Caring For A Pet When You Are Going Through Depression!


Asked by a reader

-How do I take care of pets when depression hits hard? I love my pets enough to give them to someone else that can take care of them better, but I would be grateful to have tips and tricks and stuff like that.


Responded by various contributors-

*Tiffany McLeod

Provide the things they need in the most efficient and low-labor way possible. Notice barriers that slow you down or divert you from taking care of them. Remove those barriers or figure out a way to work around them. Try to build in some wiggle room in case depression hits you really hard: Make sure you have plenty of petfood in the house, get a big water dish, set out several litter boxes, and so forth.

Ask a friend or family member to serve as a reality check - have them visit at regular times to check that you are taking care of your pets. Call them whenever it gets too much for you and you could use a bit of help. Hire someone to do the petcare chores that overwhelm you.

Create a list of petcare chores that MUST be done to maintain good health and hygiene for your pets - break them down into short, achievable tasks. Get some baskets and fill them with all the supplies you will need to finish a chore, place the baskets near where the chores are to be done. For example, all the tools to clean the litter box should be kept right next to EACH litterbox - gathering supplies to do a chore can be a major barrier, so make it as easy on yourself as possible. Make a schedule, spread out the chores so they don't become overwhelming. Every day, finish the scheduled chores even if you go right back to bed afterwards. Check each chore off as you do it. Put a copy of the chores list in the following locations: the wall beside your bed, the front of your refrigerator, the bathroom door or mirror, in the living room, and anywhere else you spend a lot of time. Ask your friend to question you about any chores that are not checked off when they visit.

Enjoy the company of your pets. Ask for help when you need it. If you find yourself putting off something that needs to be done, like a grooming or vet appointment, ask for help and schedule an appointment right away - it's harder to put off a task if someone else is expecting you to arrive. Contact a local animal rescue agency (ask your city shelter for a reference) and ask for help keeping your pets with you - they have an entire network of people who love pets and want to see you succeed even if all they can do is help you take your pets to the vet or groomer and put you in touch with someone who can help you keep up with your petcare chores.

All of my advice presumes that you are currently receiving professional medical help for your depression. If this is not the case, get help right away!


*Sofia Wang

Sorry to hear that you’re struggling with depression.

Don’t let whatever that’s depressing you get in your way from loving your pets.

If you really can’t take care of them, send them to any close friends or relatives you have! It’ll be good because you can visit them every week.

Your pets had helped you throughout your life without a doubt. It’s just gonna make your depression worse if you never see your furry friends again. It’s really kind of you to think about them, and thank you for wanting a better owner for them.

Find a local no kill shelter or pet store, if you REALLY have no choice left.

But please, visit them. I’m sure they’ll want you to, too. :)


lisa sp