24 Feb Pet’s Mental Health and Signs of Depression
Pets offer companionship to the owners, makes them feel good and consequently reducing stress and anxiety, in fact the need for pets can never be over emphasized. However, there is need to ensure that your pet is mentally healthy and emotionally stable. You as a pet owner should be meticulous enough to detect when your pet starts acting unusual; this will help you know when to take the right step. Your pet’s mental health is just as important as your own.
As human beings, we like it when we are mentally and emotionally healthy. What about our pet’s mental health? Don’t you think they deserve the same? Of course, they do. You should eke out some time for your pets, no matter how meager. Your pets need your time, care and love for them to be mentally healthy.
Pets can suffer depression in some scenarios just like human beings do, but cannot express this depression like humans can. There is the need to decipher any little change in the behavior of your dog or cat; this could be as a result of a change in certain factors which may include: a new addition to the household, moving house and some other factors. However, there are some warning signs you need to pay attention to because, they could be signs your pet’s mental health is declining, and they include:
- Excessive sleeping: It is sacrosanct that dogs sleep a lot especially when their owners are gone. If you leave your dog for a long time, perhaps you left for work, and he continues to sleep even when you are at home already, something is wrong; the dog is probably depressed.
- Pet loses appetite: Somewhat like humans, when your dog or cat is depressed, he tends to lose appetite, or at times eat unusually very little; this consequently makes them lose weight. However, some dogs don’t eat much when healthy and emotionally okay, but when depressed, tends to eat more, thereby leading to increase in weight (weight gain).
- Hiding and staying away: Most pets would want to stay alone when depressed, this makes them hide, sometimes the owner starts looking for them. Dogs also hides or try to stay alone when ill, perhaps the depression that follows the ailment. Simply put, whenever a dog starts hiding, something is bothering him, and this could be emotional.
- Paw licking: Paw licking is just a means dogs use to ease their psychological depression. Depressed dogs often chew or lick their paws in a bid to comfort and soothe themselves. Watch out for this sign, as it will help you detect when your dog is depressed.
- Limp tail: By default, virtually every dog’s tail is perky, but when the reverse becomes the case and your dog’s tail is not as perky as usual, then you should think that the dog is probably depressed. When your dog’s tail is limp (steadily pointing downwards), this could be a consequence or a sign that your dog is depressed.
You should be observant enough to notice these changes in your pets, perhaps dogs and cat, know when your dog acts unusual or feels depressed. Keep their healthiness and happiness as a priority; then you will get to appreciate the companionship of your pets the more. WebMD has posted some great info on keeping our pet’s mental health in top shape, read it here.