As a pet owner, you know that your pet has moods just like you do. Try cuddling up to your cat after leaving him alone at home for a week and you know the reception will be less than warm and fuzzy. Or see how different your dog treats you when you decide all his toys need to be replaced with freshly bought ones with that brand new smell. But when Fido is down in the dumps for a long time, or Sprinkles has lost interest in her catnip mouse, you might be wondering if it’s possible for your pet to get depressed in a similar way that humans do.
According to the North Shore Animal League, the world’s largest no-kill animal shelter and adoption organization, pet depression is a clinical, medical condition that exists. Though some of the causes of pet depression are different that what might cause depression in humans, many of them are the same.
Pets can fall into depression from being left alone for hours at a time. If you have a pet that stays at home all day by itself, he may start to feel lonely. If you go out straight after work, or don’t pay attention to your pet when you do get home, the feeling of loneliness can be exacerbated.
If you think your pet may be lonely, there are a few options: