Everything to know about Dog Mental Health and Behaviour Issues

Everything to know about Dog Mental Health and Behaviour Issues 

Mental health has been an essential dimension in human’s health but the importance of its care has only recently been highlighted and normalized in our civilization. Through history we’ve witnessed huge stigma and barriers against openness in taking mental health seriously. A possible reason could be the intangible nature of illnesses or symptoms related to mental health and the shame associated with the same. These problems exist in the complex myriad of the brains of such living beings. Thus, as it is not visible to the naked eye like any physical injury on a body, mental health is often, actively ignored as a taboo or façade - even with pets.

The pet industry has evolved in its own way. The knowledge and experience behind its development have rolled in various people as pet parents, who are now actively enrolled voluntarily to adopt animals as their pets and raise them with utmost care and protection. One of the most sought out animals for domestication is dogs.

Dogs have the capability to be a companion by nature. They get along with their human counterparts and other animals very well. Dogs are used in versatile fields, ranging from security, military, science, service dogs, home domestication, etc. But one thing which all dogs often suffer silently with is their Mental Health

Mental Disorders in Dogs

The stigma around Mental health is already present in the humans’ circle. So, it is natural that it is further away for dogs. But times have been changing. This stigma of Mental Health occurring in dogs is being heavily discussed and treated actively. Statistics state that 1 in every 5 dogs in the United State of America has some kind of Mental Health issue. It is not considered taboo anymore. It’s a real condition, with real negative consequences.

A detailed study conducted by Emory University’s scientists in 2013, actively concluded that a dog’s brain is strikingly similar to a human one. Especially in terms of feeling a few emotions. Any Mental Health issue can force your canine friend to stop living to the best of their capacity. They may stop exercising, eating, sleeping, etc. which have slow but adverse effects on their physical health. They may even develop certain tendencies to execute any self-harming technique.

Unlike humans, dogs do not have the luxury to communicate through words. Their unusual behavior and sudden changes in their daily actions are some of the signs to look out for. These happenings might point towards your dog being affected by a certain Mental Health problem. Therefore, understanding the nature, signs, treatment, etc. of such Mental Health problems is an important feat for all pet parent. Therefore, we at Petpedia.in have prepared this blog with the very same intent.

Mental Health’s Connection in Dogs

Most pet parents are oblivious to their pet’s Mental Health problems. This is mostly because pet parents are not aware of such tendencies. They think that their pet companion is merely playing or having a mood swing. But such unusual changes in their behavior might be the first signs for the offset of Mental Health problems.

According to Nancy Dreschel of the Department of Dairy and Animal Science at Pennsylvania State University for Psychology Today, the more fearful and anxious a dog behaves around strangers, the shorter its lifespan is. The research also states that fearfulness, separation anxiety, and other forms of psychological stress can cause various skin problems in dogs.

Like the Mental Health problems that have an adverse effect on their physical body, the reverse is also actively possible. For example, if a dog is obese, then its playfulness and happiness index reduce drastically.

Most pet owners are well versed when their pet companion is suffering from a physical health problem. This is natural, as the misery is visually seen. But when it comes to Mental Health problems, pet parents are unintentionally kept in the dark. Before making any big decision of adopting a dog, it is absolutely important for a pet parent to look into such things.

Common Mental Health Problems in Dogs

Although there are various Mental Health problems in the numerous breeds of dogs, the most general ones, which are common across almost all the breed of dogs are listed below:

Anxiety

1. Separation Anxiety: it is the most common anxiety attack in pups. Basically, in this anxiety disorder, a puppy becomes frantic, aggressive, scared, and fearful if they feel that they are going to be left alone or be separated from their known owner. The output is fearfulness, aggressive barking, being scared, excessive chewing of various objects like shoes, paper, clothes, etc., or even some housebreaking incidents.

2. Social Anxiety: this is the most common type of anxiety in dogs. Many dogs have a shaky start in their life. Therefore, when they are left to deal with various human or animal interactions without healing from past trauma, they immediately experience social anxiety. This may lead to crippling aggression, destructive behavior or even fearfulness.

