Eight out of ten dogs 'suffering with behavioural problems'

Psychological and behavioural problems among Britain's canine community are on the rise, according to new research.

pet behaviour problems increasing

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A study by Dr Claire Corridan from the Companion Animal Behaviour Therapy Study Group revealed that obsessive compulsive disorders, phobias, anxiety and depression are just some of the problems British dogs are exhibiting, and a worrying eight out of ten are now displaying some sort of behavioural issue.

And according to research, vets are now treating dogs for conditions such as anorexia, depression, sleeping problems and even 'self-mutilation'.

Dr Corridan asked more than 1,300 dog owners to observe their pet pooches over the course of two weeks, after which they were asked a series of questions.

The most common problem reported was hyperactivity, with a massive 60 per cent of animals suffering from over-exuberance.

A further 22.5 per cent were showing signs of obsessive compulsive behaviours such as relentless tail-chasing, excessive paw-licking and barking at the door when there were no visitors.

Some 30 per cent suffered some kind of phobia or fear and 12 per cent suffered from separation anxiety.

But with a range of antidepressants for pets expected to be available in the UK later this year, Dr Corridan warned that relying on drugs to treat behavioural issues was dangerous, as it would not address the root of the problem.

She told the Daily Mail: "We are seeing more and more behaviour problems in our companion animals. We all have busy lifestyles, so quite often cats and dogs are spending less time with their owners and less time being socialised.

"It's now not such a big deal to say you are going to see a pet psychiatrist or behaviour counsellor."

What do you think? Would you consider giving your pet antidepressants? Leave your comments below...