The first step to eliminating unwanted behavior is to confirm that it is emotionally based and not the result of illness. We often have owners frustrated by what they perceive as willful or spiteful behavior from an animal who has an underlying medical condition that is causing them to “act out.” Once illness has been eliminated, there are a number of resources that can help you establish a healthy relationship with your pet.
Causes of Behavioral Problems
Behavioral problems can fall into two categories: those that are natural (but undesirable), and those that are abnormal (mental health or emotional disorders). The first step is to determine which of these categories your pet falls into, and develop a management plan from there. When dealing with natural behaviors, it’s particularly important to establish expectations for you, the owner. Some breeds are more predisposed to certain behaviors (such as barking or overactivity), and their behavior must be fully understood before attempting to curb it.
As for abnormal behavior issues, pets can suffer from a wide range of contributing factors, including prior abuse, neglect, instability, or conflicts in training to name a few. The trick here is to identify any anxiety or fear triggers, and then develop a more healthy relationship with these elements. Solutions for behavioral problems can be challenging, and as with all issues relating to our pets, there is no single approach.
Our doctors will assess your pet and formulate the appropriate pet behavior services to address their individual needs. Often, a multi-tiered approach of training, in combination with a course of prescribed medication, is warranted to restore balance to your pet and return your relationship to one of harmony. A mix of patience and persistence is necessary from you, in order to provide your pet with unwavering support. Consistency is key, as their training and medication administration will be significantly more effective if continued without any gaps.
If you’re experiencing inappropriate behavior, call and let us help.