If you are worried about changes in your pet’s behavior, have you considered the very real possibility of depression? Just like their human counterparts, life changes such as a move or loss of a companion can impact a pet. In fact, most of the symptoms of pet depression echo the signs we watch for in humans.
Remember, the key to each sign is a change in behavior. Below are five things you need to be aware of when it comes to depression in pets:
1. Sleeping 24/7
Some animals are more active than others and most sleep when an owner is out of the house. If your pet continues to sleep when you are home, however, it may be a sign of depression. The reverse may be true, too, though. Agitated movement all the time could also be a signal.
2. No Desire to Play
If your pet no longer wants to play with other animals, toys or isn’t interested in playtime with you, it could be a sign of depression. You know what kinds of things your dog or cat enjoys; if your furry friend is no longer up for the usual games you may want to take note.
3. Weight Loss or Gain
If your pet normally enjoys meal times and suddenly shows no interest in food or treats, it could be a signal of depression. However, some pets turn to food for comfort — just like us! — and show weight gain as a result.
4. Accidents Indoors
A depressed animal may find that it just takes too much energy to make the trip outside for those necessary functions. If you’re dealing with those pesky pet stains, talk with your vet about possible causes.
5. Anti-Social Behavior
If your pet no longer wants to interact with you or others, and spends most of its time alone or even hiding, you could be dealing with depression. If he or she is shying away from his usual companions there is most likely a health-related reason.
While these signs may show a depressed pet, they could also be signs of other health problems. The best course of action is to schedule a visit with your veterinarian to rule out medical issues before you decide on a course of action.
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