Behavioural Advice

Understanding and Addressing Behavioural Problems in Your Beloved Pet

Behavioural problems in pets can arise from various causes, including both behavioural and medical factors. At our practice, our compassionate veterinarians are dedicated to investigating and resolving these issues for your furry friend. By obtaining a comprehensive history and conducting a thorough examination, we can accurately diagnose the root cause of the problem. In some cases, additional tests like blood or urine tests may be necessary to rule out underlying medical conditions.

Behavioural problems often result from a combination of factors, including your pet's environment and learning experiences. While genetics can predispose certain behaviours, their expression depends on early socialisation and training. It's essential to provide a nurturing environment and positive learning opportunities for your pet's well-being.

Changes in the environment can also contribute to the emergence of behavioural problems. Alterations in routine, the introduction of new family members (whether they're pets, babies, or spouses), moving to a new home, or experiencing the loss of a loved one can have a profound impact on your pet's behaviour. Additionally, age-related medical or degenerative changes may make pets more sensitive to these environmental shifts.

Learning plays a significant role in behavioural problems as well. Early training and socialisation are crucial for fostering a happy and well-adjusted pet. It's important to note that punishment for behavioural problems often worsens the situation. Seeking professional advice early on is vital for effectively resolving any behavioural issues. Positive reinforcement is the preferred method for modifying behaviour, although it should be used carefully to avoid inadvertently encouraging undesirable behaviours.



How are behavioural problems treated?

Treating behavioural problems is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and it's essential to address the underlying cause rather than simply addressing the symptoms. Taking heed of well-intentioned but potentially ineffective advice can lead to unintended consequences. For instance, getting another dog to "fix" a destructive behaviour issue may result in two destructive dogs. It is crucial to identify and treat the root cause of the problem rather than resorting to quick fixes.

When it comes to your pet's behaviour, seeking the guidance of a qualified veterinarian or animal behaviour specialist is paramount. Changing problem behaviour requires commitment from the entire family, as everyone who interacts with your pet plays a role in encouraging desirable behaviours. For certain issues like excessive barking, escaping, aggression, or separation anxiety, it may be beneficial to observe the pet in its natural environment, necessitating a home visit. In some cases, a combination of new training techniques and medications may be necessary to achieve the best outcome.

If you're experiencing behavioural problems with your pet, we encourage you to reach out and make an appointment with one of our compassionate veterinarians. Together, we can address these concerns and provide the support and guidance your pet needs to thrive.

Please don't hesitate to contact us for assistance with any behavioural issues your pet may be facing.