I, for one, am a huge pet lover! I know I will never be without some furry creature in my life. They are wonderful companions, a joy to be around, and their unconditional love is hard to beat! But having pets does not come without challenges from time to time. Those of us with pets know there are times when not every household member is a happy camper. Behavior issues are inevitable at some point during a pet’s lifetime. From puppyhood to seniorhood, behaviors can change to varying degrees. This can be due to health issues, environmental influences, poor nutrition, and household changes such as the arrival of a new baby or departure of a family member. Behavior problems that may arise include barking (vocalization), biting, jumping up, aggression, begging, digging, inappropriate elimination, chasing, chewing, and more.
It’s important to remember that some behaviors are perfectly normal. For instance, chewing is a normal process for dogs. This makes it important to provide chewable toys and/or treats to help satisfy that urge so they don’t chew on inappropriate things (especially for puppies to help deal with teething). Cats need to scratch to sharpen their claws and leave their scent, so providing cat scratch posts throughout the home can help prevent their scratching on furniture. If we don’t accommodate animals with a way to relieve these natural tendencies, we’re contributing to potential problem behaviors.
Below are some examples of things to consider when dealing with behavior issues. Sometimes the remedy is simply look at the circumstances surrounding the issue.
Is your pet bored? Is he or she getting enough affection, exercise/playtime and mental stimulation? Exercise helps to release pent-up energy. A bored or lonely pet will find a way to entertain itself if it has no other outlet to do so. This can lead to destructive or aggressive behavior in the home. Sometimes working with a dog trainer or pet behaviorist can provide relief for both you and the pet. Providing rules and boundaries for your pet are crucial in maintaining a healthy relationship with your pet.
Is your pet exhibiting signs of health issues or pain? Changes in appetite, limping, sleepiness, sudden house soiling in a house-trained pet, hiding in unusual places, or sudden aggression can all be signs of underlying health issues. Out-of-the-norm behaviors may require a consult with a veterinarian.
Is your pet getting up in years? Older pets are more likely than young pets to develop medical and degenerative problems. Cognitive decline (dementia), and a loss of hearing and vision can contribute to changes in behavior. Extra patience is necessary when dealing with these factors, and veterinary monitoring of health is vital.
Is your pet being treated with kindness and compassion, or is he or she being abused, mishandled, or neglected by someone? Negative treatment toward an animal has the potential to cause aggressive and/or destructive behavior.
Reactions to vaccines can occur immediately, days, months, or even years afterwards, and can be a factor in both behavior and health issues such as fever, sluggishness, aggression, depression, loss of appetite, collapse, weakness, etc. Please do your homework here. More does not necessarily mean better! If your pet reacts to a vaccine, report it to your veterinarian, then consider doing only Titers to check for immune status. (Titers are blood tests done at the vet’s office). Note – the Rabies vaccine is the only vaccine required by law for your pet.
I hope you will give your pet the benefit of your love by doing all you can to help resolve any issues that appear during his or her lifetime!
*Readers are reminded it is entirely of their own accord, right, and responsibility to make informed and educated decisions/choices with their pet are health care. Jenny Magli disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Jenny Magli is a Certified Natural Health Consultant for pets and their people, Healing Touch for Animals (Level 2) and NES Bioenergetics Practitioner. Consultations are done over the phone and through email. To contact, call (906) 235-3524 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reprinted with permission from the Spring 2019 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, copyright 2019. All rights reserved.