Knowing the signs can help pet owners get the care for their affected dogs
Guardians of Rescue, an organization working together to save animals in the US, is raising awareness of canine Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as 17% of dogs suffer from this condition.1 Familiarizing yourself with the signs can help detect if your dog is suffering and get them the essential care to improve their quality of life.
“We have seen many rescue dogs with PTSD, and it's a sad situation,” said Robert Misseri, founder of Guardians of Rescue, in an organizational release.2 "Once you learn the signs of the condition, you will see it more and more in dogs that have experienced trauma. It’s important that rescue dogs get the help they need. Never give up on a dog that may have PTSD it’s the understanding what the dog is going through that will help you maintain a better relationship.”
Canine PTSD is typically seen in dogs working for the police and military and those who experience terrifying weather conditions (eg, hurricanes or tornadoes), however, many dogs have PTSD because of their living conditions. This can include irresponsible owners, silent disease, being bred in puppy mills, living attached to a chain, living out on the streets, and spending long amounts of time in cold, dark environments. Some signs of canine PTSD include being fearful, timid, aggressive, anxious, clinging to their owners, and depression.
If you suspect canine PTSD in your dog, consult your veterinarian. Some ways to help manage it include behavior modification methods and medication. These 2 therapies coupled together provide optimal results for most dogs.1 Behavior modification exposes the dog to lower stress levels to gradually build their tolerance and is used in tandem with increasing mental stimulation and exercise.
“A stressed and anxious dog rescued will need help to find a loving home to be adopted into,” added Misseri, in the release. "Due the numerous cruelty and hoarding cases we handle annually, we have seen the heartbreaking effects that neglect, over-breeding for profit, and isolation have caused. We rescue many dogs each year that need help due to canine PTSD. Patience and empathy go a long way. We appreciate all the support we get from the community to help us provide the dogs with loving homes and the therapy they need.”