Nothing brings you more happiness than having a dog at your home! That warm feel of those furry chins resting on your lap, scratching their heads and the way they greet you at the door definitely makes your day. But what if there’s something wrong with your canine friends? What if they’re showing signs of distress or you notice a sudden change in their behavior? It’s surely alarming! But this isn’t a surprise. Not only humans experience such issues, but dogs too suffer from mental disorders a lot of times!
According to a study, when it comes to emotions, dogs’ brains are similar to humans. Like humans, dogs suffering from conditions like anxiety and depression can harm themselves or damage their overall health by not eating or exercising. Unfortunately, our four-legged friends can’t tell us about whatever they’re going through; however, their physical signs of distress can let their owners know if there’s something wrong. Understanding the mental disorders in dogs, it’s important for the pet owners to know about the causes, symptoms and treatments of such conditions.
Causes of Mental Illnesses in Dogs
Below mentioned are some common causes of mental illness in dogs. Have a look!
• Anatomic disorders
• Illness and physical pain
• Degenerative issues
• Toxic issues
• Kenneling and confinement
Sign & Symptoms of Mental Illnesses in Dogs
Be it a mental health condition or a temporary ailment, abnormal behavior from your dog should not be ignored. Following are the symptoms highlighting some specific mental disorders in dogs.
Signs of Depression
• Reduced activity
• Drastic weight loss
• Excessive shedding
• Loss of appetite
• Sudden and drastic behavior changes.
Signs of OCD
• Excessive tail chasing
• Repetitive or intensified behavior
• Decrease in playfulness
Signs of Anxiety
• Diarrhea or vomiting
• Destructive behavior
• Compulsive licking and grooming
• Attempts to leave or escape
• Reduced activity
Treating Dogs with Mental Health Problems!
Seeing those adorable fur balls suffer from mental disorders is heart-wrenching! Treating these dogs is a long process that definitely needs a human heart that loves them and wants them to get well. It requires patience, attentiveness, and empathy. Some of the ways that can help treat these little pooches are as follows:
Medicines certainly come first when we talk about treatment. Sometimes, a dog might be exhibiting psychotic symptoms due to an underlying physical problem. It might be pain or something else as well. In such a situation, taking your pet to a vet is the best option. If they have pain anywhere, get it treated. The vet will prescribe you some medicines which you should give them regularly. Besides, you can also use CBD oil to treat dogs with anxiety. These are readily available at a lot of top-rated brands that provide these oils at great discounts.
Having some knowledge about their bodies can help them get confidence and awareness about their actions and behaviours. You can make them sit in the conditioning classes and get them some strength training to ease off their anxiety. Make them exercise and arrange some mind stimulation activities for them to prevent the unusual, mostly destructive, behaviours. Also, a soothing massage from time to time can help release the stress and fatigue off their minds.
Let them do what they love!
There might be some activities they have great interests in. Let them get indulged in those very activities to boost their confidence and keep them happy. Even you can play with them as well to accompany them and not let them be alone. Just discover what your pup loves, and spare some time every day to have a fun time with them. You can also buy them their favourite toys from some fantastic pet stores at mind-blowing deals and offers.
Give them Space
As said, too much affection always causes problems! You must also give your dog some space. Too much warmth and love might negatively affect them if you need to get away for some time due to any reason. It can then inflict separation anxiety or depression in them, causing extreme sadness, obsession, aggressive behaviour and more.22