3. Noise Anxiety: loud noises are startling for almost everyone. But for animals, it may lead to catastrophic results. A sudden burst of unwanted sounds at an increased decibel may force your dog to be in a frantic frenzy. The common after-effects includes both as to what a dog might suffer, which is Separation or Social anxiety. These sudden changes may include thunderstorms, fireworks, or other loud noises which are purely unwanted. Extreme stress, fearfulness, aggressive barking, and aggression is the most typical output.

Depression

Like most humans, dogs also suffer from various forms of depression. It is the responsibility of pet parents to look out for their dog’s signs of depression.

If your pet companion appears to be lethargic, sad, aggressive, excessively barking, lazy, dull, floozy, appears to be sadder, withdrawn, etc. then it is most likely that your adorable dog is in the initial stages of depression.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

This term might include various things. But when it comes to dogs, it initiates when your dog may appear to be lethargic or is showing some unusual behavior towards a certain object. This attachment to any certain object may change from time to time and would be strange or unusual.

Basically, if your dog is attempting to execute various tasks like biting certain things, following its tail obsessively, digging or orbiting for no reason, etc. then it might be highly possible that your adorable pet is suffering from OCD.

Behavioral Problems in Dogs

Since dogs do not have the luxury to communicate through words, the most common way a pet parent has to deduce such Mental Health problems is through various behavioral changes in their dogs. Thus, here are the top three points to skim through for the same:

Remember, not every behavior leads to a Mental Health problem. Most breeds have their own distinctive way to react to their new surroundings and environment. Also, the subject matter of age, breed, region, etc. is also important to be taken into consideration. Most puppies behave differently as opposed to the behavior they show in their adolescence. Thus, any behavior which actually makes you believe that it is negatively impacting your dog, only then you should proceed with utmost caution.

Behaviours are difficult to comprehend and to distinguish between the good and the bad and as a pet parent, you might feel overwhelmed to manage the same. Thus, a pet parent should also trust their gut feeling. A slight change in their behaviour may not be a sign of any depression or anxiety. But a pattern for the same might tell a different story. Every experience in distinguishing the same will come from time. Proceed with the best of intentions and closely observe your dog. Regular consultations and recommendations from your vet are also a plus point here. 

Behaviours become abnormal or pathologic, as a result of emotional disorders or mental health issues. These may have developed as a result of genetic factors, stressful perinatal environment (prenatal, neonatal), insufficient early socialization, medical conditions affecting brain health and development, or particularly traumatic environmental events. For these pets, the prognosis may be guarded, and owner expectations altered to achieve an acceptable outcome. Treatment generally requires both environmental management and behavioural modification, often in combination with medication (natural products, diet, drugs) to improve underlying pathology and facilitate learning.

Fears and Phobias

Fear is the most common reaction to any unwanted or uninvited character in one’s surroundings. On the other hand, Phobia is more of an exaggeration of the same. This exaggeration is not fake, but rather pin-pointed and much aggressive, as compared to fear.

For dogs, a fearful response may include panting and salivation, tucked tail, lowered ears, gazing away, low body posture, piloerection, vocalization, or displacement behaviours such as yawning or lip licking. All these actions are termed as bad-behaviours by many pet parents. Therefore, negative reinforcements are used in a bad sense by pet parents to counter the same.

Phobic reactions mostly output after loud and aggressive noises (thunderstorms, fireworks, gunshots). All these sources are unwanted and uninvited. As a dog is not able to distinguish the source, they develop a pin-pointed fear from any source which may sound like that or even resemble something like that.

Some fears (e.g., veterinary clinics, going outdoors, entering certain rooms, or walking on certain types of flooring) may become so intense that they meet the definition of a phobia. The idea to expose your dogs to such activities or sources in a phased and relaxed manner.

Never throw your dog into a new situation immediately. Considering their age and breeds, a pet parent should make sure that their adorable pet is always protected in a decent manner.

