Behavioural problems are often the combined effect of many factors, including your pet’s environment and learning and possibly a medical issue or genetic predisposition.
The expression of genetically predisposed behaviours will depend on your pet’s early socialisation and training.
Learning plays a part in many behavioural problems, so early training and socialisation is essential to have a happy, well-adjusted pet. For this reason we encourage dogs to complete their necessary vaccinations early so that you can socialise your puppy safely from 12 weeks of age.
We recommend cats remain indoors until they are at least 6 months old and always from dusk to dawn – not only for the protection of wildlife but also for their own safety. Unless they are outside in a purpose-built cat enclosure, young cats can’t be contained or defend themselves.
How can my pet’s behavioural problems be treated?
When it comes to your pet’s behaviour, it’s important to seek the advice of one of our qualified vets or an animal behaviour specialist – which we can recommend for difficult behavioural issues.
Our vets investigate behavioural problems by obtaining your pet’s full history and conducting a thorough examination for an accurate diagnosis.
Sometimes a blood or urine test is required to rule out underlying medical conditions.
Punishing behavioural problems often worsens the situation, so it’s important to obtain professional advice as soon as the problem appears to resolve it effectively.
Positive reinforcement is the preferred method for changing behaviour, but it needs to be managed carefully, as it can encourage undesirable behaviour if used incorrectly.
Depending on the problem, pets may require medications alongside new training techniques for the best outcome.
For problems such as barking, escaping, aggression or separation anxiety it can help to see the pet in its natural environment, so we may recommend a home visit.
Changing your pet’s problem behaviour requires commitment by the whole family, as everyone your pet interacts with will be responsible for encouraging desirable behaviour.
If you’re one of our many satisfied clients, please consider referring us.
Just ask your friend to mention your pet’s name when they book. As our client, you’ll receive a $25 voucher from us, to come off your pet’s next consultation or spend on products available in our reception – and so will your friend!