Are We Passing Our Social Anxieties Onto Our Pets?

A new study has revealed that a quarter of dogs suffer from some form of anxiety or stress.

The findings, which have been released by Direct Line Pet Insurance, also reveal that some pet owners think they are to blame for their pets’ problems – in much the same way a child might mirror their parents – with almost half (42%) admitting that they believe their dog has developed more human conditions, such as depression, obesity and heart disease.

Are We Passing Our Social Anxieties Onto Our Pets? 1

Grief, depression, eating disorders, OCD and PTSD are also conditions pet owners have recognised with dogs displaying signs to their owners through increased chewing and destructive behaviour, excessive shedding and diarrhoea.

Speaking about the pet insurer’s findings, veterinary nurse Madeline Pike 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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