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Can Your Depression Affect Your Pet?

puppy dog eyes black and white editedDealing with depression or another mental health issue can be difficult enough, but some people might also worry that their condition is affecting their four-legged best friend. The good news is, mental illness is in no way contagious, and you can’t just pass along your depression to your pet. However, changes in your routine or behavior might induce some anxiety for your canine or feline companion.

If you’re going through a rough time, try to take the following steps to keep your furry best friend feeling content and secure:

  • Take good care of yourself: Follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations and make yourself a priority. Practicing self-care will better enable you to care for those around you (including your pet).
  • Try to maintain a routine: If your dog is used to mealtime in the morning and a walk in the evening, try to stick to that schedule. Enlist the help of a family member if necessary. Routine helps pets feel secure.
  • Don’t stop those cuddle sessions: Just spending time with your pet will ensure your relationship remains close. Also, studies have shown that spending time with a pet can help bump up levels of feel-good chemicals in the brain, so both parties benefit.
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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • T.L. DeVita June 3, 2015, 8:28 am

    Good advice. Take care of yourself so you can take better care of your pets.

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