If you’re like me, you depend on your dog for emotional support – sometimes. At other times, you might realize that you are, in fact, your dog’s emotional support human. Our dogs’ mental and emotional health is as important as their physical health, but maybe we do not think about that as much as we should. I’m still learning how to support my dogs’ mental health. I find that Cow always has obvious, outwards signs of anxiety in totally normal situations. She barks, cries, and stress-pants wherever we go, and she seems terrified of walking on hardwood, so much that she refuses to enter the kitchen. But what about Matilda? She’s usually confident and carefree, but she started to go grey at just four years old. At seven, she has more white than I feel she should, and I can’t help but wonder if Cow stresses her out, or if she has unseen anxiety. Or, as I keep telling myself to pacify my anxiety… it’s probably just vitiligo. Whether your dog is clearly struggling to cope with everyday life, or they seem totally bulletproof, their mental health matters. I asked pet professionals for their best tips for supporting your dog’s mental health – let’s learn together how we can do more for our dogs this year.
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