Aggression

Statistically, aggression is the most common form of Mental Health problem in dogs. Aggression leads to fatal dog bites, to which even 5 million humans suffer annually in the United State of America alone. These horrid statistics are more than enough to convey that a Mental Health problem, specifically that of aggression, is severely dangerous and important to treat.

Medically, there are various types of classifications of aggression in dogs. However, fear, anxiety, conflict (uncertainty), genetics, and learned responses generally play a role in most cases. In some cases, the behaviour may be abnormal or pathologic. The effects of early development (prenatal, postnatal), socialization, and previous experience all play a role in the development of aggression. By definition, aggression refers to threatening behaviour or harmful attacks and can range from subtle changes in body posture, facial expressions, and vocalization to biting.

Aggression that is unpredictable, arises during relatively benign interactions, involves targets that cannot realistically avoid exposure to the aggressive dog (e.g., young children, other household pets), or is performed by a large dog or in an uninhibited manner worsens the prognosis. Any medical condition that might cause or contribute to aggression must be identified because they are important factors in diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment.

Here are some forms of Aggression that are generally reported in dogs suffering from the same:

1.  Aggression Towards Other Dogs: Dogs in the same group or household usually avoid conflict without aggression. Communication is based on dominant and submissive signals, with the deference of one of the two individuals to avoid escalation of the encounter. Dominance is a relative concept. The dog that displays different signaling may vary between resources and situations.

Aggression between individuals living in the same household is generally an abnormal behaviour caused by fear and anxiety, redirected aggression, impulse decontrol, or poor intraspecific communication skills as a result of genetics or lack of early socialization and compounded by experience and learning. Redirected aggression and competition over a valued resource may also lead to aggression between dogs in the home. If any situations arise in which the dogs are unable to resolve conflicts without aggression or injury, behavioural guidance should be sought. Aggression toward unfamiliar dogs and those that are not members of the family group are likely fearful, possessive, protective, or territorial.

2. Territorial/Protective Aggression: Aggression may be displayed when the dog is approached in its territory. Territory can be stationary (e.g., yard, home) or mobile (e.g., car). What defines the behaviour as territorial is that the dog does not display fear of similar stimuli when outside its territory. Fear, anxiety, defensive, and possessive behaviours may all be components because the pet is most likely to display the behaviour towards unfamiliar stimuli, and the motivation to escape or avoid is decreased or absent when the pet is on its own property.

3.  Predatory Aggression: This is one of the most dangerous types of aggression because there is usually no warning. The attack is intended to kill prey, and the bite is uninhibited. The sequence of events may include stalking, chasing, biting, and killing.

Young children and babies may be at risk because their size and behaviours mimic those of prey. Although extensive socialization to a species might reduce predation toward that species, the behaviour may be enhanced when predatory individuals are together in a group. Predation is a normal and dangerous canine behaviour. Thus, if any dog exhibits such a behaviour, then it must be prevented from repeating the same.

4.  Pain-Induced and Medical Causes of Aggression: Any disease that causes pain or increases irritability (e.g., dental disease, arthritis, trauma, allergies) can lead to aggression. The dog may become aggressive when it is handled or anticipates handling.

Organ dysfunction (e.g., renal, hepatic), CNS disease, and endocrinopathies (e.g., hyperadrenocorticism, functional testicular and ovarian tumors, and thyroid dysfunction) might also contribute to irritability and aggression. While hypothyroidism is more likely associated with lethargy, dermatologic signs, and heat-seeking in the early stages, it has been suggested that dogs might display an increase in aggression, particularly toward family members.

Treatment should likely be reserved for cases in which diagnostic tests are also consistent with hypothyroidism because excessive supplementation could lead to a hyperthyroid state (with associated medical and behavioural consequences). Treating the medical problem may resolve the aggression, but the behaviour, once learned, may persist.

5.  Maternal Aggression: Maternal aggression may be seen in intact females with a litter of puppies or in females with pseudocyesis. It can be directed toward people or other animals. Signs of aggression arise when the bitch’s puppies or toys that mimic puppies are protected, and the aggression should resolve when the hormonal state returns to normal and/or the puppies are weaned. The term maternal aggression has also been used to describe the aggression or cannibalism directed toward the puppies by the bitch. Although the problem may have a genetic component, it is reported to occur more frequently after a first litter.

