Can Dogs Be Bipolar?

Can dogs be bipolar? This is a general question among pet owners whose dogs act withdrawn or bark furiously for no reason.

Now that so much research has been done on mental illnesses, let’s find out if pets can suffer from it too.

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder with extreme fluctuations in a person’s mood, energy, or ability to function.

But can dogs be bipolar? Not exactly. This mental disorder only affects humans.

However, dogs can exhibit behaviors that resemble the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Various factors, such as environmental changes or health problems, can cause these behaviors.

So, let’s examine a few more facts and determine if your dog can suffer from this disorder.

Can Dogs Be Bipolar?

Bipolar disorder is a mental condition diagnosed in humans characterized by alternating episodes of manic and depressive symptoms.

In dogs, behavioral changes like mood swings may occur. Still, there is no clinically recognized diagnosis of bipolar disorder in dogs.

In addition, the methods used to diagnose and treat bipolar disorder in humans don’t apply to dogs.

Bipolar-like Behavior In Dogs

Although dogs cannot be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, they may exhibit behaviors resembling the disorder’s symptoms.

Various factors, such as environmental changes, underlying health conditions, or behavioral disorders, can cause these behaviors. Some examples of bipolar-like behaviors in dogs include:


Dogs that exhibit periods of excessive energy, restlessness, and impulsivity may show signs of manic-like behavior.


Dogs that seem lethargic, disinterested in activities, or withdrawn may be experiencing a depression-like episode.

Mood Swings

Dogs that are alternately hyperactive and depressed may show signs of mood swings similar to the cyclical nature of bipolar disorder.

If your dog shows symptoms, you must see your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause.


Even if dogs cannot be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, your pet may suffer from behavioral changes.

A change in environment or an underlying health condition may be a reason for such bipolar-like behavioral symptoms.

You should confer with your veterinarian to determine the cause and treatment for your pet. We hope we have been able to shed some light on the question, “Can Dogs Be Bipolar?”.

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