Happy Pets, Happy People
From the desk of Dr. Lisette Wigton, DVM and Veterinary Assistant Department Head:
Did you know that many animals are relinquished to animal shelters because of behavior issues? Many of these animals could be helped by intervention. Pet owners may be unaware that services exist to help these pets.
Your pet’s ability to cope with every day or environmental stressors changes as they age. Have you noticed any personality changes, reluctance to engage, increasing fear of storms, new or worsening phobias (mom leaving the house, frightened of vacuum cleaners)?
How about the nice kitty who no longer allows you to pet her or the friendly dog that suddenly becomes unpredictable and aggressive. Are they now so afraid of thunder that they may harm themselves or the home to escape from a storm?
We forget that our pets can experience behavioral changes that can ultimately cause them to become less than ideal companions. Many pets can experience behavioral changes as a result of poor socialization as puppies or kittens, because of negative experiences in their environment, as a result of
illness or pain for example. The behavioral health of our pets is just as important as their physical health. Your veterinarian will want to know if you feel their quality of life has changed significantly since their last vet visit. Your veterinarian may then want to rule out any medical concerns that may be contributing to the behavioral changes noted in your pet.
From training techniques to pheromones, thunder shirts, medications and even referral to board-certified veterinary behaviorists; there are many resources available to help your pet live the best life possible. Just as some people’s personalities can change with age, so can our pets. If you notice any personality changes that are of concern to you and that are preventing your family companion from stress-free days, please bring this to the attention of your veterinarian who can help get them on the road to a happy state of mind and therefore a happier healthier life.
More on per behavior: