Humans have been living increasingly busy lives. We work incredibly long hours, take on a lot of responsibilities and deal with heightened stress levels. It shouldn’t be that surprising to hear that our dogs can suffer from psychological burnout and depression as they try to keep up with us.
We cannot sit our dogs down and have a chat with them about how they are feeling about the increasing amounts of emotional pressure, therefore we are seeing more prescriptions for anti-depressants.
Vet and behavior psychologist, Linda Hornisberger, says, “Today, dogs are increasingly living with chronic fatigue. They are completely overwhelmed and need to take anti-depressants.
Not all veterinarians are promoting the use of these medications. Many suggest that changes in the lifestyle and behavior of the owner are more effective.
A behaviorist from London, Tamara Cartwright-Loebl, explains, “Boredom is a big issue and a lack of company and also a lack of consistency and boundaries, and the fiddly-faddly ways of people. One daycare client came to me straight from America, complete with his Xanax. To be honest, I think I needed to take it when I saw it. It was a huge semi-wild working dog that she was treating as a baby – he had pyjamas and a special song.”
There will always be cases where the use of medication is necessary. Some dogs can suffer from different forms of obsessive compulsive disorder, cumpulsive pacing or chewing.
If you sense your dog may be depressed, take a quick look are your own daily routine and see if there is something that you may be doing that is causing a negative reaction in your pup. You may just be the change that is needed to give your dog some relief.