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4 in 10 British owners think their dog has mental health problems

Nearly half of Britain's dog owners think their pet has mental health issues
© Shutterstock

A new survey has found that although dogs are the source of much happiness, nearly half of Britain’s dog owners reckon their pet has mental health issues, including depression and phobias.

By Dawn Parrish, 30 Jun 2019

Survey produces worrying results

According to the study, carried out by Furbo, the pet tech firm, around 57% of 1,180 dog owners admitted that owning a dog has a huge, positive impact on their own, personal mental health.

However, worryingly so, 46% of pet owners reckon their dog has experienced symptoms of depression, phobias and anxieties, with symptoms such as not wanting to go outdoors, being withdrawn, chewing bedding and barking.

But are our dogs really stressed, or do we agree with the 52% of dog owners that think we just project our human moods and feelings to our dogs?

Dog owners admit to spending on their pet’s happiness

Many owners, in an attempt to make sure their dogs are happy and content, seek advice from pet behaviourists or vets. Some owners use new technology, such as “dog cameras” to monitor and speak to their dogs when they are left home alone. More than half of the 1,180 people surveyed confirmed that they spend up to £100 each month on their dog’s happiness.

Depressed dog hides under bed
©Shutterstock

Is canine depression on the increase?

The role of the dog in modern days is more of a companion pet, than as a working animal. As our own daily stress and worries take up so much of our time, of course we are going to be concerned that our dogs experience similar feelings. If we are anxious and stressed, it is certainly possible to transfer these negative worries and emotions onto our pets.

The proactive way forward is to make sure our dogs have set, stable routines, are mentally stimulated, well exercised and properly fed. Only then can we completely avoid these negative scenarios and have happy, well balanced dogs.