Thanks to their domestication, dogs and cats are pleasant, well-behaved creatures that have learned to live harmoniously with us humans. Occasionally, however, pets behave in ways that are damaging or disruptive to themselves, to others, or to their environment. Our companion animals are not as psychologically complex as we are, so most unwanted behaviors can be stopped, especially if corrective action is taken before the activity becomes well-established.
The first step in treating an unwanted behavior is to rule out the possibility that its cause is physical. If the pet’s physical problem can be corrected with the proper medical treatment, the undesirable actions usually disappear. In cases where Dr. Baker identifies a physical problem that cannot be corrected (blindness is an example), the owner may only have to make simple adjustments in the environment to eliminate the problem behavior.
Anxiety is a frequent cause of pet misbehaviors that will evaporate once the cause of the stress is removed. However, if eliminating the source of anxiety does not work or is not possible, Dr. Baker can prescribe medication to reduce the effect of the stressful situation on your pet. Referring the animal to a behavior training specialist is also a treatment option.
Whether physical or psychological, uncorrected behavior problems can destroy the affection and trust between a pet and his owner. Don’t wait until you are at wit’s end with your pet’s misbehavior before taking corrective action! Ask Dr. Baker to assess your pet’s specific behavior problem. He can then select the appropriate treatment from the conventional and alternative therapies at his disposal, to preserve the special relationship between you and your pet.