Can Dogs Have Autism? Everything You Need To Know

February 20, 2017

We all know the fact that canines are indeed beneficial for humans, like adults and children that are suffering from autism. But, a question whether can dogs have autism could also be encountered.

Indeed, autism is very rare in dogs wherein some scientists and experts would doubt that this condition could ever happen to a dog.


What Is Autism?

Autism is referred as a developmental syndrome which is being diagnosed mostly in children. There are dog owners that might observe the same signs to those observed children having autism and they would then claim that dogs can have autism too.

In addition, this condition could also be defined as a spectrum neurodevelopmental disorder which would impair the ability of the child to interact and communicate with others.

It would also include restricted repetitive behaviors, activities, and interests. The said issues would lead to significant impairment in occupational, social and some other areas of functioning.

What Are the Causes of Autism in Dogs?

Indeed, dog autism is considered to be idiopathic however it might also be a genetic condition so it could be inherited from a relative or parent. And as being stated, the most probable cause of dog autism would be the lack of mirroring neurons into their brains.

What Are the Causes of Autism in Dogs?

The said condition is known to be congenital which means a dog couldn’t be autistic however they should be born with a condition. This idea further helps those scientists who believe that autism is a condition which a certain dog could inherit from their parents or other relatives.

In addition to that, it is as well believed that a certain dog could be more likely autistic once the parents have the vaccinations which weren’t needed or once they are exposed to some toxins.

Watch this to know more about the characteristics of dogs with autism:

How About the Symptoms of Dog Autism?

There could be some dog owners that might have a hard time figuring out whether their dogs are autistic or not but the symptoms of this condition could be behavioral. The best thing that a dog owner could do is to be familiar with those possible symptoms and then keep an eye for some behaviors which might indicate the presence of autism particularly if they are considered as recurring symptoms or behaviors.

Symptoms of Dog Autism

Some of the most common symptoms which might be present once a dog is an autistic include the following:

  • Awkward social interactions. This might be with some other dogs or with the owner. Once they seem to withdraw from social situations, don’t come to you willingly and express uneasiness around other dogs then these are symptoms of autism.
  • Repeating the same actions again and again. This could not be in the form of walking around in circles however dogs having autism would most likely have a set of routine within the same day in and out.
  • Dogs might have the inability to express their emotions. In some cases, autistic dogs couldn’t communicate that they are sad, happy, scared or couldn’t display any emotion at all.
  • Limiting behavior and this is indeed true with some new situations. This could be something as small as new toys which are brought at home for them. Once the dog doesn’t express any interest with regards to trying new things, doing anything unfamiliar and playing new games they there is a possibility of autism.
  • Compulsive behavior is also a symptom. Some autistic dogs could display compulsive behaviors, particularly around their food dishes and toys. They might be putting their toys away though the owner put them out to play and they might want for their food and water to be placed in a certain mat or certain way.
  • Dogs that couldn’t show any signs of enthusiasm or energy for a long period of time might be possibly considered as autistic. This could be possibly noticed in most breeds which are known to have higher energy levels.

So can dogs have autism? Well, if you observed these symptoms then the possible answer could be YES. But because dogs couldn’t develop autism rather they might be born with this condition, autistic dogs might show these symptoms right from the time of their birth. They might be more pronounced as they get older too.

Once you notice any of the said symptoms, it would be imperative that you should keep an eye on your dog and observe for some repetitive symptoms in order for you to start getting a diagnosis and also a treatment for the dogs the soonest time possible.

Indeed, there could be numbers of ways on how you could help your autistic dog like this one:

If you have any questions or suggestions, you can comment it here. Thank you!


About the Author


Hi, I’m Sara and I would like to thank you for checking out my blog. I have been around dogs since I was kid and I cannot imagine life without one. So now, I am sharing with you the knowledge I have accumulated over the years and hopefully it helps you too.

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