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How to Know If Your Pet is Depressed

How to tell if your dog’s depressed? How to check if your cat is sad? Continue reading to discover them!

Your pets are emotional living things that can feel sad, happy, and even depressed. A depressed pet is sure to make you sadder. The absence of your puppy yipping around, your cat playfully scratching your hand, or the gleeful chirping of your pet birds sounds painful.

But how can you tell if your dog is depressed? Or that your pet needs extra care? Here are 5 symptoms of depression you should look out for:

1. Lack of or Excessive Appetite

Is my dog depressed or sick? The symptom is common for not just dogs but other pets, including cats as well. One of the vital indicators to tell if your pet is depressed is by observing their eating habits.

Either your pet might not eat at all or feel hungry and will be eating all the time- or more than they usually do. If you find anything unusual with your pet’s dietary habits, you should get them checked by a vet right away.

2. Change in Sleeping Pattern

Depression can often cause your pet to sleep a lot or not sleep at all. It’s similar to their eating habits.

Some pets like cats love sleeping, sure. But if you feel like they’re sleeping a lot more, that’s a red flag. In addition, if your pet doesn’t sleep in its favorite spot, that may also show that your pet is sad.

3. Flattening of Ears

This sign is for all pets who love perking up their ears and playing with you. So, if you’re searching for how to know if your puppy is sad, check its ears. If your pet keeps their ears flattened, it means they aren’t looking forward to anything and are most likely unhappy.

4. High Aggression

Is your pet well-behaved but acting out lately? Your pet might even be a little towards the aggressive side naturally. However, if you think that recently, they’re being even more aggressive and wry of every family member, it’s a sign that your pet is depressed.

5. Low on Energy

Pets like dogs love playing. Waggling their tails, rolling their tongues, dogs are typically very loving and energetic pets. Do you feel like their body is becoming inactive, laying around in a corner, eyes droopy and unconfused? That’s a sign that your pet may be experiencing depression.

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Give Them Extra Love!

Is my pet sad? Have I failed as a caretaker? How can I help my pet now?

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Depression in animals is rare but not impossible. There is no guarantee that your pet will never get sad because you give them proper attention.

Step one in becoming better caretakers is identifying the symptoms and recognizing if your pet is experiencing them. You can buy a few new and vibrant toys and encourage your pets to play with you. A little bit of extra love can uplift your pet’s mood in no time! Good luck!

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Written By Riley Brown

Riley is a lifestyle and entertainment writer living in San Diego. He received his bachelor's degree in Journalism and Multimedia from the University of Oregon. His work has been featured in many finance and lifestyle publications throughout the US. When he is not writing, Riley enjoys reading and hanging out at the beach with his dog, Miles.

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