Dr. Frank McMillan

Dr. Frank McMillanDirector of Well-Being Studies

Franklin D. McMillan, DVM, has been the director of well-being studies at Best Friends since 2007. Prior to this, he was in private practice for 23 years as well as being a clinical professor of medicine at the Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. McMillan is board-certified in the veterinary specialties of small animal internal medicine and animal welfare.

Dr. McMillan’s research concerns animal quality of life and the mental health and emotional well-being of animals who have endured hardship, adversity and psychological trauma. He lectures worldwide, has published dozens of scientific journal articles, and is the author of the textbook Mental Health and Well-Being in Animals and a book for the general public titled Unlocking the Animal Mind.

Here are specific topics that Dr. McMillan can address:

  • Quality of life in animals
  • Maximizing the quality of life of shelter animals
  • Psychological trauma and PTSD in animals
  • The science of animal happiness
  • Special challenges in end-of-life care
  • Animal stress and distress
  • Stress management in animals
  • The health and psychological benefits of social companionship in pet animals
  • Emotional pain: Why it matters more to animals than physical pain and what the animals want us to do about it
  • Hurting without hitting: Emotional abuse and neglect in animals
  • Emotional well-being in animals
  • Developing a mental wellness program for animals
  • Psychological influences on health and illness: the mind-body effect in animals
  • Psychological and behavioral characteristics of breeding dogs rescued from puppy mills
  • Rehabilitation of dogs rescued from puppy mills
  • Behavioral issues in dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores
  • Psychological and behavioral characteristics of canine victims of abuse
  • Psychological and behavioral characteristics of breeding dogs rescued from hoarding situations
  • Stress-induced and emotional eating in animals
  • Clicker training in cats