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Depression in Dogs and Cats

Pet Care Tips 2 min read
Depression in Dogs and Cats

Often in my veterinary clinic, I am asked the question by caring pet parents who notice that their animal companions are just not acting right— Is my pet suffering from depression? In my professional opinion as a holistic veterinarian, I do believe that dogs and cats get depressed. Having said that, it is important to first rule out that illness is not causing the symptoms of depression, as the symptoms of depression can mimic many disease processes.

It is rare for dogs and cats to suffer from long-term depression.

Two of the most common causes of depression in pets are the loss of another companion or the loss of an owner.  Depression can also occur after a move, arrival of a new baby, being relinquished to a shelter, a change of owner, and sometimes even a change in schedule- such as a stay-at-home owner that takes a job. Although depression in dogs and cats is not uncommon, it is rare for dogs and cats to suffer from long-term depression, which is common in people.

Signs of depression include your pet acting withdrew, changes in eating or sleeping habits, not participating in the things they once enjoyed, or sporadic yowling.  Medical problems such as infections, arthritis, metabolic or endocrine diseases, and even neoplasia can look like depression, so a full physical exam, blood work, and even radiographs are necessary to make sure there are no medical reasons for the change in behavior.

The good news is, most dogs and cats bounce back from depression within a few days or a few months with just a little TLC. Giving them more attention, praising them when they show signs of happiness, doing the things they love like going on a car ride for a dog or a new favorite perch for a kitty can help quicken recovery from depression.

If you feel that your pet does need medication, you may want to try a natural herbal approach, like NHV Matricalm for cats and dogs or NHV Lesstress for dogs. The two supplements contain natural herbs that help to calm the nervous system, while also supporting the heart and blood pressure.

If you feel your cat or dog is suffering from depression and would like a holistic opinion, please do contact us for online consultation.

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Published: January 27, 2017

2 replies

  1. dijana says:

    I adopted cat from street and she really loves me as much i love her but what does worried me is she seems very traumatised when i want to hold her . Please tell me what to do ?

    1. NHV says:

      Hello Dijana,

      We are very sorry to hear that your kitty has been suffering from some anxiety. We would recommend using NHV Matricalm. This herbal formula helps reduce anxiety and agitation and also helps control aggressive and excitable behavior. This is an all natural herbal supplement that is Glycerin based which makes it perfectly safe to use over a long term period.

      Please note that our supplements are all natural and do not contain any preservatives, so they require refrigeration once opened and will last 6 months in the fridge. Please also note that we have 2 dosages: The maintenance dosage used to maintain health, which is on the bottle (1 drop per 2 lbs of weight, twice per day) and a therapeutic dosage used to address a condition, which is outlined in the table below. We would suggest using the therapeutic dosage when addressing this condition.

      Therapeutic Pet’s Weight Dosage– to be taken two times per day
      0 – 24 lb = 0.5 mL
      25 – 49 lb = 1.0 mL
      50 – 74 lb = 1.5 mL
      Over 75 lb = 2.0 mL

      We would suggest administering the supplements with food or with your furry friend’s favorite treat for convenience. Alternatively you may wish to administer the product via a syringe or dropper directly into the mouth preferably after feeding so that the product is easier on the digestive system.

      I hope that you find this information helpful and if you have any questions about the supplements or dosages, please do not hesitate to contact us, we are always happy to help!

      Yours in wellness,


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