What if lately, you’ve been noticing your pet sleeps abnormally (more than usual), eats less, seems sad, and spends most of its time moping round the house. All these behaviors are totally opposite to his or her normal behavior. Without a doubt, you may start to worry! Depression is what your furry friend may be experiencing. This condition isn’t dissimilar to that of humans.
You’re used to seeing your pet happy because he or she is always there for you whenever you’re down. The mere thought of seeing your furry friend crestfallen makes you sick. Now it’s your turn to be there for him or her. How do you cheer up your best friend? What are some of the methods you can use?
If your pet is depressed, here are 8 strategies to use to cheer him/her up:
1. Spend ample time with your pet
One of the most effective ways to cheer up pets is by spending more time with them, especially when they’re depressed. Now, more than ever, he or she needs you – your undivided attention. Spending quality time together shows your pet how much you love and cherish him or her. To transit from the pits to his/her joyful, happy self, simply give your pet your support, care, and love.
2. Indulge your pet in outdoor activities
Whether you own a cat or a dog, taking him for a fun afternoon out in the park is an effective way of cheering him up. At first, the pet won’t seem enthusiastic. However, as you two enjoy each other’s company, you’ll be surprised by how jovial he’ll turn out to be. Some physical exercise, a change in surroundings, and some quality time with you, will go miles to bring back enthusiasm in your pet.
3. Show your pet you’re happy
Did you know pets and dogs are very intelligent when it comes to telling if you’re happy, just by looking at your face? Consequently, when he’s depressed, avoid frowning or showing him or her that you’re sad. An effective way to cheer up your dog is by staying happy yourself.
4. Socialize your pet
Is your dog or cat depressed because he or she lost a companion or family member? If yes, then you need to take your pet to the park, or to a daycare center, where he or she can socialize with others. According to studies, animals enjoy same-species companionship. Therefore, you shouldn’t hesitate to try out this strategy.
Related: Guide for Traveling With Your Pet
5. Reward your pet for positive behavior
This strategy is more of a positive reinforcement. When he or she shows any sign of getting over depression, you should give your pet a treat or pat on the head. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t be overly sympathetic as this will encourage others to remain depressed in order to enjoy the same attention. You need to show him or her how pleased you are anytime he or she eats meals properly, or plays with you in the park.
6. Comfort your pet with favorite toys
Does your cat or dog have a favorite toy? A great way to cheer up your cat is by giving him or her toys to play with. Most pets have a tendency to find comfort in familiarity. They’ll be more cheery if they are around their favorite toys.
7. Play him or her some music
In the same way music calms and soothes human beings, most pet owners admit that music is also magical to pets. Surprisingly, you’ll be able to lift up the mood of your pet by playing him or her some soothing music. Just ensure that the volume isn’t too high. The last thing you want is to make things worse.
Related: 10 Things New Dog Owners Should Know
8. Take your pet out for a ride
This strategy works wonders especially if your pet enjoys going for rides. If possible, bring your entire family with you when stepping out for a ride. In addition to enjoying the family’s company, he or she will also enjoy the fresh air.
Chances are very high that the depression affecting your pet will also affect you. Consequently, before the two of you sink into depression, you should act fast. You must find ways to cheer him or her up as soon as you can. The above are some simple ways you can cheer up your pet.