Your furry buddies are not any less than your kids. Especially when it comes to their health, owners have no choice but to pay extra attention. While you may always be on your toes for anything that happens to them externally, declining mental health among pets is a fairly common problem.
Most of us have preconceived notions that psychological disorders like anxiety, depression, PTSD are unique to humans—which isn’t true, as they have been spotted among other species as well. More often than not, your pets may seem unlike themselves or considerably low and disheartened or indifferent. But hey, it’s never too late to dig deep and probe into their mental health scenario and learn everything an owner must be aware of. Your canine buddies cannot communicate but they may be giving signs that resonate their declining mental health. It’s time you spot these alarming signs and get them the help they need.
First of all, it is imperative to be familiar with the kinds of mental health issues faced by your pets. Given below are some of the most popular psychological issues that your fur buddies may have:
Depression: Animals experience stress, and stress is a common cause of declining canine mental health which further leads to depression. Pets may have temporary depression wherein they may experience episodes of sadness, loss of energy and lack of reactivity among other symptoms. They may also have prolonged depression which may be a result of physical illness, loss of loved ones, grief, separation from a loved one, change of home, fear, and so on.
Social Anxiety: A lot of pets suffer from social anxiety. They are either too scared of meeting unknown/new people or when they do they cannot let their guard down. Lack of socialising in the early years can lead to crippling social anxiety, fear, and sometimes even aggression in pets.
Aggression: If your pet regularly growls, snaps, bites or acts indifferent towards you or others, then they may have a serious aggression problem.
PTSD: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is fairly common among pets and it can happen after a traumatic event in their lives.
Obsessive-Compulsive Behaviors: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can be spotted in pets when their behaviour is strange, possessive and directed toward objects or even people. If your pet is excessively exhibiting a certain obsessive behaviour like tail chasing, biting things and/or other peculiar habits, then there is a possibility that they may be experiencing OCD.
Five signs of declining mental health among pets:
- Behavioural issues like trembling, hiding when strangers come or attempting to escape may indicate your pets mental issues.
- Compulsive licking, biting or growling and chasing their tails are symptoms of OCD and even autism in pets.
- Drastic weight loss, inactivity, lethargy, excessive shedding and refusal to take treats or drink water may mean that your fur buddy suffers from depression.
- Decreased social interaction and fear-induced growling or hissing may be indicative of your pet having social anxiety or PTSD.
- Physically evident symptoms like diarrhoea or vomiting and reduced appetite are also clear indicators of your pets’ declining mental health.
While there are no concrete and immediate solutions to reverse the mental health of your pets, it is crucial to look out for them and observe their behaviour. More often than not pet owners fail to understand their pet’s plight and ignore visible signs of trauma and declining mental health. It is essential to spend time with your pets and do fun things with them to keep them entertained and positively engaged.
If you do notice visible signs of declining mental health in your fur buddies then without further delay contact your vet and explain the symptoms to them. A veterinarian can efficiently identify the disorder and work on your pet’s behaviour. It is natural for pet owners to think twice before consulting a vet; after all, hefty medical bills can scare anyone. However, it is better to secure your pet’s health with a trusted pet health insurance, it can save you not only some bucks but also keep your dear pets’ life and health insured. An insurance cover would keep your mind at peace for scenarios you don’t want to face when things don’t go as planned.
Last but not least, your pets are hungry for attention and love; it is of utmost importance to devote your time, effort and undivided attention to their wellbeing.
Pets are incredible, and without a doubt, they add so much joy to their owners’ lives. Therefore, it is imperative for owners to look out for them as well. If owners pay close attention to their pets, then identifying a mental issue will never be a problem. Your pets devote their entire lives to you and you must ensure that their all-over wellbeing is secured so that they can lead the happy and healthy lives they deserve. After all, happy pets are healthy pets.