General Treatments for Fears, Phobias, Anxiety, and Depression

Dog Mental Health Issues

In almost all these cases, the general treatment is mostly connected to the changes in the dog’s environment.  Their daily interactions with the smallest of things should be altered or overhauled completely. These interactions also include the transactions between the pet parent and their dog.

Negative reinforcements should be reduced. Their attention should be diverted to other positive things whenever the unusual behaviour kicks in. In general, the pet parent should increase their interactions with the dog on a more subtle and positive level.

Here are some trimmed-up points for the general treatment of a dog suffering from Fears Phobias Anxiety or depression. Remember, these are all precautionary measures. If the problem persists for a prolonged duration, then professional help from the vet is highly recommended. 

1.  First and foremost, try to distinguish their normal behaviour from the unusual ones. Not every small change in your dog’s behaviour is a sign of a Mental Health problem. This would take patience and time on the pet parent’s side. One such distinction is achieved on a minimum level, the pet parent would then be on a much-qualified path to assess their pet companion’s Mental Health status.

2. These unusual behaviours are not always erratic or extreme. In the beginning, these might be subtle and dull. Body language, expressions, laziness, food habits, sleeping patterns, response to a positive stimulus like offering a treat, reactions to physical activity, etc. all come under the subset of subtle behavioural changes.

3. Reduced attention to your dog’s physical needs might also be a trigger to their Mental Health problems. A pet parent should try to re-assess the kind of physical care they are providing their dogs. Since the physical care aspect is visually perceptible, a pet parent can easily alter such a process in a strategic manner. Changes in diets, food quality, daily exercises, vaccinations, routine check-ups, or other unique physical requirements of a dog can be changed to see if their unusual behaviour still persists or not.

4. A pet parent’s reactions to their dog’s actions should also be re-assessed. Maybe, their dog is in need of a different reaction from their pet parent(s). Thus, a pet parent should try to change their reactions, whenever their dog initiates any action, be it in the negative or positive. Technically, in these cases, these Mental Health problems are much more concerned with the pet parent’s reaction to their pet’s negative actions, like aggressive barking, littering in the wrong places, growling, etc. how a pet parent reacts to such actions may also determine how a dog perceives their subsequent behaviour.

5.  Maybe the mainstream environment or surroundings of a dog are the triggers for their aggression, due to some Mental Health problems. A pet parent should try to change their surroundings for a refreshing alteration. With these new changes, the dog’s already fixed behaviour might also see a change. These changes might be in a positive direction. Since changes are bound to bring some new reaction from a dog’s perspective, this idea is highly recommended to be given a shot by the pet parent.

6.  A pet parent should try to identify each situation stimulus or interaction in which the problem might arise so that a preventive program can first be implemented. Prevention ensures safety (e.g., in aggression cases), prevents further damage to the household or injury to the dog, avoids further anxiety-evoking situations for the dog, and ensures no further aggravation of the problem through fear conditioning (i.e., unpleasant outcomes) and learning (i.e., negative reinforcement if the stimulus retreats).

7.  Prevention can be most effectively achieved by identifying and avoiding any situation in which the dog might be exposed to the stimulus. A leash and head harness, leash and body harness, or verbal commands (when effective) can also prevent access to the stimulus. If avoidance cannot be ensured and aggression is a possibility, then a basket muzzle might be the best alternative.

8.  It is necessary to determine what behaviours need to be trained to achieve desirable outcomes during exposure training. For example, if problems arise indoors, the dog may first need to learn a focused sit, a relaxed down, and a mat command (or other location such as room or crate). A drop or give the command and a come or recall may also need to be trained. When problems arise outdoors, sitting and focusing or down and settling may also be useful, but loose leash walking, backing up, or turning and walking away may be the best options for stimulus exposure.

