Behavioral issues with pets? ZippiVet Animal Hospital can help
When your pet begins to exhibit behavioral issues, it is often a sign of a deeper underlying health problem. Whether your pet has problems with obedience, aggression, barking, destructive behavior, or something else, we can help. Let us work with you to bring out the well-behaved family member that your pet is capable of becoming.
Determining the cause
Pets can display a multitude of behavioral problems. Some, like chewing and predation, are instinctive. Dogs and cats are innately driven to hunt small animals, and often chew to clean and sharpen their teeth. While these behaviors may be natural to cats and dogs, they are certainly not desirable in a domestic setting.
Other bad behaviors may be a result of inadequate socialization, or could even stem from severe health issues. Pain or illness can cause your pet to act out or misbehave, so you should never take changes in behavior or attitude lightly. The expert veterinarians at our animal clinic can diagnose if behavioral changes are related to health issues.
Treating the problem
If your pet is displaying any significant changes in behavior, you should schedule a veterinary exam right away. Your ZippiVet veterinarian will perform a complete head-to-tail checkup to look for any symptoms of disease or injury that may be contributing to your pet’s behavioral problems.
Our caring and skilled team will address all health issues with medical treatment, allowing your pet to return to their happy, playful selves.
If your pet’s behavior problems are not related to health issues, we can refer you to expert animal behavior trainers. These trainers will have your companion back on the road to socialization in no time at all.
At ZippiVet, it is our mission to remove the stress and anxiety from animal health care. We believe that trust is the key element to improve and build on the all-important relationship between you and your pet. Trust and patience will go a long way when addressing your cherished pet’s behavior.
Common dog behaviors
By their nature, dogs are eager to please their human companions. So when they display behavioral problems, it’s usually an indicator of an underlying problem. Dogs need consistency and structure so that they can be properly socialized and learn the right way to act, both around people and when they are left alone.
Here are some of the most common dog behaviors:
- Chewing: Dogs use their mouth to explore their surroundings. Chewing is a calming behavior, but it can also be destructive and dangerous. Give your dog chew toys and make sure they know what’s acceptable to chew and what isn’t.
- Begging: It’s no secret that dogs love people food. Your dog may be prone to beg for table scraps, but it’s important to resist feeding them from your plate. Not only does it encourage undesirable behavior, but your diet is not healthy for your pet.
- Destructive Behavior: If your dog is engaging in destructive behavior when you’re gone, they may be suffering from separation anxiety. When left alone, dogs worry that their human companions may not return. By making a show of coming home, you can teach them confidence. Crate training can also be a valuable approach.
- Biting or Aggression: Dogs become aggressive when they feel nervous or threatened. If they’re in pain or are not feeling well, aggression is also a common symptom.
- House Soiling: If your dog is house trained, yet he or she starts urinating or defecating inside, call your veterinarian. This can be a sign of illness or other serious underlying issues.
Treating behavioral issues
If your pet displays any sudden behavioral issues or changes, it’s important to bring them in to see your veterinarian. The expert dog vets at ZippiVet are here to identify and treat your pet’s health issues and advise you on any necessary training. We will also refer you to certified behaviorists when needed.
Common cat behaviors
Since cats are very willful and self-reliant animals, they are often difficult to train. But with patience and care, you can develop an irreplaceable bond with your feline companion.
Here are some of the most common cat behaviors:
- Soiling: Cats that fail to use their litterbox are often suffering from an underlying problem. Using a litter box is instinctive to a cat, and if they are not obeying this instinct, something may be wrong. Your cat may have a urinary tract infection, urinary crystals, bladder stones, or colon problems.
- Scratching: It’s frustrating when your cat digs at your furniture and carpeting. Many people turn to declawing to address this issue, but declawing is like removing the finger at the joint. It is never an ideal solution. Instead, provide your cat with scratching boxes or posts that are treated with catnip. They will develop a habit of scratching the right places. Keep claws trimmed so that if they do scratch away from the post, they do less damage.
- Aggressiveness: There are many reasons cats become aggressive. Lack of socialization, overzealous play, or even pain and illness can result in biting and clawing.
- Over-Grooming: If your kitty is excessively chewing, licking, or grooming, this can be indicative of parasite infection or a skin condition. It is certainly a sign of discomfort.
Treating behavior issues in cats
When cats act out, it is often a symptom of a deeper problem. Your cat could be in pain or experiencing illness. Call your ZippiVet cat veterinarian to schedule an examination so your cat can feel and act better in no time.