Types Of Mental Disorders in Dogs
A person can have a mental disorder if they experience specific symptoms. These symptoms are related to mood, thoughts, and behavior. A mental disorder is diagnosed when these symptoms last for at least six months, and you notice an impact on social functioning or occupational performance (social, educational, or work).
Similarly, there are many types of mental disorders that dogs might have. Such as depression; which causes sadness in the dog’s life; Anxiety, which makes the dog worry about everything happening around them; OCD, where dogs feel compelled to do things repeatedly because it gives them relief from their anxiety.
Of course, the list doesn’t end here.
Let’s take a look at a few more mental disorders:
Separation Anxiety Disorder
This disorder is characterized by panic and distress when the dog’s owner leaves home for any period of time (even if it’s just for five minutes). The symptoms worsen as the length of separation increases and may include destructive behavior like chewing on furniture or urinating inside the house. It is also important to note that these symptoms may arise if the pet parent’s routine has changed, such as working from home rather than in an office.
This is a severe case of fear that can be triggered by specific sounds. There are different noise phobias, including thunderstorm phobia, firework phobia, and gunshot or explosion phobia.
The dog may start to panic when they hear the targeted noise, with symptoms ranging from panting and pacing to shaking in fear and urinating/defecating.
OCD in dogs is typically characterized by a pattern of behavior, like licking or biting themselves excessively. Dogs with OCD may exhibit obsessive behaviors with no apparent purpose (such as chewing on furniture), spinning in circles repeatedly before lying down, and pacing from one end of the room to the other.
Canine Behavioral Issues
Sometimes, dogs will just have behavioral issues resulting from something like a traumatic event in their past. Sometimes they are born with these problems, and sometimes the problem is caused by an accident or injury that occurred during puppyhood. It could also be a case of cognitive dullness, retarded growth, a genetic disorder, or symptoms of depression.
Canine Generalized Anxiety Disorder
This disorder is characterized by excessive worry that isn’t explicitly triggered by any one event. These dogs will show signs of anxiety in response to events that most would not consider a threat, such as the sound of thunder.
Now, we know what kinds of mental disorders exist in dogs. But how much does it matter if your dog has one? Well, for starters, it makes them more likely to experience anxiety and depression, leading to destructive behavior. It also makes them more likely to lash out at other dogs or humans, making for a depressed pet and an even unhappier owner.
If you suspect that your dog has one of these disorders, but you’re not sure what it is just yet, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your veterinarian. They can do an evaluation and, if need be, prescribe medication or recommend therapy to help your pup get back on the right track.