Behavior problems are a major cause of euthanasias in animal shelters all across the country. Most behavior issues can be solved through a combination of training, exercise and sometimes behavior modification drugs. However, it’s sometimes easier to prevent behavior problems than to treat them. Raising your puppy or kitten right with lots of socialization and training is critical.

Dogs and cats can suffer from anxiety, fear, aggression and obsessive-compulsive disorders. These may manifest as destruction of the house, litter box problems, trembling or hiding and stereotypical behaviors like circling.

When a behavior problem begins, it’s important to address it early. The longer the problem occurs, the harder it is to treat. First, we begin with a physical exam to see if any underlying medical reasons are to blame. If there is no medical cause, we begin behavior modification training. We can recommend a certified behaviorist for behavior problems. It is sometimes necessary to use behavior drug therapy.

Solving behavior problems takes time, patience and consistency. Even drug therapy is not a quick fix. For more information on pet behavior problems, ask your veterinarian.