Your pet’s behavior can sometimes be a mystery. One moment, they’re friendly and well-behaved, then suddenly aloof or chewing the rug. Excessive barking, aggression, or disinterest in exercise are all problem signs in your pet. Understanding your pet’s behavior requires our Star of Texas Veterinary Hospital team’s knowledge, insight, and guidance. However, expressing concerns about your furry friend can sometimes be challenging. We provide tips for discussing problem behaviors with our team so we can address these issues together. 

Preparation: Observing your pet’s behavior

Before your pet’s veterinary visit, observe and document your pet’s behavior. These observations will help our veterinary team understand the context and background of when changes began. Take notes about changes that contribute to your pet’s behavior problems such as:

  • Daily routine
  • Eating habits
  • Sleeping patterns
  • Underlying medical conditions
  • Interactions with family members or other pets
  • Exercise routine
  • Changes to residence, adding another family member, or other environmental changes
  • Triggers that induce the behavior such as unfamiliar people or animals, or being left alone

Provide context about pet behavior changes 

During your pet’s veterinary appointment, be prepared to provide specific details about your concerns. Use objective statements when explaining your pet’s behavior. For example, rather than saying, “My dog seems anxious,” describe the specific behaviors you’ve observed such as excessive panting, pacing, or hiding. The more precise you can be, the better equipped our veterinarian will be to assess the situation.

Strive to provide context surrounding your pet’s behavior. Have there been any recent changes in your pet’s environment such as moving to a new home or adding a new family member? Additionally, routine, diet, or changes in household dynamics can often trigger pets’ behavioral issues. 

Many pet owners feel embarrassed when talking to our team about their pets’ less-than-perfect behaviors. Over the years, we have heard it all! We understand and won’t judge the situation, so we encourage you to be completely honest with us. We want to help your pet as much as you do. 

Health conditions and pet behavior changes

During your visit with our Star of Texas Veterinary Hospital team, we will talk with you about your pet’s medical history and current health conditions. Pain or chronic medical conditions can manifest as behavior changes. Your furry pal’s behavior is how they communicate with you that they’re feeling unwell or are in pain. Our veterinarian will perform a thorough exam, including tests, to rule out underlying medical issues. Additionally, inform us of any previous surgeries, injuries, or medications and supplements your pet is taking, as these can also impact behavior.

Ask our veterinarian questions

You may need clarification on explanations or recommendations provided by our team. Don’t hesitate to ask questions during your furry pal’s veterinary appointment. We are here to help you understand your pet’s behavior and provide guidance on addressing any concerns. Whether you’re curious about potential underlying causes or treatment options, asking questions can help clarify any uncertainties you may have.

Pet behavior recommendations

After our team determines that no underlying conditions are causing your pet’s behavior changes, we consider whether their behavior issues may be related to environmental changes, phobias, anxiety, or inadequate training. Our team may recommend any of the following:

  • Behavior modification techniques
  • Training and socialization classes
  • Dietary changes
  • Exercise modifications
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Environmental adjustments
  • Referral to a pet behaviorist

Treating pet behavior problems requires consistency, patience, and concerted effort. Most of your four-legged friend’s behaviors take time to develop, and changing them will also take time. Be prepared to commit to our veterinarian’s recommended plan. 

Discussing pet behavior with our team is an essential step in ensuring your furry companion’s overall health and happiness. By observing, documenting, and communicating effectively with us, we can address behavioral issues and provide effective resolution strategies. If you have concerns about your pet’s behavior, contact our Star of Texas Veterinary Hospital team for a behavior consultation.