Can Dogs Be Depressed Like Humans?
If you have noticed that your pet is being lethargic and uninvolved with daily happenings, you may begin to wonder “can dogs be depressed?” The question is certainly reasonable considering the many humanistic qualities found within our pets, but how similar is canine depression compared to the mental illness in humans? There are many identical symptoms associated with both species, but there are also some inconsistencies.
First, it must be clearly stated that it is proven that animals can be melancholy for many various reasons. While people can visit therapists, the same cannot be said for our pets. Therefore, we must ensure that the process is as painless as possible for them. Some of the comparable signs of depression are described below to recognize when this illness hits.
- Lethargy and inactivity
- Refusal to participate in previously fun activities
- Eating and sleeping changes, both increases and decreases
- Less requests for attention and petting
Although, these problems are also associated with other problems, such as physical pain from arthritis. Therefore, visiting the veterinarian to assess the situation is the best strategy before putting the canine through unnecessary pain if the problem is physical, not mental.
Can Dogs Be Depressed For Complex Reasons?
Assessing the reasoning behind the melancholy state is the first approach to fixing the situation. There are a few significant factors that can cause this state of mind in pets. The most obvious is the loss of a loved one, such as another pet or their owner. The problem may be associated with the lack of attention or companionship that was offered by them. Additionally, they often replicate the emotions of their owners. Upset, angry, excited, and many other ranges of emotions are understood by animals, who are likely to respond with a similar emotion. Another problematic situation is any sudden schedule changes, like picking up an extra job or introducing another member of the family that pulls away some of the attention.
The next step is adaptation by providing a caring and supportive environment. Find the things that give your pup a positive reaction and introduce it more often. For example, if they enjoy walking on trails, consider taking daily or weekly walks to boost their happiness. When they are excited and wagging their tail during this dark time reward them with a treat, such as peanut butter, to show them that this attitude is best.
Fortunately, these phases last much shorter than human depression. If antidepressants, such as the common Zoloft, are prescribed by the veterinarian, they are usually only needed for a few months, rather than years or even their remaining lifetime. Often times, it can simply be a quick fix to better accommodate the needs of the household animals.
In conclusion, the answer to the question “can dogs be depressed?” is quite simple. The correct response is absolutely, but there are certainly some deviations from regular people, such as less intricate problems and shorter periods of time. Simply finding the root cause and making the necessary adjustments will alleviate any sad emotions expressed by canines. The most extensive treatment is administering antidepressants for a few months, but the solution is often much more simple.