Nov 23, 2009 5:55 PM by Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP
This month we have focused on behavior issues - anxiety, aggression and litter box problems. Behavior problems like these are quite common among our pets and they can be very frustrating to fix.
Treating a behavior problem requires that all people in the household be involved in a behavior modification plan, and that can be overwhelming for many households.
At Animal Care Clinic we like to focus on preventing behavior problems.
When we bring animals into our homes, we need to realize that everything we do has an effect on that pet's future behavior. If you allow a small puppy to chew on your hands, it will be more likely to grab onto people's hands or bite people when it is an adult. If you let your young kitten scratch you when playing, it will be more likely to scratch people as an adult. If you feed your pets from the table, they will learn to beg during your meals.
Everyone needs boundaries - adults, children and our pets. We must guide our pets into proper behaviors.
Please do not punish your new pets for natural behaviors (chewing, scratching, mouthing, eating yummy foods). Instead, do not let these behaviors become habits. If a puppy is chewing on your hands, gently remove your hand and give the puppy an appropriate chew toy. Reward good behavior that you want to see continue - touch and praise your pets when they are calm, quiet and behaving like good citizens.
If you have a new puppy, join one of our Puppy Kindergarten classes! Our doctors and nursing team can help you with behavior tips for new kittens, puppies and new adult pets.
We are open M-F 7:30-6, Sat 9-3 and Mondays until 8 p.m.
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