Q & A: ADHD in dogs

Q: Do dogs also suffer from ADHD and what are the symptoms?

A: Research is showing that there are more similarities between dogs and young children than initially realised, including some behavioural conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Researchers concluded that dogs with certain behavioural challenges might be suffering from ADHD. Very similar to children, symptoms of ADHD in dogs include hyperactivity, together with the inability to focus on one task for a certain period, impulsiveness, distractibility and sometimes overwhelming attention-seeking.

ADHD is over-diagnosed and most hyperactive dogs do not suffer from the condition. There might be a reasonable explanation and solution for your dog’s behavioural challenges.

Young dogs have high energy levels and are curious by nature; this can be mistaken for ADHD. If you are noticing any behavioural challenges, it is best to consult your veterinarian or a qualified animal behaviourist.

Dr Johan Jordaan, veterinarian


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