Pass me the tissues because I just found out that dogs are getting therapy for their anxiety and now I’m SOBBING.
Therapy is a great thing. Honestly, I’m a firm believer that everybody should book in to see a therapist, even if you don’t think you need it.
But apparently it’s no longer humans that need psychological help. No. It’s our canine companions who are suffering with anxiety.
According to the ABC, puppy therapy clinics are becoming increasingly popular, especially in built-up urban areas.
Traditionally outdoor breeds like kelpies and border collies seem to suffer the most with anxiety when living in the city. Probably because they’re farm dogs that aren’t genetically programmed for apartment life.
“We tend to see an increase in anxiety in breeds that become popular,” behavioural veterinarian Nicole Lobry de Bruyn says.
Nicole says this can be a result of dogs being bred for aesthetics such as colours and size, rather than temperament.
Her clinic, Animal Sense, helps owners with dogs who bark at nothing, jump at shadows or display other tendencies that are signs of anxiety in dogs. So basically, she’s like your therapist… but for dogs.
If you live in a metro area, it is important to make sure your dog is mentally enriched as well as physically taken care of. Pooches can be anxious little buggers, so make sure you’re being a good dog mum or dog dad if you choose to adopt a four-legged friend.
Obviously dogs can’t talk, so finding out the cause of a pet’s anxiety is slightly more difficult than discussing human triggers.
A quick google search has taught me that there are lots of dog anxiety treatments, like Thundershirts that are basically designed to give your dog a big cuddle when he’s feeling scared. Awwwwww.
But Nicole’s therapy clinic takes it to the next level and actually aims to work out why your pooch is feeling stressed and helping overcome the issue so your pets can live carefree lives filled with lots of treats and pats.
“We look at the frequency, the intensity and the duration of some of these behaviours,” Nicole said. “And then we work on modifying, changing the emotion behind the behaviour.”
Dog therapy is growing more and more popular in big cities, with clinics like Animal Sense offering a solution to busy city dwellers who can’t afford to spend all day at the dog park.
If you think your dog is suffering from anxiety, please get them some help. And give them a big cuddle because dogs don’t deserve anything bad, ever.
We often look to dogs as a form of therapy for us, but maybe our pooches are the ones who really need help. Did you ever think of that?
*cries about anxious dogs for the next 400 years*