Antidepressants help dogs and their humans feel better
Disclaimer: This is my personal experience with Prozac and not a paid ad. I am not a doctor or therapist. Please consult your doctor to see if antidepressants are a good option for you.
My Dog Took Prozac
Brutus = My fluffy white dog. A bichon that looked like a toy poodle
He suffered from separation anxiety. When I went to work, he barked for 8 hours straight. I got noise complaints from my neighbors and I was about 2 noise complaints away from getting kicked out of my apartment. He was a rescue and he needed a little TLC.
I Tried Everything to Help Brutus
If you have a dog you know they are like your kids. you just want them to be happy and well feed. I bought him a nice crate to sleep in. I gave him t-shirts and other clothes that smelled like me. I took him to doggy daycare so he could play with friends (which I hardly afford on my salary). I took him on long walks. I bought him the special tight-fitted sweater that helps dogs feel secure (like a weighted blanket for humans). But nothing worked… He still barked all day and he started peeing all over the house.
I was beginning to think Brutus was nuts. We had tried all the typical remedies for months and nothing helped.
The vet recommended Prozac. And suddenly Brutus was my Prozac Puppy. I went to the pharmacy and got his antidepressants. They were labeled with Brutus the Dog. My dog is crazy, I thought. At the same time, he was getting better and able to stay at home on his own again.
I took Prozac
Years later I took Prozac too. When I became depressed, I tried everything I could:
- Doggy Day Care –> Hung out with friends
- Nice crate, special sweater, etc. –> Bought things that I thought would make me feel better
- Long walks –> Exercising
Nothing worked, I still felt depressed. I even felt like I was getting worse. So, I tried Prozac.
I never thought I’d take a happy pill. I had made fun of my dog for needing Prozac. I must admit, I felt ashamed about taking mental health drugs. Why do I need help to be happy? But the truth is it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Just like you take Advil for your headache, you take Prozac or other antidepressants to ensure you are in the right headspace.
I’m so happy I took the medication because in a few months I felt like me again. I didn’t have to stay on antidepressants forever, but it still made a big difference in my life. I keep Prozac as a tool in my mental health toolbox (along with eating right, exercising, and good talks with good friends) I’m proud of the decision I made to get the help I needed.