If you think your dog or cat has some bad habits, you’re not alone. “Ten to 15 percent of owners say that they have pet behavior issues,” says certified applied animal behaviorist Stephen L. Zawistowski, PhD, science adviser to the ASPCA.
But does your animal need therapy? Yes, if their behavior puts them or others in danger.
“Any time the safety or well-being of either the pet or human is in question, a professional should be brought in to determine the best course of action,” says certified dog behavior consultant Michael Shikashio. “It doesn’t have to be as severe as aggression. An animal exhibiting ‘quirky’ behavior like excessive tail-chasing [could] be suffering from underlying issues.”
The first step is seeing your veterinarian. There may be an underlying medical issue that needs to be treated. If you decide to meet with a certified pet behavior professional, be prepared to really work with your animal to get the problem corrected.
“A pet owner shouldn’t expect a quick fix,” Shikashio says.
These are some of the behavior issues common in cats and dogs:
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