Experience is often what shapes us into who we are today. Positive experiences can mold us into better people, while negative ones can cause detrimental behaviors in us. The same can be said for dogs. Man’s best friend is incredibly in tune with his or her owner, and some would say that they experience hypersensitivity more than humans do. Dogs that are treated well will more than likely show positive behavior, whereas dogs who have been abused or neglected will exhibit mental illnesses at times.


Some of these mental illnesses can be categorized as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more. Your dog may be showing signs of an underlying mental condition that you were unaware of before. This may also be the cause of behavioral problems like potty training. Let’s look at some common mental illnesses that dogs experience and how you can act to help your dog if they’re being affected by them.


scared dog


Anxiety


One of the biggest causes of anxiety in dogs is separation anxiety. It is common for dogs to experience extreme anxiety whenever you leave your home to go about your daily business. They have no way to tell if you are ever coming back home, and thus begin to panic. Dogs will oftentimes will lash out in their moment of panic without realizing it, which can result to torn furniture and other personal belongings in the house. A lot of times, dogs with seperation anxiety will have accidents in the house. One way to help relieve their anxiety is to have an indoor dog potty solution. This way, your dog doesn't have to worry about holding in their pee- relieving some of their anxiety. Although separation anxiety is a major cause of doggie distress, there are still other factors that could be causing your dog to be distressed.


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Solution


One of the best ways to help break your dog’s anxiety is proper training. Instilling discipline into your dog is key to help them overcome their woes of anxiety. You will want to focus on training them to be calm, especially whenever you must leave your home for extended periods of time. As previously mentioned, having a dog bathroom system in place will also be of help.There are various training methods you can utilize to gradually improve your dog’s anxiety. 


Depression


Dogs experience depression differently than humans do. While people may enjoy a change of scenery, routine, or bringing new people into their lives, dogs do not cope as well. Dogs prefer routine over everything else. When that routine is changed, they may experience the blues for a little while. Canines are also pack animals. When they experience the death of a fellow dog or owner, they can potentially shut down completely.


Solution


One of the best solutions you can implement for your dog is to try and keep your schedule consistent as possible. Dogs function better whenever there is consistency in your daily routines. Give them lots of love If they have .  just experienced the death of a fellow dog or owner. Also, consider taking them out to the park to play around in fresh grass. Dogs enjoy the outdoors and need to be regularly taken outside for optimal health benefits. As a disclaimer, make sure that your dog’s depression is not a medical concern first. Always check with your veterinarian first before diagnosing them yourself. You could be overlooking a potential medical concern.


PTSD


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder happens after a traumatic event. Humans can experience it after severe trauma. It is most commonly found in military veterans who are returning home from deployment. However, canines are also susceptible to PTSD’s crippling effects. Canine PTSD, or C-PTSD for short, can happen after your dog experiences something traumatic. Whether they have been abused, attacked by another dog, or something traumatizing, it may cause them to act out if they were to face a similar scenario that caused the trauma in the first place.


Solution


Like anxiety and depression, C-PTSD can cause you dog to act out more than usual. It is recommended to take your dog to your family veterinarian to see if medication is required. Fortunately, C-PTSD is treatable and usually goes away after a couple of months of treatment. After the medication treatment has ended, slowly reintroduce your dog to what makes them anxious to help them build their confidence once again.


Social Anxiety


Dogs are social animals. They require attention just like humans do. However, some it is abnormal for some breeds of dogs to display anti-social behavior. Social anxiety can stem from dogs who were raised in isolation as puppies and never learned to socialize with other dogs and humans. This can cause a slew of detrimental behaviors, with aggression being the most notable. It is common to find social anxiety in dogs who were raised in puppy mills, as well as stray dogs who have been found on the streets. These dogs did not receive the love that most puppies did and can cause behavioral issues when they reach adulthood.


Solution


The best solution to prevent social anxiety in dogs is to start when they are young and introduce them to other dogs and humans. Unfortunately, this option isn’t always available. Many dogs who are adopted are adults who are set in their ways. This is where the real training begins. Slowly gain their trust by spending as much time as you can with them and give them positive reinforcement for their actions. This includes treats for good habits, such as completing housebreaking training. Introduce them to other dogs on a regular basis to help them develop their social skills too. This will help your dog come out of their shell and be the friendly pup they were always meant to be.