Yorkshire folk take some pride in being down to earth and no-nonsense. How is then that the seaside town of Scarborough headlined in the US as well as the UK for all the wrong reasons : medicating its penguins for depression! Mainly it seems because of the recent bad weather – Penguins Given Anti-Depressants.
For sure, animals do display symptoms that appear to be depression. Dogs in particular are known to get the blues, for example when a companion animal (or human) dies. They lose their appetite and become inactive, losing interest in their usual pursuits. Usually, they are restored to their former waggy-tail well being with some extra love and attention and even the arrival of a new companion.
The ready availability of pet medication for depression and anxiety is alarming. I am not an animal behavioural expert by any means, but in my experience depression in an animal is primarily a behavioural issue that, if addressed, will clear the symptoms.
If you are placing your animal in circumstances or an environment that gives rise to symptoms of depression or anxiety, then surely the solution is to remove the triggers to which the animal is responding. If your penguins need more sunshine, set up daylight lamps for them to bask under. If kitty gets anxious because you leave her locked up alone in the flat all day whilst you go out to work, consider whether that is an acceptable way for kitty to live her brief life. Just because you adore having a bundle of warm purrs as a possession, does not mean you should have her when you are not providing the environment and level of care and attention she requires to live a well and happy life.
I have not yet met an animal that needs anti depressants. I have met plenty who were helped by adjustments to their energy fields when it is more than just a behavioural issue and even more that respond to good old fashioned love and attention and having their material needs met appropriately. The good thing about both these options is that Fido (or Pingou) does not need to lie on a psychiatrist’s couch for a diagnosis, nor are they chemically harmed.
If anyone from Scarborough is reading this, penguins have energy fields that can be adjusted as well.