Controlling your dog’s or cat’s behavior

Pet behavior problems can be frustrating to treat

Behavioral problems in dogs and cats are some of the most frustrating problems presented to a general small animal veterinary practitioner. Amongst the more common problems include:

  • The kitty who is defecating and/or urinating outside of the litter box
  • Aggressive pets who bite
  • Separation anxiety causing a pet to be destructive, vocalize excessively and/or urinate or defecate in the home when left alone for short periods

Because many of these behavioral problems have complex causes and many possible treatment approaches, they are often quite time intensive and often difficult to fit into a routine conventional veterinary 15 to 20 minute office visit. And while veterinarians will often use prescription drugs like Prozac or Clomipramine to treat some of these disorders, the best long term treatment results also depend upon behavior modification techniques, in addition to drug therapies. Often referrals to veterinarians who specialize in behavioral medicine yield the best results. Sometimes natural calming agents like Be Serene, Composure Chews, or Quiet Moments can help in certain cases.

There is an excellent well known veterinary behaviorist named Warren Eckstein, whose website The Pet Show contains lots of useful behavioral information for animal guardians, as well as two wonderful books on the topic. No matter which approach is taken, treating any behavioral problem takes much time, patience, and commitment on both veterinarian and animal guardian’s part.

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