Over the years as a pet sitter, I have witnessed what I perceive to be doggy and kitty depression: especially within the first couple days of their people being on holiday. It is quite an adjustment period, even when pets continue to experience a similar daily routine – staying in their home and familiar surroundings; but it’s just not the same as when their people are there.
I’ve seen a variety of ways pets communicate their displeasure; urinating and defecating in the house and on their people’s clothes, hiding under the bed, or sometimes not eating for several days. It is very clear they are not happy that their people have disappeared. This is one of the reasons I always take my dogs along to clients’ homes as they are the ultimate mobile puppy playtime – taking everyone’s mind off their troubles.
Your faithful dog or curious cat sits there watching you as you pack your bags, fully knowing what the next moves are, thinking “I hope they’re going to take me with them!” And then the bags are tossed in the back of the car and off you go, leaving Fido and Fluffy behind.
Herbal & Homeopathic remedies, and Flower Essences can safely help calm your companions when you leave. For dogs, I’ve found that stuffing a treat toy, like the Monster Mouth, with peanut butter and kibble, freezing it and then giving it to them a little bit before leaving helps tremendously in keeping their minds off the fact that you’ve just left.
Pets also get depressed when they lose a playmate as the neighbors move – or even harder yet, when a housemate passes away. Kids could be heading off to school and now the house is a lot quieter; or you’re heading to work, leaving them alone for 10 hours a day. Being aware of your dog’s mental space is key to ensuring a long, happy lifetime. It really helps to leave snacks, water, toys and classical music – or better yet Canine Lullabies, on when heading out. The music helps keep them calm and relaxed while awaiting your return.
Yes, dogs and cats do get depressed, but with a little extra support we can help them through it. And when you get home, they’ll be so glad to see you that all their troubles and worries will be forgotten!