Pets. They are not judgmental, love us unconditionally, provide companionship, get us outside to walk, detect diseases before we do, physically protect us and provide comfort for strangers who are sick. But, as a physician, I’ve also noticed how a sick or aging pet can be a source of great depression and anxiety for owners. Many of us talk about the anxiety and depression occurring because of a sick friend, parent or spouse- but a lot of us keep our “pet thoughts” to ourselves thinking that a depression over their dog who is getting chemotherapy should take a backseat to their co-worker who is going through the same. In the world of medicine, no matter what the trigger is- depression is depression and anxiety is anxiety. These conditions are no less important if they stem from something going on with your pet or with your family and friends. In my MDVIP (MD Value In Prevention) practice, we have hour long appointments. You may be seeing me for that sore throat but now you can also talk about the mood changes you’ve noticed and didn’t discuss with the doctor simply because there was never time to talk. Depression and anxiety should never be ignored. And neither should your pets.