Animal Care Clinic Behavioral Tips

Nov 23, 2009 5:53 PM by Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP


As I write this I can hear a hospitalized dog whining. The dog is not in pain or discomfort - she is missing her family.

As we have brought animals into our homes, onto our laps and under the covers with us, we have brought them into our world of human psychological issues.

Pets, particularly dogs, are becoming more and more attached to their owners, which leads to anxiety whenever the owner is gone or the environment changes.

Many dogs become destructive when left alone. Some defecate or urinate in the house, and still others hide and shiver the entire time they are alone.

Sometimes destruction in the house is just the result of dogs being allowed to have free reign and thus a lot of fun. Those dogs just need to be confined and given something to do while we are gone.

Dogs who behave badly due to anxiety however, need help. In most cases we use anti-anxiety medications at the same time that we employ behavior modification techniques. This allows the dog to develop self-assurance and self-confidence so they can be taken off the medication. Sometimes animals only need anti-anxiety medication in certain situations (thunderstorms or fireworks.)

Many dogs with anxiety can be trained to become comfortable with the things that upset them whether that means loud noises, solitude or even strangers.

If you have a pet behavior problem, come see one of the doctors at Animal Care Clinic. We are open M-F 7:30-6, Saturday 9-3 and Monday evenings until 8pm.



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