9.  For noise phobias, controlled exposure can best be achieved through recordings that can be gradually increased after each successful session of desensitization and counterconditioning. Concurrent behavioural management to reduce stimuli (with soundproofing, ear covers, eye covers, crate covers, or white noise) and develop a safe haven to help the dog settle might also help the dog to cope.

10.  For separation anxiety, once a regular routine of play, exercise, and training is established, any additional reinforcement should focus on shaping gradually longer inattention sessions when the dog rests or occupies itself with favoured chew and food or treat-filled toys, ideally in a comfortable safe haven (bed, crate, or room) where the owners can house the dog while gradually increasing their time away.

11.  In addition to preventive and environmental management strategies and behaviour modification, drugs or natural therapeutics can be used to reduce underlying fear, anxiety, arousal, reactivity, or impulse decontrol to help facilitate learning; to improve underlying behavioural pathology. It may also help in many cases to improve the behavioural well-being of the dog.

12.  Natural products might be used alone or adjunctively with drugs or other natural products to help calm or reduce anxiety, although evidence of efficacy is more limited. A number of studies support the use of pheromone therapy. Pheromones have been used for anxiety associated with car rides, veterinary visits, separation anxiety, storm, and fireworks aversions, and to reduce the stress of adoption and aid socialization

13.  Providing daily exercise in a routine manner can work wonders for a dog’s Mental Health. You would be amazed at how many issues can be resolved with a little more time spent playing and exercising with your dog. Don’t forget that dogs need daily exercise, and they can benefit even more if you add a layer of mental stimulation in the form of training sessions or mental games. If you don’t have the time to take your dog out every day, consider hiring a trusted Dog Walker.

14.  Making their living spaces safe, peaceful, and non-hazardous is not only crucial for a dog’s overall life but also helps in their Mental Health to be in positive territory. For example, If your dog has territorial aggression but they spend all day in the yard watching other dogs walk right next to their territory, they’re going to feel stressed. Similarly, older dogs who just want peace and quiet may not be happy around young children. One solution could be to introduce crate training to your dog to give them a place to feel safe.

15.  Sudden changes of any level are tough for humans. Likewise, a dog also feels overwhelmed when there are sudden changes in its surroundings, be it on a small level. Life changes like the loss of a doggie friend or a move to a new home can trigger sadness in dogs. Experts suggest that Pet Parents can help their pet companion deal with depression by maintaining a sense of normalcy and giving them more time for exercise, and by basically giving them more time and attention to cope up with such changes.

All these points which have been mentioned above are doable to a certain level by the pet parent themselves. These can be such simple things which are unintentionally ignored by the pet parents due to their own busy life. Nevertheless, your adorable pet dog is your responsibility. One might slip off the track sometimes, but if a pet parent realizes that it is affecting their dog in any manner, then they are highly recommended to execute all these points to the best of their efforts.

Basic Training Challenges in Dogs

Mental Health problems are much likely to affect their physical health too. Your dog might become lazy, lethargic, dull, overweight or obese, highly tired, aggressive, unnecessary growling or barking, defensive biting, etc. All these become a huge obstacle in their overtraining regime.

Therefore, here are some general points to skim through, to help you train your dog in a perfect manner. These tactics would help you, even if your dog is showing some signs of physical withdrawal from the same. Here are these points:

1.  Digging: Dogs really like to dig. When you catch them in the act, you must immediately say ‘no’. Then distract them with a toy. It won’t help to scold them after they are done. You need to be consistent when they are digging, not afterward. Bury some favorite toys and watch them have fun getting them out. It will help them learn that they can dig all day in that spot.

2.  Chewing: Dogs, especially puppies, explore the world with their mouth. They like to chew because it calms them. But it destroys your stuff. Even worse, they might eat something like a sock that could block their intestines. Break this habit now. Give them chew toys, and take away things they shouldn't gnaw on.

3.  Begging: There’s one sure-fire way to prevent this: Never give your dog food from the table. If they don’t get scraps, they won't learn to beg. You can take them out of the room while you eat or put them in their crate. Or teach them to go to a special spot and wait it out.

