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Behavioral Medicine

Behavioral medicine focuses on both the physical and emotional health of a pet in order to identify and address behavior problems.

woman holding dog
woman holding dog

Overview

Behavior medicine addresses mental and physical health and its effect on your animal's behavior. Whether you want help starting off right with your new puppy or kitten, or need to address problem behaviors in your animal, a behavior consult is the first step. This extended appointment allows our doctors to provide a comprehensive diagnostic and treatment plan for your animal's behavior needs.

Why should I consider behavioral medicine for my pet?

The goal of behavioral medicine is to diagnose the physical or emotional condition and to enable the pet owner and pet to lead happier and safer lives.

The types of conditions veterinary behavioral medicine treats are: fears and anxiety, aggression, bathroom accidents, compulsive or repetitive behaviors, cognitive dysfunction, basic manners, and socialization.

Our consultation method

Every behavior consult begins with a thorough history. Your animal's genetics, early life, and recent experiences all work together to determine temperament and personality. Just like people, animals have tendencies toward certain behavior patterns and may be more or less comfortable with various situations. Behavior changes in an animal may also be an early sign of physical pain or systemic disease, so our behavior consults include a complete physical examination to evaluate your animal for a medical disorder that may affect behavior. During the consult, the doctor will help you understand why your animal exhibits certain behaviors, as well as the safest and most effective way to interact with your animal to change their behavior. We will discuss how to manage your animal's environment and lifestyle to set him up for success.

Our Insights

Common questions addressed during behavior consults range from basic obedience training, such as polite greetings and house or litterbox training, to complex behavior problems. Did you know that fear is the most common reason that animals exhibit aggression, such as growling or biting? We have extensive experience managing and treating anxiety, noise and thunderstorm phobia, fear aggression, resource guarding, separation anxiety, and inter-dog or cat aggression. Our methods are based in scientific study of dog and cat behavior, and are always humane and animal friendly. We will work with you on a behavior modification plan to change your animal's emotional response to trigger situations and promote safety and comfort of all family members. Our recommended trainers can provide ongoing in-home support if needed. Some animals may benefit from medication to facilitate behavior modification plans. We will discuss medication recommendations if they are appropriate for your animal. Call today to schedule a behavior consult and look forward to strengthening your relationship with your animal.