Pet Owners

One in 10 dogs suffer from mental health issues, study finds

Nearly one million dogs in the UK are suffering from mental health issues, according to new research from found that one in ten dogs currently suffer with a form of mental health conditions, equating to 945,000 dogs that are regularly facing panic attacks, depression and anxiety. 

As the number of dogs suffering from mental health problems are rising, half of the owners surveyed admitted they wouldn’t be able to easily spot the signs.  

Research from also found that some of the owners surveyed had to take time off work as their canine companion were suffering from mental health issues. Resulting in an average of 31.5 million working days lost by employers.

Although 48% of Brits refer to their dogs as their best friend, experts found some of the most common factors causing dogs to feel low include: being left alone, lack of exercise, loud noises and lack of compassion.

Other common issues included: change of routine, tone of voice, not going on their favourite walk and not being petted enough. 

Louise Glazebrook, dog behaviourist and trainer said: “Mental health issues in dogs is a very real problem, with dogs across Britain suffering from a range of disorders – most commonly depression and anxiety. This really affects how a dog thinks, feels and responds. Yet this research by Rover shows that one in five Brits (20%) think dogs are simply acting up for attention.”

“When dogs have gone through trauma, have changes taking place or are struggling to find balance it will affect their mental health, which in turn will affect their behaviour. “It is always important for an owner to understand the cause rather than simply believing that they are being naughty. My number one tip is keeping a consistent routine.”

She added: “Dogs thrive on predictability, it allows them to be relaxed and calm because they can understand what will follow on and come after. Dogs are social animals, they love company – not leaving them alone for too long or too often is really important, certainly not more than four hours at a time”

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