Pet ownership is an enriching experience that brings happiness to both you and your pet. However, many people don’t know that like humans, your dog or cat can get depressed. Here’s a primer on what to look for in your pet, and how to help them feel better.

Signs Your Pet May Be Depressed

There are many signs that your pet could be depressed. Here are a few to look for:

  • Reduced appetite: Depressed pets often eat and drink less than they used to. However, sometimes depression can spur a pet to overeat. Changes in eating and drinking habits can have severe effects on your pet’s health, so if you notice this sign, don’t delay scheduling a check-up.
  • Changes in bathroom habits: If your cat suddenly stops using the litterbox or your dog starts making messes inside the house, this could be a sign of pet depression. This also applies if your pet starts spraying around the house.
  • Hiding: If your pet starts spending an increased amount of time hiding by itself, away from others, this could also be a sign of depression. Most pets prefer companionship, so isolation is unusual.

Ways You Can Help Your Pet

What can you do if your pet exhibits signs like these, or other signs of depression like separation anxiety or a change in sleep habits? There are many things. The key is to be a calming, soothing presence in your pet’s life and take action.

For example, it’s a good idea to:

  • Consult your vet: It’s always better to get the input of a vet instead of attempting to diagnose problems yourself. Many of these signs can be symptoms of other conditions.
  • Hire a dog walker or sitter: As with people, physical activity is also good for pets. If you aren’t able to give your pet the physical activity or stimulation it’s used to, having someone else to help is a smart idea.
  • Use a kennel: If you leave your pet at home when you go on vacation, they may feel even more upset than they did before you left. Leaving your pet at a kennel means that they will have people who can interact with them and keep them comfortable while you’re away. If you have a pet and would like peace of mind on your trip we arrange customized pet care services.

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