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Pet Behavior Counseling 

Common pet behavioral problems and treatment plans.


Behavior problems cause more incidents of euthanasia in our country than any other cause, so training for appropriate behavior is a priority for us. Appropriate behavior is a form of good health, so we start the owners on the right foot when first meeting their pets, puppies and adults.

When difficult behavior does arise, we first ensure it is not the result of an undiagnosed medical condition. If our basic counseling is ineffective, we refer some cases to behaviorists for difficult, entrenched behavior requiring modification.

We can help direct your training protocol for best outcomes. We can also recognize many problems early, making it easier for you to correct them. We work to resolve medical problems that may be underlying causes of behavior issues. We offer new pet counseling that will help you understand and plan for the important and fun-filled first year with your pet. We will recommend appropriate care, nutrition, training advice and vaccinations for individual needs.

Common Pet Behavioral Problems

  • Aggression toward people or other animals
  • Separation anxiety from owners or other family pets
  • Thunderstorm phobia
  • Unruliness
  • Self-mutilation
  • Destruction
  • Compulsive disorders (repeatedly performing a behavior to the extent that it interferes with everyday life) like tail chasing, shadow chasing, licking, fly snapping, spinning, pacing, chewing, and toy fixation
  • Nuisance actions such as excessive barking, digging, biting, scratching, and jumping
  • Urine spraying/marking

Types of Treatment Plans

  • Behavior modification
  • Medication
  • Environmental changes
  • Medical recommendations

Are Pet Behavioral Problems Common?

Actually, yes. But most problems are easily preventable if diagnosed and treated early. Do be prepared to try different approaches to the problem – not every pet is the same!

If it's a behavior problem, don't I need a trainer? How can a veterinarian help me?

Some behavior problems, like obedience issues, are best solved with a professional trainer or behaviorist. More complicated problems, like aggression, may need a combination of veterinary intervention and obedience training.

In many cases, a behavior problem will be one we've seen before. And for many problems, there are tried and true remedies. For example, a different litter type or an extra pan in the house may help with cases of inappropriate elimination in cats.

Do some behavior problems require medication?

We will always try behavior modification first. However, there are some cases where medication, used in conjunction with behavior modification, can help to manage a problem. Of course, we'll discuss the pros and cons of any treatment with you so you can better choose what's best for your pet.

Behavior Consultations

If you feel you do not understand your pet's behavior and need help, we are here to assist you. Through a behavior consultation, we gather information regarding possible causes and contributing factors of the problematic behavior to make a diagnosis and an individualized behavior modification plan that fits your pet's needs.

Call us at (781) 270-0044 or request an appointment online to discuss your pet's behavior needs.

$city Pet Behaviorist

Burlington Veterinary Hospital