Pet Depression: A Mental Health Checklist

It's true, dogs and cats get depressed, just like humans. As we get more and more busy in our own lives, it seems our animal companions feel the stress as well, and, in turn, become depressed. Beyond basic safety and sustenance, your pet needs mental stimulation and proactive care to avoid developing depression. The issue of pet depression is so common, in fact, that vets have even turned to prescribing antidepressants for dogs and cats. Here is a simple checklist for maintaining good mental stimulation for your pet, and keeping them from becoming depressed.

Check for signs of depression in your pet.

Dog and Depression

Basic mental stimulation can keep your dog alert and happy throughout the day. Try incorporating these tips to your dog's daily routine:

  • Daily walks
  • Chews or chew toys (if they are young)
  • Playtime with you and/or other dogs
  • Access to a view if possible in their yard or in the house (as long as it is not a source of agitation)


Beyond basic mental stimulation, other factors may be involved in causing depression in your dog. Check for injuries, or health issues, such as, ticks, or insect bites. Chronic pain, allergies, or illness can deteriorate your dog's psyche as well. Lyme's disease can wear away at your dog's energy level and drag down his mental state as well. Keeping a consistent feeding schedule is also helpful in maintaining mental wellness in dogs. Avoid free feeding throughout the day, this will help you be mindful of his food intake—whether he is eating too much or not eating enough. Being a fussy eater could indicate a sign of a health or mental problem in your dog. Conversely, if he is eating too much, dog obesityposes both physical and mental health problems.

Cats and Depression

While we may think of cats as being the most independent of the domestic pets, they too get depressed and even lonely. If your cat is spending most of his time alone or hiding away, it could be a sign he is depressed. When this happens, your cat may act out in aggression when approached and be less meticulous about his grooming, or nearly stop grooming himself altogether. Along with being sure of physical health, like we described for dogs above, here's a few tips to incorporate into your cat's daily activities.

  • Toys
  • Scratching posts
  • Window perches (cats like to look at things too)
  • Attention and love from their owners
  • Crossword Puzzles; just kidding, we were seeing if you were paying attention

Simple indeed, but effective measures you can take to keep your pet stimulated and not bent on destroying your home or sulking around in depression.

cognitive depression mood

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Pet Nutrition

acl age aging allergies allergy medicine allergy season animal digest antibiotics anxiety apple cider vinegar arthritis bacteria bad breath bee stings benefits biting bladder breath calm cancer cat cat illness cat vitamins cats celavin chews coat cognitive comparisons constipation crate dehydrated dental depression dermatitis dermix dha diabetes diarrhea diet digestion digestive digestive enzymes digestive remedies dog food dog vitamins dogs dosage dreaming efa enzyme deficiency enzyme miracle enzymes epi essential fatty acids exercise exocrine pancreatic insufficiency fatty acids feline fish oil flatulence fleas freeze dried freeze dried dog food fur loss gas gastrointestinal gi gi health glucosamine golden retriever grain free grain free diet grass eating grooming gsd gut gut health hair loss halitosis health hind leg home remedies home renedies horses hot spots IBS immune system incontinence inflammation injury insect bites intestine itchy joints kidney lameness lawn burns leaky gut lifestyle liver damage loose stool malnutrition medicine miracle pack miraclezyme missing fur mood msm mushy poop myths natural remedies nutrition obesity odor omega-3 pancreas pancreatic pancreatitis paw licking pet care pet vitamins pets picky eater popular prednisone probiotic miracle probiotics product comparison puppy raw raw dog food remedy rjx rjx horses routine sbo season seasonal senior dog shedding shy dog sick skin and coat socializing stool eating strength stress supplementation supplements symptoms systemic enzymes tear stains teeth tendons timid dog tips training tylosin tzl uri urinary urine stains uti utrin vitamin depletion vitamins wellness yeast yogurt