Benefits of Pet Behavioral Medicine

German Shepard Smiling

Pet behavioral medicine, also known as veterinary behavioral medicine, is a fairly new discipline within veterinary care, but is no less important than other services provided by a professional veterinary team. As its name suggests, this discipline is concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of behavioral disorders in animals.

Animal behavior problems are one of the primary reasons why pets are routinely given up for adoption or euthanized. However, countless animal lives could be saved by utilizing pet behavioral medicine strategies and techniques.

Causes of pet behavior problems

Although some animals are pre-disposed to having certain behavior issues, there are a range of other reasons why your pet could develop behavior issues. For example:

  • They haven’t been socialized properly as a young animals and therefore don’t know how to appropriately react to people, situations, and other animals

  • They have been inadvertently rewarded for poor behavior in the past which has reinforced it rather than taught them it wasn’t acceptable

  • They have an emotional regulation disorder such as impulse control aggression

  • They feel threatened and need to defend themselves

  • They have an underlying illness that is affecting their behavior

Veterinary behavior specialists can work with owners to try and understand the cause of their pet's behavior problems and determine the best way to overcome them so that the animal can remain with the family, and can enjoy a harmonious life together.

Most pets receive a tailored treatment program that is designed specifically to address the issues affecting your pet. For example, if your vet believes that your pet’s behavioral issues are caused by a lack of socialization, careful training and gradual exposure techniques could help them to overcome their behavior issues. If your pet’s behavior issues are believed to be a result of an underlying illness, your vet can help you to obtain a diagnosis and the appropriate treatment.

Benefits of pet behavioral medicine

If your pet is experiencing behavior issues that you’ve not been able to address yourself at home, you may find the intervention of your veterinary team and pet behavioral medicine extremely valuable. The treatment could:

  • Deal with any current behavior issues that are affecting your relationship with your animal and/or causing tension within the home

  • Make your pet better behaved when meeting new people of all ages

  • Help your pet to feel safer and more secure in unfamiliar environments

  • Teach your pet to respond appropriately when they feel stressed, anxious, or scared

  • Help your pet to understand you better and be less affected by your emotions

  • Help you to communicate better with your pet

  • Enable your pet to co-exist with other animals in your home

  • Not present a risk to anyone in or visiting your home

  • Enable you to enjoy a happier and more harmonious relationship with your pet

If you have concerns about your pet’s behavior and would like more information about pet behavioral medicine, contact Richfield Animal Medical Center in Richfield, OH at 330-659-6606 to schedule an appointment.