We all love our pets like a favorite child who is always there to provide unconditional love and support. Our pets entertain us and unite us with their unusual anthropomorphic behaviors. Our pets are the non-verbal family members of the household who may suffer from many of the same conditions that people do without any clear way to tell us.

Because pets are non-verbal, we have to look a little deeper at their behaviors to understand whether they are suffering from anxiety or depression, inter alia. You probably don't put two and two together all the time and think, "oh boy, my dog's depressed or suffering from a mental illness." But the prevalence of mental illness in dogs is coming to the surface as information becomes more readily available over the internet.

Years ago, people generally didn't take their pets to the vet unless there was something manifestly wrong with them. Nowadays, even subtle conditions may be cues for you that something is amiss. In this manner, pet owners can address more sensitive issues with their pets before them progress into destructive behaviors or severe illness. In fact, some pet owners have opted for affordable pet insurance to cover these less urgent maladies.

Let's take a look at some common signs that your pet is depressed:


Depression may be exhibited by your pet hiding away and trying to escape from the world. Your dog may look visibly sad and difficult to excite. A happy dog usually has a grin on its face and a wagging tail exhibiting its chipper perspective. A lethargic dog that just wants to mope around and loses interest in activities and food, may right well be suffering a bout of depression.

The causes of depression are manifold. In some cases, the pet is deal with the loss of companion or owner whom they had a close relationship with recently. In addition, pets can get jealous when a new pet or child is introduced to the home and steals attention away from them. Changes of environment can also make a pet homesick and longing for the familiar scents and territory it had staked out at the former residence.

Pets can also become depressed from being isolated for long periods of time when the owner is away at work or on vacation for too long. In some cases, the depression is merely a secondary disorder from a primary disease or injury that may be causing pain and trauma. If a special treat or knock at the door doesn't get your dog excited, these are telltale signs of depression.

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety often results in the pet behaving badly. The dog, for example, may scratch or chew obsessively and destroy things. Cats may scratch up a sofa. Dogs may also bark excessively and show fight-or-flight characteristics of trying to run away and may become intensely afraid. These pets need constant companionship to keep them happy and can't stand being alone.

Noise Pollution Anxiety

Dogs have very sensitive ears and can react to thunderstorms, for example, by exhibiting stress and discomfort. A dog can hear something with four times the magnitude of a human. So, if you are barely able to tolerate a loud noise, it is four fold the irritant when it hits your dog's ears. Parties, loud music, jets flying overhead, traffic, and more can all drive your pet crazy and produce anxiety.

Preventive Health Care

In order to cure the blues or calm your pets down, you may consider hiring a veterinarian or behavioral specialist to develop a comprehensive treatment plan. Whatever you do, never medicate your pets with human pills. There are special anti-depressants and mental health meds formulated specifically for pets.

Nevertheless, there are many things you can do on your own by playing with pets often and ensuring that they are not alone. You may consider buying another pet for them to play with if you are not home much.

Feeding them a healthy diet and taking them for walks to new places or even road trips can help to stimulate their minds and reduce noise sensitivity. You can also try leaving articles of clothing in your dog's bed to comfort them with your scent. Petting them and letting them know you love also goes a long way.