4.  Not Coming When Called:  Always praise your dog when they come to you, whether you called or not. That teaches them that coming to you is good. Say "come" or "here." They may not understand what you want if you just call their name. If they don't come, don't chase them. Call them again while you move away. That might make them come after you. If they still don't show up, tell them to sit, and go get them.

5.  Pulling on the Leash: Help your dog learn to walk calmly beside you. Never let them pull. Keep the leash short but loose. Stop when you feel it go tight. They'll stop to see why you aren't moving. When they come back, reward them and keep walking. After a few days, they’ll figure out that pulling gets them nowhere.

6.  Separation Anxiety: If your dog gets upset when you leave, teach them that you'll always come back. First, leave them alone for just 5 or 10 minutes. Stay away a little longer each time. Give them a chew toy. Be calm when you go and return so they know that being alone is OK. Crate training can prevent this problem with some dogs. But it might not work with an anxious older dog. Ask your vet for advice.

7.  Whining for Attention: When your dog is whining, and after that, if you pet them, look at them, or do anything except ignoring them, you teach them that whining works. To stop it, turn your back when they whine, fold your arms and look away, or leave the room. Pet and play with them when they aren’t whining

8.  Barking at the Door: To cut the barking, teach your dog a new habit. Pick a spot within sight of the door. Then teach them to lie down and stay when you say, "Go to your spot." That will help them stay calm and give them something to do while they wait to be greeted. Have a friend with a treat come to the door, but only open it when your dog is quiet. Do this enough and they’ll learn to chill out if they want that treat.

9.  Jumping: It’s natural for a dog to greet people by jumping up. But that can scare away guests. Turn away if your dog jumps on you. Don't give your dog attention unless they have their front paws on the ground. Then you can greet and pet them. Or tell them to sit and wait until they do before you pet them. Try to keep your greetings low-key. That helps your dog learn to control their own excitement. Make sure they don’t bother or scare people who aren't used to them.

10.  Biting: Any dog can bite if they feel threatened or nervous. But socializing a dog early teaches them to feel relaxed around people. Gradually expose them to different settings so they will feel safe. Spend lots of time with them so they learn to trust people. Always watch for signs that your dog is uncomfortable and then do what you can to make them feel better. Be especially careful around kids and food. If this still continues on the same level, then you should definitely consult a vet.

11.  Aggression: A hostile dog is usually one that’s afraid or nervous. Work with a professional trainer to learn how to teach your dog to rely on you in a healthy way. Never leave an aggressive dog alone with children or unfamiliar adults, even if you think they aren’t likely to hurt anyone.

12.  Barking All the Time:  Some dogs bark at things others ignore. Some bark when they're frustrated. Don't yell at your dog when they bark. That could make it worse. Obedience training can help fix frustration barking. If your dog learns to sit, before they do something fun like going for a walk, they’ll learn to control their impulses. If they are outside all day, bringing them inside for a couple of hours could help. But you may need to work with a vet or a trainer.

Basic Precautionary Measures for Dogs

Dog Mental Health Issues

The best cure for any Mental Health problem in dogs is to prevent them together before they set in. Of course, a problem that is Mental in nature cannot be seen coming beforehand. But some precautionary measures can be easily implemented to avoid them completely. The best part is that these measures are such normal things, which already constitute a major part of your dog’s life. As a pet parent, you might be executing such things already. Nevertheless, here are some basic and general measures which should be taken up by the pet parents, if they aren’t already doing them:

1.  Proper nutrition: Feeding your pet the right amount and type of food helps him maintain a healthy weight, which is one of the best ways to prevent obesity-related illnesses and extend his lifespan. Pets can usually meet their nutritional needs from a balanced diet of quality food but check with your veterinarian to see if he needs any supplements. Also, be sure your pet gets enough freshwater, and keep an eye on the number of treats you give him. Most veterinarians suggest they should make up no more than 10% of your pet’s daily calories. Find a vet to reach out to for a consultation.

