Dog owners with depression may have to keep their pets on a leash or a leash alone, a veterinarian said Thursday.
The condition has been linked to the use of steroids, a history of heart surgery and heart disease.
A recent study of pet owners found that the number of dogs with dog depression doubled after steroid use.
“People who have heart disease or cancer have higher rates of depression than people who don’t,” said Dr. William B. Fink, a senior cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic.
Fink is a member of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
He has studied dog depression for decades and says the condition is rare, but not unheard of.
“Dogs are more likely to develop dog depression if they have an underlying heart condition,” Fink said.
“They are more vulnerable to certain cancers.”
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has recommended that owners of dogs and cats keep them on a daily leash.
The AVMA says that keeping a pet on a constant leash or tether for extended periods of time is not recommended for dogs with depression.