Pets suffering with mental health issues

Dogs across the UK are suffering from ‘human conditions’, according to a new report from Direct Line Pet Insurance.

In the last 12 months, two-fifths of dog owners (42 per cent) believe their pets have developed conditions usually associated with their owners, such as stress, depression, heart disease and obesity.

Dog owners believe their pets are suffering from psychological disorders, including separation anxiety (26 per cent) and stress (25 per cent).  Dogs that are stressed may exhibit a host of symptoms such as excessively shedding their coats, pinning back their ears, diarrhoea, or demonstrating destructive behaviours such as chewing furniture. One in ten (ten per cent) believe their dog has suffered from depression in the last year.

Madeline Pike, veterinary nurse at Direct Line Pet Insurance, said: “Pets are often relied on for comfort by their owners when they are upset or stressed. However, dogs are sensitive, emotionally intelligent animals that also respond to the environment around them. We can rely on our dogs to cheer us up when we are feeling down.

“However, it is important we reciprocate this dependency by ensuring that the environment in the home is as positive as possible so we don’t negatively affect our dogs’ behaviour.”


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