London, June 25 (IANS) Dogs in Britain would now be given anti-depressant drugs similar to those given to humans after it was found that over six million canines suffer from behavioural problems.
Traditional behaviour by dogs, such as barking at strangers, cowering from fireworks or howling when left alone, is now being reinterpreted, The Sun reported Monday.
Earlier thought to be natural reactions, the responses are now being diagnosed as "hyperactivity", "phobic behaviour" and "separation anxiety".
The analysis, based on responses from over 1,300 dog owners who examined their pets' behaviour over a fortnight, was carried out by leading vet Claire Corridan, honorary secretary of the Companion Animal Behaviour Therapy Study Group - an affiliate of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association.
Vets are warning of similar behavioural problems emerging in cats, rabbits and parrots.
Some other conditions assessed by veterinarians include sleep problems, anxiety, anorexia, "self-mutilation", stress and depression.
The most common dog issue was hyperactivity, with 60 percent of pets exhibiting this behaviour.
The research found that 30 percent of dogs have fears or phobias, while around 22 percent were described as having "obsessive compulsive disorders" - such as excessive paw-licking or tail-chasing. Around 12 percent showed "separation-related problems" when parted from their owner.
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