Animal experts say although animals express their feelings in a variety of ways, people often fail to meet their emotional needs or improperly interpret their behaviour, leaving pets with serious mental illnesses. (Image: DC)
HYDERABAD: Animals have feelings, just like people do, but their mental health, which shows up as anxiety, depression, aggression and fear, is often ignored.
Animal advocates and experts hold that although animals express their feelings in a variety of ways, people often fail to meet their emotional needs or improperly interpret their behaviour, leaving pets with serious mental illnesses.
According to animal communicators and veterinarians in the city, "Dogs and cats communicate well about their feelings of sadness or depression by their actions, which not everyone can comprehend. People need to understand that while their demands may not always be the same as ours, they are nonetheless just as significant and complex."
According to experts, animals' emotional requirements are not being met because of poor socialisation or even insufficient cerebral stimulation. They contend that a lack of socialisation is a major contributor to animals' mental health issues. "They must socialise with other dogs and get regular exercise outside. A dog being denied access to these necessities is equivalent to locking them up," Rima Singh, a dog communicator.
Animals too need some quiet time, not just humans. Pets deserve and frequently require their own private space and time, just like people do.
"We show animals our affection whenever we want. The same goes for animals; without their own time and space, your affection is torturous to them. With dogs, communication is crucial. It's not enough to ensure that your pets are fed. But it's also important to oversee their health and whether they would prefer to take a walk one more time than usual," said Deeksha Marur, another animal communicator.
Dogs mimic their owners' behaviour, claimed Marur. For instance, if the owner is aggressive, the dog will be as well, and so on. Dogs experience depression when their owner does, and vice versa.
"Family vibes are extremely important since dogs can sense human energy. I've also witnessed instances where a dog helped its owner overcome negative emotions like worry or depression. Dogs express their likes and dislikes in simple terms. There was a situation when a dog owner had two dogs that they frequently walked together with. The younger dog demanded more attention. He kept barking and would become agitated when let outside since he disliked walking the older dog," she said.
Dogs can convey their feelings and comprehend human language, according to Rima. She gave the example of a dog that stopped eating after its owner moved to another state for a year. The dog fell ill and passed away within 48 hours because it couldn't handle being apart from its owner.
1. Avoid food and water or overeat
2. Bark constantly
3. Damaging household belongings
4. Over clingy to the person they love most.
5. Get extremely depressed when they are not around
6. Self-mutilation and self-harm
7. Start hiding under bed
Reasons for depression
1. No proper social life
2. Being left alone at home
3. Health or food habits being ignored
4. Denied attention
5. Personal space ignored
6. Being aggressive with them
What needs to be done
1. Socializing with other dogs. You can walk your four-legged furry in dog parks
2. Ensure proper diet
3. Exhibit patience when your pet gets aggressive
4. Show empathy and not exhibit aggression towards your pets
5. Constant communication and affection