Read: Complete Guide to Feeding your Dog

2.  Exercise: Regular walks, hiking, playing fetch and swimming can keep your pet physically active and fit. But don’t forget about mental stimulation! Providing toys to play with, hiding treats, building obstacle courses, and practicing new tricks all keep your dog or cat interested and engaged. You can also change up your walking routine to expose your pet to new scenery and smells.

Read: Choosing the right Toy for your Dog

3.  Regular check-ups: An annual wellness exam provides the best opportunity for your veterinarian to perform a variety of health screens that can lead to the early detection of diseases and to spot warning signs of serious illness.

4.  Preventative medications: Taking preventative measures to go hand in hand with regular veterinarian check-ups. Preventative medications can keep your pet free of unwanted health issues, like heartworm, flea-related diseases, and tick-borne illnesses. In addition, regularly brushing your pet’s teeth and giving him dental chews help prevent periodontal disease, which can lead to more serious health problems.

5.  Grooming: This involves keeping your pet’s nails trimmed, brushing him a couple of times a week, and giving him regular baths. Grooming is also a good way to keep an eye on changes in your pet’s fur or skin, like dandruff, bald patches, or dry skin. And it’s an ideal time to check for lumps and bumps that may be cause for concern. Check with your veterinarian for the best grooming protocol for your particular pet.

Read: Complete Guide to grooming your Puppy Yourself at Home

6.  Affection: Establishing a strong bond with your dog is good for both of you. Cuddles, petting, belly rubs and even brushing his coat are great ways to show your pet some love. Not only does this strengthen the emotional connection with your pet, but it promotes your pet having positive interactions with other animals and humans.

7.  Socialization: According to the American Animal Hospital Association, “Early socialization for dogs and appropriate exposure to various people and situations at a young age decreases the odds of antisocial or fearfully aggressive behaviours as an adult.” A puppy’s formative years, from a few weeks old to about 16-18 weeks, is the most critical period for socialization.

So be sure they get enough people and animal interaction, not just in the early months but throughout their life. A few options include visiting family and friends, taking a trip to the dog park, going for a walk around the neighbourhood, or letting your pet spend an afternoon at day-care after they’ve received the all-clear from your vet.

8.  Spay/neuter: Getting your pet fixed has several benefits. It can prevent some cancers and diseases, extend your pet’s life expectancy, and cut down on aggressive behaviour in males. For females, it can prevent them from going into heat and reduce unwanted behaviours associated with their cycles, such as irritability, yowling, and spraying urine.

9.  Pet safety: There are several ways to keep your pet safe: collars with ID tags, microchips, making sure your home is free of safety hazards, and putting toxic substances out of reach.

Along with the other tips above, you’ll be able to keep your furry friend happy, healthy and with you for many years to come!

The Ultimate Conclusion

Dogs are your lifelong companions. Once you invite a dog into your life, a bond is made which is beyond anything you will ever experience. They are cute, adorable, loyal, fluffy, and will stay with you till the end of the day. Who wouldn’t want a companion like that?

But as they are living beings, care which only consists of love and bond is not enough. Their physical requirements are totally dependent on their pet parents. Every pet parent should treat them as their own child. No matter how hard things get, the only thing in return your dog would give you is love and companionship. 

Thus, it is a moral responsibility of every pet parent to make sure that their dog’s Mental Health is also intact as hard as their physical requirements. Like humans, dogs also feel various emotions and things. The information in this blog would help every pet parent to take the utmost precautions and avoid any Mental Health problems in their adorable pet. If things still get out of hand, it would still provide them with quality treatment for the same.

As parents, your top priority is your pet’s safety and health, and we at PetPedia.in want to ensure only the best for your Pet. If you are a new puppy parent, then visit our Puppy Shop for all your puppy supplies and if you have an adult dog, visit our Dog Store for all Dog supplies and products. We have over 110+ brands and over 3500+ products you can shop from and express delivery with excellent customer service. Get all products delivered safely for your adorable pets. 

Hope this guide helped you out. Here are a few other blogs that may help you with your new puppy:

A Complete Guide on Feeding Puppies - When, How & What
Learn How To Potty Train Your Pet Yourself At Home
Choosing the right toy for your Dog


 



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