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Depression is not limited to humans but affects animals too. It is a real condition and occurs more frequently than we think. If your pet shows signs of withdrawal or loss of appetite it could be due to depression and you should take him to a vet. Psychological problems can give rise to other complications if left untreated.
Signs of depression
Appetite loss is a common sign of depression. Your pet won’t have the normal urge to eat or drink as it used to. He will shy away from any kind of food item including treats. If your pet dog or cat is not too enthusiastic about treats, it can be due to depression.
Loss of interest is yet another indicator of depression. Try engaging your pet in physical activity especially the ones that he enjoys doing and if there is no or low response, it could be due to depression.
Animals sleep a lot but when they are depressed and they won’t get out of their bed for long periods. It is hard to check in animals like cats who normally tend to sleep a lot. However, if the sleeping hours are long with shorter waking periods, it is a possible sign of depression.
Cause of depression
Think about what causes depression in humans and apply the same to animals. It could happen due to the death of an animal or a family member he was attached to, loneliness or an illness. Animals like dogs like being in the company of others and when they don’t get that attention they become depressed. Animals in shelter homes are more prone to depression than other animals.
How to treat depression
If you think your pet shows signs of depression, the first thing that you should do is take him to a veterinarian. Your pet might have to undergo blood tests and X-rays to confirm whether it is from a disease or not. If the depression is purely psychological, then the treatment methods involve activities like fun and games. You must involve your pet in family activities and make him feel like he’s an important member of the family. If you know owners with pets, then have them over at your place from time to time. Being in the company of fellow animals will be good for your pet.
Depression affects all, including animals. The signs and symptoms, too, are similar. There will be loss of appetite, mood change and withdrawal. Your pet might look scared or disinterested. To make sure the depression is not happening from an illness, get some blood tests done. If it is a psychological problem, try uplifting your pets mood by engaging him in fun activities and letting him enjoy the company of other animals.