Dog owners want to ensure they’re pets are loved and happy. However, they might show signs of distress or injury. Like humans, dogs suffer from mental illness, too. Often, it’s hard to know when your pup is suffering mentally, but the only way to learn from your dog is by recognizing when psychological problems they’re experiencing are different from their normal behaviors.
Dog owners want to ensure they’re pets are loved and happy.
However, they might show signs of distress or injury. Like humans,
dogs suffer from mental illness, too. Often, it’s hard to know
when your pup is suffering mentally, but the only way to learn
from your dog is by recognizing when psychological problems
they’re experiencing are different from their normal behaviors.
There are a few common mental issues dogs deal with and here
are the steps you can take to help your dog through their
FIRST: RULE OUT OTHER
S o m e q u e s t i o n s t o a s k y o u r s e l f i n c l u d e :
H a v e y o u m a d e a n y c h a n g e s t o y o u r d o g ’ s
d i e t o r f e e d i n g s c h e d u l e , m e d i c a t i o n o r
s u p p l e m e n t s ?
H a v e y o u m a d e a n y o t h e r l i f e s t y l e c h a n g e s ?
H a s t h e r e b e e n a c h a n g e i n t h e f r e q u e n c y o f
w a l k i n g , a c h a n g e i n s l e e p , o r a n e w
g r o o m i n g s c h e d u l e ?
H a v e y o u i n t r o d u c e d a n e w d o g o r p e t i n t o
t h e h o u s e h o l d ?
M a n y o f t h e s e c h a n g e s c o u l d a f f e c t t h e w a y
y o u r d o g b e h a v e s .
Dogs are similar to humans in that they react to
the world based on what has happened to
them in the past. Plus, dogs are creatures of
habit, so if there’s been a change their routines,
it could be that confusion or anxiety is causing
them trouble. In turn, it’s reflected in their daily
activities and the way they react to you and
other people around them.
Dogs may experience anxiety for many reasons.
Anxiety Separation Anxiety — If you’ve changed
your schedule, your dog could be missing
you. It can even occur if there are other
people in your household. Many dogs show
favor to one person, and get upset if that
person suddenly isn’t around as often.
Food Anxiety — Dogs may develop anxiety
if there’s a change in their feeding time or
the type of food they’re used to eating.
E N V I R O N M E N T A L F A C T O R S
Changes in neighborhood or home
environments can drastically affect your
dog’s attitude, too. For instance, if you
recently moved or have a noisier house or
apartment, that’s close to traffic, it can
affect your their mood.In these cases, the
best cure is to take time. Allow your pet to
get accustomed to a new schedule and
new place. It could take up to two weeks
until they finally get used to a new routine.
POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER
The mental illness, often called
PTSD, can affect your dog’s
attitude. Usually PTSD is caused by
prior traumatic events. Current
events may trigger stress and
cause uncharacteristic reactions.
For instance, if a dog has previously
been abused and something
reminds them of the abuse, they can
react abnormally. Other possible
triggers of PTSD include:
Sharp, loud noises
Seeing their owner in distress
If your dog suddenly begins exhibiting antisocial behavior, it
could be a result of other mental health disorders that can be
triggered from a new pet in the family, new roommates, or
sudden, violent events.
It can be a difficult time for you and your family. The best way
to ease the situation is to introduce a new family member or pet
gradually to your dog and to demonstrate your affection for the
new family member in the dog’s presence. But remember to
show affection to your dog, too. This lets him know that both of
them are part of the ‘pack.’
If your dog is still experiencing anxiety, consult your
veterinarian. Your dog’s attitude could be a reaction to an
unseen physical injury, too. If that’s the case, your vet can
diagnose the issue and offer additional steps.