Could Your Pet Be Depressed?
Believe it or not, animals have feelings just like you and I do; they just don’t express them or understand them quite the way we do. According to a study done by veterinarians at the University of Pennsylvania, “The dog’s brain is similar in structure to the human brain, and it operates using similar neurochemical processes.” Dogs are social creatures, also just like humans, so they respond positively or negatively to their surroundings. Anything from a slight change to everyday life to a death in the family can cause your pet to become depressed and, therefore, not be living a life full of enjoyment. And, I can only imagine how horrible that type of life would be. No one, human or animal, should have to endure a life of depression.
So, with that said, it is up to us to know when our pet is acting differently than usual and to respond with the appropriate treatment. Pharmaceutical companies have found that depression, especially in dogs, can be treated with the same drugs as humans would use, such as, Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft. But never use any of these drugs from your medicine cabinet. Always consult a veterinarian and be aware of all of the possible side effects of such mood altering drugs. So, along with a lot of love and maybe a little help from a prescription, your pet could be as good as new before it’s too late.
Read below for a few tips on how to tell if your pet could be suffering from depression:
- Has there been a sudden change in everyday life? Have you moved into a new home? Has there been a death in the family? Have you recently become busier than usual?
- Is your pet acting unusually aggressive or moody?
- Have you noticed that your pet has lost his appetite and therefore a lot of weight? Your pet can also lose its appetite for water too, so keep that in mind as well.
- Has your pet become disinterested in playing?
- Does your pet sleep most of the day? Keep in mind most cats and dogs sleep around 12 to 16 hours a day.
If you answered positively to any of the questions above, you may be able to reverse your pet’s depression if you can determine where it came from, but if the symptoms continue for more than a week or so, it would be a good idea to take your pet to the veterinarian for further examination.