While the holiday season can be a joyous time, it can also serve as a very sad time for some people. Overwhelming feelings of loneliness and isolation can spiral people into depression.
Do you know dogs and cats can become depressed, too? While depression in pets may not be caused by the same factors as humans, the effects are the same — loss of interest in activities, changes in eating, sleeping, and drinking habits.
Depression can be caused by a new move, a lifestyle or schedule change, or bringing home a new baby or another pet. But pets can also become depressed with grief from the loss of a family member or another pet.
Grief is real for both cats and dogs, and should not be taken lightly. If another pet or human disappears, their world can become very confusing. Obviously, there is no treatment for grief, but it’s much more difficult with pets, as they cannot navigate or express their feelings.
The best thing to do for a depressed pet is to simply be there for them. Pet them, talk to them, just let them know that they are not alone. Take them on extra walks for bonding time, offer them treats and cuddles, and make them feel safe.
If your pet’s symptoms persist for more than 3 weeks or you notice their symptoms becoming more intense, you should have them checked at the vet, as they could be clinically depressed.
It’s always important to not wait too long before asking for help. If a pet is at the beginning stages of depression, they are most likely to be able to come out of it sooner.
Vets can prescribe medication to assist them with their feelings, and the sooner that happens, the better they will be in the long run. Anti-depressants for dogs, alongside extra exercise and proper diet, usually help them make a full comeback. Usually after about 3 months, most dogs will be back to their old selves.
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends at Premier Pet Supply for all your pet-related questions!