Dear 100 Hour Board,
I've heard that dogs and cats are capable of having autism. I believe they're also capable of having other mental illnesses too. But I'm curious, how would a dog and cat who have autism act normally? What behaviors give their owners suspicion that their pet may have it?
It seems like the jury is still out over whether or not dogs can have autism. However, it is acknowledged that some dogs exhibit tendencies similar to those of autistic humans. According to this website, some of the symptoms include:
- Repetitive actions
- Dysfunctional interactions with dogs and/or humans
- Avoiding new situations/actions
- Apathy/lack of activity (especially in active breeds)
- Inability to communicate "emotions (i.e. happiness or fear)
- Obsessive organization (weird, huh?)
Here's a video of a supposedly autistic dog. It seems to be going through an eating ritual. Hopefully, this is in some way helpful to you.
-The Lone Musketeer