Owning a pet is one of life’s greatest rewards, but it’s also a major responsibility. Our furry companions rely on us to take care of them, after all, and while they can offer unconditional love, respect, and big sloppy kisses, they can’t always tell us when something is wrong. Everyone knows that when your animal is sick you take him or her to the vet, of course, but what if there is something less obvious at work, a problem that is non-medical but is nevertheless affecting your pet’s quality of life? Fortunately, if you know what to look for you can identify the common behavioral problems that trouble our companions, especially dogs, and get them the help they need. Behavior counseling at a Marlboro veterinary facility can be a miracle cure for some animals, but how do you know if it is right for yours?
Some behavioral problems are more obvious than others. Aggression can be a dead giveaway, especially if your pet reacts to unexpected situations with hostility or even violence. If your dog is prone to growling at other animals or people, or worse still, lunging and snapping at them, then your dog isn’t just angry, it is under tremendous stress. Even if your pet isn’t acting out at other animals, it may still exhibit similar symptoms by destroying furniture or toys, aggressively guarding its food, or barking seemingly at nothing.
Other issues can be subtler but just as stressful for your animal. Do thunderstorms or fireworks upset your animal? What about kids? They may exhibit stress through fear or hiding instead of aggression, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem. Pets can develop phobias the same as people can, and they can also suffer from separation anxiety. Pronounced whining and howling can be other tell-tale signs of a behavioral issue, as can more pronounced symptoms such as excessive mounting of other animals, inanimate objects, legs, etc.
Too often pet owners mistakenly dismiss these and other symptoms as just being a part of their pet’s personality, when in fact they represent an underlying problem. The good news is that by recognizing there is a problem you can take steps to correct it, and improve both your pet’s life and your own. Of course, sometimes these problems are actually related to some sort of illness or physical problem, especially if they emerge later in a pet’s previously normal life, and that’s why it’s important to talk to your vet about any changes in your animal’s behavior as soon as they arise.
Here at ahc we have a streamlined process for helping pets with behavioral issues. First we identify the issue and evaluate the animal and its environment. Once we have established what the underlying problem is we have a host of different treatment options. Believe it or not, some animals find immediate relief from special aromatherapy and pheromone regimens, while others respond well to other natural pet relaxants or mood altering medications. We work extensively with local behavior specialists, and can also recommend specific exercises for relaxation.
If you suspect your pet may suffer from any sort of behavioral problem check out our Animal Health Care of Marlboro page on behavior counseling and make an appointment on our contact page. You can also visit us at our Englishtown, NJ location. Your pets would thank you if they could!