A study has found some dogs can develop symptoms that closely resemble those associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in humans, according to WNCT 9. Specifically, ADHD primarily presents in dogs as inattention, non-stop whining or barking and restlessness.
The behavioral survey examined more than 11,000 dogs of different breeds and utilized measures and questions based on human ADHD research.
The Finland-based research team discovered that inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity were more common in puppies and male dogs, an interesting parallel to similar findings regarding the demographics of ADHD in humans.
Certain dog breeds also have a higher likelihood of developing ADHD-like characteristics. Working dog breeds, such as Border Collies and German Shepherds, were more likely to display impulsivity and hyperactivity. Meanwhile, breeds that are well-known choices for show dogs or pets were found to have calmer dispositions. Such breeds include the Poodle, the Long-haired Collie and the Chihuahua.
Researchers also noted that pups who were left alone every day exhibited ADHD-like traits compared to dogs who spent a lot of time with their pet parents.
Pups with ADHD were also more likely to display comorbidities such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which manifests as blank staring, tail chasing or licking themselves or surfaces non-stop.
Accommodating Dogs with ADHD
Like other dogs with special needs, fur babies with ADHD-like symptoms require specialized care to account for their condition. For example, pet parents can help hyperactive pups learn to focus their attention by playing mentally stimulating games such as “find the treat.” Pet parents can also calm their canine companions down by tuckering them out with plenty of physical activity. A sturdy custom dog tennis ball, frisbee rope toy, or plush dog toy will give these pups an outlet for all their pent-up energy.
It’s also a good idea to purchase custom dog bandanas for dogs with ADHD to wear. These accessories can have messages printed on them to indicate that the dog has special needs. That way, whenever the pup is out and about, other people will notice the text on the bandana and know to be cautious or accommodating to the dog’s needs.
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