6 Effective ways to treat pet behavior problems

Pets possess a great number of beneficial traits, deliver many years of joy, ease and comfort, and enjoy, and are treated as cherished spouse and children customers. But make no mistake, pets are not perfect, and it is a struggle when they show indicators of terrible or abnormal conduct. When this happens, pet entrepreneurs want answers speedily.

Amy Pike, DVM, DACVB, IAABC-CABC, proprietor of the Animal Conduct Wellness Centre in Fairfax, Virginia, addressed behavioral issues and shared a plan of motion that she deemed “The 6 M’s of Dealing with Any Actions Trouble,” in a sessin at the 2022 Fetch dvm360® Meeting in San Diego, California. “I wanted to occur up with something that was effortless to remember so that when [veterinary professionals] are offered with something like this you can apply this to help you function by means of a circumstance relatively promptly,” she explained.1

The sorts of pet behavior issues that Pike focused stem from troubles these types of as fears and phobias, panic, aggression, compulsive diseases, panic issues, and nuisance behaviors. The 6 M’s incorporate:

  • Professional medical rule-outs
  • Administration
  • Psychological enrichment
  • Modification of behavior
  • Medicine and products
  • Keep track of and modify the approach as needed

Pike’s choices presented a comprehensive and common-perception approach to curbing a pet’s bad or unusual conduct. The healthcare rule-out is a sensible initial evaluation since it aims to slender down the problem proper absent and find the very best treatment method option.

Is it a medical challenge or behavioral? Pike paints a circumstance the place a pet proprietor informs you that their pet dog jumps on visitors. Whilst it could just be that the pet dog is tremendous excited to see company, it could be one thing additional. It could be that the canine has soreness in its back again. It’s possible it usually would not soar on friends, but the pet is performing it since it may well be feeling anxious.

“The unexpected onset of a new behavior or worsening of a beforehand perfectly-controlled actions is absolutely health care right up until demonstrated normally,” Pike explained.

Examination of the animal need to consist of a full blood depend, chemistry, and urinalysis, and if indicated, a overall T4 and cost-free T4 by equilibrium dialysis. The bodily test really should be adopted by orthopedic and neurological tests. “And then, relying on what you are finding based on the symptoms, you may well want to do extra diagnostics, which is radiographs or an belly ultrasound,” she included. After these strategies are total and there are no healthcare etiologies, the future action would be to glance intently at behavioral procedure choices.

Therapy may possibly resolve the conduct difficulty. Having said that, if the actions stays right after suitable solutions, Pike suggests the following:

  • Take into account choice clinical therapies for the fundamental etiology
  • If the health-related ailment is absolutely fixed, look at that A) healthcare problems may not have been a contributing issue and B) an emotional reaction remains
  • Carry on with behavioral therapy

If issues persist, Pike advised moving on to the upcoming action: administration of the behavior. Management helps prevent the follow of problematic behaviors, gives instant safety, decreases the pet’s general anxiety and arousal, and sets up an setting for accomplishment, Pike explained.

Every single of the 6 steps provides alternatives to discover a pathway again to nutritious pet behaviors. To master extra from Pike about her 6 M Components, check out her interview with dvm360®.


Pike A. The 6 M’s of treating any behavior dilemma. Introduced at: Fetch dvm360® Conference San Diego, California. December 2-4, 2022.