Uh oh! Kitty had an accident on the floor! Well ONCE is an accident. Every day, in three different areas, when no persistent medical problems are present, just may be kitty’s way of being a troublemaker. Or maybe you have a pup that’s bad to the milkbone – aggressively knocking down ‘Junior’ (as he takes his first unsure steps) every chance he can get. There are some pet parents that will take the time to figure out the root of the issue and work on a solution to the problem. Perhaps kitty doesn’t like her litter? Or maybe Fido is just super excited to have a new, mobile playmate! Trial and error will remedy most behavioral quirks. Of course, it is frustrating if you’ve attempted to solve the issue, several times without success. As a result, some pets are surrendered (worse yet – young, healthy pets are sometimes euthanized for consistent behavioral issues) when the going gets too tough. Before it goes that far, Wisconsin Pet Care urges fed-up pet parents to consider seeking the assistance of a Behavior Veterinarian.
What is a Behavior Veterinarian? Through the use of humane training techniques (no punishment), these specialized docs will help resolve troublesome behavior issues, and help you and your pet restore harmony in your home.
What kind of behavior issues are addressed? Some pet parents feel that their “issue” is too small for a specialized doctor to address. However no issue is irrelevant if it is creating conflict between you and your pet. Some of the issues that Behavior Veterinarians attend to are:
*Barking – There are many reasons why dogs bark, but understanding the motivation for persistent barking (and resolving the issue) will help keep the peace.
*Inappropriate Elimination – Nothing is more frustrating than having to constantly clean up urine from your home and furnishings. Puppy owners should know that there is a learning curve, but after a dog is a few months old, these “accidents” should be far less frequent. However, a behavior veterinarian can help a pup who may be having some trouble, as well as teach an old dog new tricks.
*Biting/Jumping/Aggression – These are the characteristics that scare humans, and rightfully so. If these dangerous behaviors are not modified, it is very possible that a dog can do harm. Sadly, these dogs are often considered the “lost causes”, and yet, specialists are most often very successful in their training endeavors.
*Socialization Issues – Cats CAN be social butterflies, but they are typically slower on the uptake. “New cat” encounters are not always friendly – you’re talking about descendents of ‘Kings of the Jungle’ after all! But don’t worry, a specialist will help ensure that the new kitty won’t have to spend a life inside the bathroom.
*Shyness/Anxiety – You thought you had a cat. However, you can’t really be sure because she’s always hiding under the couch (or in the closet or any other place that human interaction is scarce). With a little help, your little wallflower just may become a lap cat!
*OCD – Is there anything more indulgent than a sun-drenched cat bath? How about two, three or four hours of a sun-drenched cat bath? If your kitty seems a little too into preening herself (or you…or the blanket), the vet can fix this dilemma lickity-split!
Of course, this is just a brief overview of potential naughtiness. No matter which behavior your dog or cat exhibits (again, no quirk is too insignificant), if it becomes an issue in your household, we suggest seeking help from a licensed behavior veterinarian. However, training a puppy or kitten right from the start can help eliminate a lot of potential issues as your pet friend gets older. If you don’t have experience with litter training, housebreaking, commands or scratching, it is important to seek help to maintain harmony in your home.
Join us next week as Wisconsin Pet Care covers new breakthroughs in sterilization techniques for male dogs.