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Unlike humans, most pets seem to be in perpetually good moods. They're ecstatic when you arrive home from work, are always ready to play and enjoy keeping you company whether you're cooking dinner or cleaning the garage. When your pet seems sad and is no longer interested in the little things that used to make him or her happy, it's only natural to wonder if depression is the cause.
Depression and Pets
Pet behavioral experts believe that animals probably do suffer from depression when they face upsetting situations. Symptoms of depression often occur after a life-changing event, such as a move to a new home, a family member moving out or the death of a pet or family member. Often, it takes a little detective work to determine what may have caused your pet's condition.
Common Symptoms of Depression
Your pet may be depressed if you observe one or more of these symptoms:
Help Your Pet Overcome Depression
It's a good idea to schedule a visit with the veterinarian if your pet's symptoms continue for longer than two weeks. Because many of the symptoms of depression can also occur if your pet is ill, it's important to rule out illnesses and conditions that can affect behavior. For example, diabetes or kidney failure may cause your pet to feel tired and lose interest in his or her usual activities. Older pets that seem depressed may actually be suffering from arthritis. When standing, walking or running is painful, going for long walks or even staying by your side while you cook dinner may no longer be enjoyable.
If your veterinarian doesn't find any health problems, you can help your pet by:
Are you concerned about changes in your pet's mood or behavior? Call us to schedule an appointment. We'll perform a thorough examination, treat any underlying health conditions and offer suggestions that will help your pet feel better.
PetMD: Can Dogs Get Depressed
VetStreet: Warnings Signs Your Pet May Be Depressed, 8/5/15
Healthy Pets: What Never to Do for Your Melancholic Dog, 3/29/17
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