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PTSD in Dogs

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weimaraner laying on a blanket in a dark room

PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder has long been known in the medical field as a disorder faced by humans relating to intense stressful situations that can leave them in fear. Though new to the scene and still being argued, some veterinarians believe you can observe PTSD in dogs as well.

Known as canine PTSD or C-PTSD, these dogs elicit the same symptoms as humans although there is no way of knowing what the dogs might be thinking or feeling in these situations which is one of the primary ways of diagnosing PTSD in humans.


PTSD in dogs

Many situations could cause PTSD in dogs and not all dogs react the same way to any given ordeal, but there are a few that trigger PTSD and anxiety more than others

-Natural disasters

-Traumatic events

-Life threatening events

-Physical trauma by humans or animals


-Car or home accident

-Loss of caretaker

-Military or Police work

All of these situations are leading causes of PTSD in dogs. This does not mean that a dog couldn't be experiencing PTSD from other stimuli but these are the more common reasons seen by Veterinarians.


Terrier sitting on a brown couch looking anxious

Just like the amount of things that cause it there are many symptoms that your dog could be displaying related to PTSD, and again there are some symptoms that are more common than others but all dogs are different and no one knows your furry friend better than you.  

Some of the leading symptoms of PTSD in dogs include

-Avoiding areas or hiding

-Unusual urination behavior

-Barking or whining


-Non normal aggressive behavior

All these symptoms could be a sign of a dog having PTSD but there are also signs that indicate stress that should be looked out for as well including tucking of the tail, lowering of the body, and increased breathing patterns.

Spaniel under a blanket looking scared

Though your dog might show symptoms you should still consult a veterinarian before you look for treatment methods as many of these signs are related to other causes in addition to this one. It is important to get the proper diagnosis in order to maximize treatment results. Along with this there are a few different severities of PTSD and with the correct information your veterinarian should be able to create a plan to help your pet get back to their old selves.  


There are many ways a veterinarian might treat PTSD in dogs and each one may have a special role however most cases require either retraining and normalizing a dog to its environment, or a form of medication. In either case, it is recommended you seek help from a professional in order to get the best results.

Lab being checked up on by a vet looking sad

There are certain ways to reduce stress and anxiety in your dog's that could help while they are going through treatments. Anxiety blankets are great for certain dogs, it replicates being hugged and can greatly reduce the anxiety and stress of a dog. Another great option maybe CBD oil for dogs, thishemp based compound has all the benefits of medical marijuana without any of the psychoactive effects that can be harmful to dogs. CBDs are also easy to work into a dogs everyday routine to ensure they aren't being overly stimulated.    

CBD infused coconut oil for dogs is great for anxiety and PTSD

Natural Doggie Organic CBD Infused Coconut Oil Dog Super Supplement


PTSD in dogs can be a hard thing to experience as a dog as well as a parent to your dog, but it can get easier. It can take months or even years for dogs to return to normalcy, but it is possible. Ironically dogs can be a great help for people with PTSD as a great option for treatments for PTSD. If you or someone you know has a dog experiencing PTSD share this information to help them figure out where to start.

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PTSD in dogs by Grant Withers

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