Well Being Studies for Dogs? Four Paws Up for Best Friends' Dr. Frank McMillan!

Megan Blake on Pet Life Radio

Unlocking the Animal Mind: How Your Pet’s Feelings Hold the Key to His Health and Happiness and Mental Health and Well being in Animals  - Books that get 4 Paws Up from Super Smiley!  Dr. Frank McMillan, the Director of Well Being Studies at Best Friends, is the author, and he’s here to share the inner workings of our pets' feelings.  By helping open the frontier of animal feelings into a science, Dr. Frank has documented and helped many animals like those from Hurricane Katrina, Michael Vick and puppy mills.  And, he has lots of great information that we can use in relating to our personal dogs as well. Well Done Dr. Frank! 


Dr. Franklin McMillan has been the Director of Well-Being Studies at Best Friends since October 2007. As Director of Well-Being Studies, Dr. Frank assesses and studies the mental health and emotional well-being of animals who have endured hardship, adversity and psychological trauma. Through these studies, he hopes to learn what the effects of trauma are - the psychological injuries and scars - and how best to treat them in order to restore to these animals a life of enjoyment rather than one of fear and emotional distress.

He just completed studies looking at the psychological health and behavior of the breeding dogs rescued from puppy mills and of dogs purchased from pet stores. He is currently conducting such studies on cats from an institutionalized hoarding situation (the Great Kitty Rescue in Pahrump, Nevada), the psychological causes and effects of abuse in dogs, the emotional rehabilitation and recovery of the fighting dogs taken from the estate of former NFL quarterback Michael Vick, and measuring personality and quality of life in cats.

He is a board-certified specialist in veterinary internal medicine. Before coming to Best Friends, Dr. Frank was in private practice in Los Angeles for 23 years. In addition, he was a clinical professor of medicine at the Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Frank is the author of Mental Health and Well-Being in Animals, the first textbook on the mental health of animals, and he has also written a book for the general public titled “Unlocking the Animal Mind: How Your Pet’s Feelings Hold the Key to His Health and Happiness.”

His favorite part of working at Best Friends is collaborating with great people and doing great things for the animals. At home, Dr. Frank has two cats, Birdie and Boo