5 Signs of Depression in Pets and How to Cheer Them Up Without Medication
Uncover the secret language of your pet's behavior! Learn the 5 warning signs that your furry friend may be silently suffering from depression. Help them bounce back to happiness with these all-natural, medication-free methods – crafted by professionals who truly care.
Mental health is an important topic of discussion, but it’s not exclusive to humans. Our pets can feel blue every once in a while too.
It can be hard to see your beloved companion feeling low, but nobody can lift their spirits quite like you can. Here are some of the most common signs of depression in pets and a few easy, all-natural things you can do to help them feel better when they’re down.
5 Common Signs of Depression in Pets
As much as we wish they could, our pets can’t verbally communicate how they’re feeling. Since they can’t tell us when they need a friend to cheer them up, here are the signs to look for.
1. Change in Eating Habits
Has your pet suddenly become disinterested in their food? A loss of appetite and weight are both very telling indications that your companion is feeling depressed.
They may also find solace in overeating, leading to rapid weight gain and many accompanying health problems.
A depressed pet can also be an aggressive one. If your normally even-tempered pet has suddenly become a bit snappy, something might not be quite right.
3. Reclusiveness or Clinginess
Depressed pets tend to turn to their favorite people for comfort or withdraw altogether. If they’ve attached themselves to you like velcro or seclude themselves from you and other pets, they might be feeling a bit blue.
4. Disinterest in Regular Activities
Just like people, animals can show a lack of interest in activities they once enjoyed when they’re depressed. When a walk around the neighborhood or a favorite toy doesn’t seem to cheer them up, depression could be to blame.
5. Excessive Sleep
Lethargy is one of the most telltale signs of depression in pets. If the only thing your pet seems interested in lately is a long nap, it might be time for a mental health check.
Ruling Out Illness or Pain
It’s important to note that many of the symptoms of depression in pets may indicate that they’re sick or in pain. Their depression could be a symptom of illness in and of itself.
As a veterinarian, I encourage pets to be medically evaluated when they’re showing signs of depression. Your veterinarian might be able to pinpoint a physical cause for their behavioral changes and suggest the best form of treatment.
Causes of Depression in Pets
Depression can be caused by a number of triggers, but these are the most common:
- Moving to a new home
- Integrating into a new family
- Loss of an owner or another pet in the home
- A new baby or pet
- Sudden changes in their normal routine
- Lack of mental or physical stimulation
- Social Isolation
Our pets have an empathetic nature. If you or someone else in your home is struggling with depression, your pets may experience the same symptoms.
The Best Ways to Treat Depression in Pets (Without Medication)
I believe that natural methods of treatment are best for a pet’s overall health. Skip the pill bottles and try these all-natural ways to remedy your fur baby’s depression.
Your pet’s’ well-being begins from within, and adding natural supplements to their daily regimen is a fantastic way to ensure their body receives all the vitamins and nutrients it needs to thrive.
Fera Pet Organics’ Calming Support is ideal for both dogs and cats struggling with symptoms of depression. The unique synergy of L-Theanine and GABA combined with a clinically studied probiotic strain is proven to promote relaxation and reduce the stress that could be linked to depression.
Our Calm Goat Milk Topper is another yummy way to boost the mood of any pet feeling down in the dumps. This formula features whole cream goat’s milk for an irresistible flavor, combined with natural herbs and amino acids that promote rest and relaxation.
Feed a Proper Diet
A well-balanced diet is essential for your pet’s mental and physical health. If their current food consists of carbs, fillers, and protein by-products, it might be time to rethink what they’re eating.
I believe that a balanced diet that includes Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and healthy carbs is best. However, each pet is different and what works for one might not work for another. Be sure to set up an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss your furry friend’s nutritional needs and what food is best suited to meet them.
Nothing gets those happy endorphins flowing like a good workout.
It’s recommended that your pet gets at least an hour of exercise each day. Whether it’s a long walk, a game of fetch, or playing hide and seek in the house, there are many ways to get your pet’s body moving (and as a bonus, yours too).
If you have an indoor pet, there are still plenty of exercise options such as a climbable cat tree, an agility course, and even laser pointers.
Play Brain Games
Boredom is a major contributor to depression in pets and other health concerns like dementia. By incorporating some thought-provoking brain games into your pet’s daily life, you can stay on top of their cognitive health and kick depression to the curb.
Puzzle toys, treat-dispensing balls, and lick mats are excellent options that provide mental enrichment and an entertaining challenge.
Give Plenty of Love
Sometimes all your pet needs is a cuddle session with their favorite human. If you notice that your fur baby hasn’t been acting like themselves and showing signs of depression, take some time to give them the extra love and attention they need.
Something as simple as a good belly rub or an extra treat can go a long way.
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