behavioral counseling for petsAccording to statistics by the American Humane Association, of the 7.6 million companion animals that enter the shelter system every year, 10-15% are given up due to behavioral issues reported by their owners. If you’re a pet owner who thinks your dog or cat has some bad habits, know that abandonment is not the answer. Behavioral-related issues are often easily resolved with proper training and therapy under a trained professional.

Whether your pet is exhibiting aggressive behavior, anxiety, boredom or is engaging in bad, repetitive habits, the first step is consulting with our veterinarian. Your pet may be suffering from underlying medical issues that need to be treated. The following are some of the most common behavioral issues in pets:

Biting and Aggression

As one of the top reasons why people abandon their dogs and cats, aggressive behavior toward humans and other animals can pose a serious safety risk. In this situation, it is crucial to treat the problem early on with targeted prevention. Avoid harsh punishments and environments that might trigger a bad response from your pet. Obedience classes and professional help are also highly beneficial in correcting your pet’s aggression.

Marking Territory and House Soiling

If your dog or cat is constantly leaving little trails behind or marking their territory at every corner of your house, it’s important to monitor and observe their behavior closely. Pay close attention to triggers that may be the root cause of your pet’s behavior, whether medical or emotional. Consult with our veterinarian about the best solutions for addressing marking or soiling.

Indoor Destruction

If your pet has a habit of destroying things in your home, like furniture, carpet or shoes, there may be a few underlying reasons for their behavior. Your dog may be seeking training or some sort of pack order within your home, may have excessive energy requirements or may be suffering from separation anxiety. To address some of these issues, consider engaging in an exercise routine with your dog so they don’t cause damage out of boredom. Also consider providing your dog with plenty of chews and toys so they don’t resort to destroying household items. Always supervise for bad behaviors so you can correct them on the spot with positive reinforcement. Never neglect your dog. Your pet should know that you are the leader and that they are cared for.

For cats, the situation may be slightly different. If your cat is misbehaving, they may be shredding your drapes or scratching wooden surfaces. Try a variety of scratching posts that your cat might like better. Avoid punishing them harshly for bad behavior by rewarding them with treats and positive reinforcement.

We Can Help

These types of behaviors should be addressed and corrected with an experienced veterinarian or behavioral trainer. As the first few months of birth are the most crucial in addressing and correcting behavioral-related issues, it is recommended that puppies and kittens receive training during this time. Our staff of well-trained veterinarians offer Behavioral Counseling for your pets, no matter their age. Give us a call at 956-787-2709 to schedule an appointment.