Signs of Behavioral Issues in Pets
As a responsible pet parent, you do your best to keep your four-legged family member happy and healthy. After all, your cat or dog is an important member of your pack, and you want them to live a long, happy life. That said, there's a significant language barrier between even the most doting pet owner and their fur babies.
Since our canine and feline friends can't use words to tell us if they're sick, scared, depressed, hungry, anxious, or dealing with any number of other issues, they often use their behavior to send SOS signals and provide clues that something is wrong or "off".
If your cat or dog has been exhibiting behavior problems, read on to learn about common signs of issues that need your vet's attention. We'll also explain how our veterinarians can help diagnose the underlying cause of your pet's confounding conduct and address your concerns.
Excessive Hiding or Withdrawal
While cats or dogs may sometimes seek out a cozy place to nap or spend some quiet time, beware if they seem to do this more often than usual. If your normally happy-go-lucky dog or affectionate cat starts to consistently isolate or hide themselves, they may be in distress due to anxiety, fear, or pain.
Depending on the circumstances, anything from a visiting stranger, stress, storm phobia, or noise anxiety may be to blame.
Restlessness or Pacing
Have you noticed your dog is unable to settle and fall asleep at your feet as he usually does? Perhaps your cat has been restlessly pacing the house. If so, their restlessness may indicate discomfort, anxiety, pain, or an undiagnosed medical condition.
Dogs love to chew stuff, and cats seek out items to scratch. While this is normal to a certain extent, the behavior can be frustrating to deal with (and expensive to encounter). If you've taken steps to curb your pet's appetite for destruction by ensuring they have ample opportunity to exercise and stay mentally stimulated, it may be time to consult your vet.
Just like kids, our pets can have difficulty knowing where to direct stress, pent-up energy, or boredom. They may even have an obsessive or compulsive tendency that can (and should) be managed with prescription medication or other measures.
Aggression or Unusual Irritability
When normally well-trained dogs or laid-back cats become aggressive or irritable, you can bet there's a reason behind their change in demeanor. Your pet may demonstrate this behavior by snapping, growling, or even biting.
Needless to say, there are multiple reasons to discuss these symptoms with your vet, including the safety of yourself and any other people or animals that are around your pet.
Increased Vocalization - Whining, Whimpering & Meowing
While some dogs and cats may normally be vocal and chatty, an uptick in vocalizations and noises of distress such as whining, yowling, or howling may mean your pet is literally crying for help.
Investigating the cause of your pet's vocalizations can help ensure any health issues are diagnosed. Your animals - and your neighbors - will thank you.
Behavioral Counseling at The Animal Medical Center of Fort Oglethorpe
Just like us, our pets have their own unique quirks and personalities. However, some behaviors may be problematic - or even dangerous to their health.
When it comes to addressing behavioral issues in dogs or cats, early intervention is key to identifying the underlying cause of the behavior, effectively addressing any physical or emotional health issues, and ensuring your pet's continued health and happiness.
If your four-legged friends behavior has become concerning, you might consider veterinary behavioral counseling at our Fort Oglethorpe animal hospital.
These consultations are offered as part of our consulting services at The Animal Medical Center of Fort Oglethorpe. Our veterinary behavioral therapist has extensive experience in behavioral training for a wide range of cat and dog breeds.
Behavioral problems can often be complex, and they may have many causes that require an in-depth analysis of your pet's individual behavioral and medical history.
After asking about your pet's individual behavioral and medical history, as well as their lifestyle, we'll diagnose specific issues of concern and identify any medical care that may be required.
A customized treatment plan will be developed according to your pet's specific needs. This may include diets, products, medications, or strategies designed to relieve stress.