Our pets are the happiest members of our family. It’s in their nature. They wag their tails, smother you with kisses, and run to the door whenever you get home. But did you know that just like humans, animals can experience bouts of depression throughout their lifetime?
Here is how you can identify the warning signs, and how you can bring your best friend back to their former self.
1. Is your pet not eating as much as before? Changes in appetite are a major mood indicator.
2. Are they sleeping all of the time? Too much sleep can mean he’s bummed out.
3. Pets love to lick their paws and keep themselves clean. But too much paw-licking can mean your friend is trying to soothe themselves.
4. If you toss a ball and your dog ignores it consistently, their lack of interest can be another sign.
5. Is your normally social pup avoiding people or hiding under the bed for long periods of time? He could be depressed.
If you’ve identified any of these symptoms in your pet, you should help them out. Here are some ways to get them back to their happy self again:
1. Go on a walk to someplace new. A change of pace can do wonders for anyone.
2. Consider adopting another animal. With you away at work, a friend might make your pet feel less lonely.
3. Play with your cat for at least 30 minutes a day. Dangle a string and throw a catnip mouse around. Stimulation makes for a happy cat.
4. Set up play dates for your pet with other friends who have just one pet.
5. When you’re at work, leave the blinds or curtains open so they can have a nice view.
6. Leaving the radio on can make your pet feel safe while you’re at work.
7. When you’re watching TV, get off your chair or couch and sit on the floor instead. Your pets will find this reassuring.
8. Sleep is important, but your pup needs ample “awake time,” too. Make sure to wake them up if they are sleeping too much.
9. Animals enjoy music, so turn on some tunes and have a dance party to perk them up.
10. Food puzzles can help stimulate your dog if he seems down.
11. Give your dog a beer. Not just any beer, though. There are specialty beers crafted just for dogs.
12. If this doesn’t work and you notice that your dog is losing weight and remains sluggish, a visit to the vet might be in order. Some animals actually benefit from receiving antidepressants.
Not only will these ideas cheer up your pet, but they’ll work wonders on their owners, too. It’s a win-win!
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