogs can become aggressive when depressed so it’s important to approach them with caution to avoid startling them.
The symptoms above may be due to depression or a medical problem you’re not aware of. It’s advisable to take your pet to the doctor if the above tips aren’t working. The doctor will examine your pet and advise you accordingly.