Modern veterinary science has been able to show conclusively what everyone who has walked through a shelter already knew. Dogs can suffer from mental health disorders, just like people can. Obviously, it is more difficult for them to communicate their problems with us than it is for other people.
There is quite a language barrier between our species. Despite this, humans and dogs have been able to help each through life for thousands of years by now. Even if you have a dog with a mental health problem does not mean they are bad.
Dogs with psychiatric disorders are not broken; they are more misunderstood than anything. They may feel bad and have no way of knowing why.
It is not like they are able to understand the concept of mental health. That is what makes it even more important for the owners to step up in such a situation.
Maybe you have been so frustrated with your dog you are considering getting rid of them. Anyways who could blame you? Living with a dog that has an undiagnosed mental problem is a recipe for disaster. It does not have to be this way.
You can break the cycle and help your pup reach their potential. In all but the most extreme cases, dogs are able to reign in their behavior go tolerable levels.
They may not ever be perfect, but they are your dog. Doesn’t that count for something? So whether you’re reading for fun or you’re about to pull your hair out, we have information that helps. Learn the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder so you can recognize it early on.
Learn what other common mental problems may resemble bipolar in dogs. Most importantly of all, learn what you can to do help.
Dogs can have mental health disorders
People have debated whether dogs have souls or not for millennia. While this debate is still unsettled, one debate is concluded. That debate is whether a doggy psychiatric disorder is real or not? Well, psychiatric disorders manifest through disruptions of neurotransmitter systems.
This is a fancy way of saying that when the brain does not work right, you get mental health problems.
That is how it works in people, and it works the same way in dogs too. The science is still young compared to psychiatric science in humans. So there are not nearly as many official diagnoses.
Technically there is not an official diagnosis of bipolar disorder in dogs. That isn’t to say it doesn’t exist, though. In much the same way that humans have refined and added new definitions of mental disorders, dogs are too.
We may not have doggy bipolar disorder officially, but we may very well get one in the future. In the meantime, it should be enough to know dogs can have mental issues, and sometimes they resemble bipolar in humans.
There are signs that you may mistake for bipolar disorder
Two common mental issues that can be confused for bipolar are depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. These are both existing official dogs. If you think your dog might be bipolar, you want to rule these two possibilities out first.
If your dog has mood swings, it could be many things. For it to really be considered a disorder, it needs to impact their ability to live without causing problems.
Does your dog have canine depression instead?
Canine depression presents very similar to how it does in people. Lower motivation and feelings of sadness are common.
While your dog can not describe exactly what they feel if you have had your dog a while, you know when they are sad. Take them to the vet and get a professional opinion if you are uncertain. They can also give you advice on how to help them.
Has your dog been the victim of post-traumatic stress disorder?
Yes, dogs can go through events so horrible they are forever traumatized just like humans. Post-traumatic stress disorder is easier to handle in dogs and less common than depression.
Because dogs are not quite as logical as us, they rarely dwell the same. This is particularly common among retired police and military dogs. If they have seen combat, they probably are hiding some amount of trauma deep down.
What can you do to help a dog that suffers from bipolar
First, you can learn what their triggers are. Once you know what those are, you can do your best to create an environment free of their triggers. This will reduce symptoms greatly.
A lot of times, this will be all you need. If problems continue, ask your vet about psychiatric medication for your dog. That is right. Many of the same medications that work on people have proven to be effective for dogs too.
What causes bipolar disorder symptoms in dogs?
Your dog can display bipolar disorder symptoms for any number of reasons. They can even display symptoms for no reason at all.
Now, if they have bipolar disorder, it actually results from the dis-regulation of systems in the brain. Things just are not working right up there chemically speaking.
Some dogs may just be more emotional than others
Just because your pooch gets moody from time to time does not mean they have a mental health disorder. Dogs are allowed to have emotions too.
Just because a person gets so sad they break down doesn’t make them crazy. It doesn’t make a dog crazy either. Quit being so hard on your puppy and do your best to comfort them when they are emotional. Age should help them to grow out of it a bit.
How to make life with a bipolar dog easier
Living with a bipolar dog is not too bad. Make sure you take them to the vet regularly to monitor their health if you need to get them on medication.
The biggest thing you can do is just go easy on them. Life is hard enough already without extra added stress.