Let’s start with the most obvious questions here: what is animal behavioral medicine and why might you need it? Just like humans, no pet is perfect. Some dogs bark and whine when left alone in an apartment while many cats may express their dissatisfaction by urinating on the furniture. Instead of moving out to the middle of nowhere or covering your sofas in a layer of plastic wrap like Dexter, it might be time to find an animal behavioral medicine veterinarian in Tigard.
The first step with fixing these issues is determining if there’s an underlying health reason for the behavior. Some animals have accidents indoors due to poor training while others may be experiencing kidney or urinary tract issues. It’s important to separate these two cases before moving on to a solution. Your veterinarian can take a full history of your pet and suggest a few tests to rule out a medical condition.
From there, it’s time to get your hyperactive Golden Retriever under control or teach your tabby cat that it’s not nice to shred the couch. Much of this involves the vet working with pet owners to retrain or untrain certain actions. Animal behavioral medicine veterinarians in the Tigard area work with pets with wide-ranging problems — from ones who like to dine on unsavory or non-food items to those who are terrified of mundane objects like the stairs.
Focusing on the Positive in Animal Behavioral Medicine
Most animal training involves teaching your pet what they should be doing instead of punishing them for the bad behaviors. After all, you can’t be around 24/7 to monitor them. Positive reinforcement often leads your pet toward the right kinds of behaviors, which they’ll repeat again and again hoping for a reward. Now, we’re not saying you need to be constantly handing out treats, praise can work well too.
The upside of positivity-focused training is that owners don’t have to get stuck in a rut of yelling at their furry little companions day in and day out. It can be tough to keep your spirits up after Fido gets into the trash for the third time this week. The good news is that you don’t have to tackle these problems alone!
If you have any questions about animal behavioral medicine in the Tigard area, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Willowbrook Veterinary Hospital.