Yes there is such a thing as pet depression. Pets of all kinds can develop pet depression. Depression does not necessarily manifest in the same way for pets as for humans though.
Behaviors to Watch for Pet Depression
- lethargic behavior
- loss of appetite
- lack of motivation
- dull coat
- not showing normal activity level or showing changes in behavior
- urination or defecation “accidents” in the house
Signs of depression can sometimes be a sign that there is an underlying health concern. Get your pet examined by a veterinarian. If medical reasons are ruled out then you may very well be dealing with pet depression.Some causes of pet depression include:
- moving to a new home
- death of a person or animal friend
- being around a lot of stress
- being in an unsuitable management program or job
If your pet is depressed some things you can do to alleviate the depression are:
- introduce another animal friend
- increase exercise
- spend extra playtime with your pet
- look for ways to reduce the stress in the pet’s environment
- keep to a normal routine
- don’t feed foods with a lot of artificial preservatives and additives
Nutrition for Pet Depression
Foods with a lot of artificial preservatives and additives can create a lack of energy and cause symptoms of depression. Many of the commercial animal foods are often very low in nutrition. Did you know that many dog and cat foods contain low quality ingredients, including diseased animal meat laced with high levels of antibiotics? All pets benefit from fresh foods – it’s what they would eat if they were in the wild. Even dogs and cats do well with occasional greens and salads, as well as fresh meat.
Read the label of pet food before you buy it and avoid as many of the following as possible:
- BHA, Ethoxyquin, BHT: these are chemical preservatives
- Low quality protein: corn, wheat, and soy are examples
- Fats: most fats added to pet food are indigestible
- Artificial flavors or colors
- Corn syrup or sugar: just as bad for your pet as for you
- Byproducts: these include animal beaks, hooves, and guts
Commercial pet foods are usually heat-processed, which means they lack enough enzymes for proper digestion. Cats, dogs, and humans all need three basics to be healthy: probiotics, food enzymes, and minerals and trace minerals. No matter what brand of food you feed your pet, you can ensure that your pet thrives by supplementing their feed with these ingredients.
Probiotics: support the balance of natural ‘friendly’ bacteria present in the body of all organisms (an example is Lactobacillus acidophilus). Probiotics support a healthy immune system, coat, and teeth/gums
Food Enzymes: help your pet digest his food by aiding in breaking down food into forms your pet can use (examples include protease, amylase, and lipase)
Minerals and Trace Minerals: used in almost every function of the body and are more easily assimilated than synthetic minerals By adding small amounts of these natural ingredients to your pet’s food, you can boost the nutrition in your pet’s food no matter what brand of food you feed. This powdered algae blend contains a variety of micronutrients, probiotics, enzymes and antioxidants in a powder form that is easy to sprinkle on your pet’s food.
Good nutrition is an important step to keeping your pet healthy and reduce the risks of pet depression. Pet food nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated. Just learn to read the labels, avoid foods with a lot of harmful or artificial ingredients, and supplement with probiotics, enzymes, minerals, and trace minerals as needed.