Click here to learn more.
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Few owners are lucky enough to get through a pet’s entire lifetime without experiencing some training- or behavior-related issues.
And sometimes these issues can get intensely problematic, which is when board-certified veterinary behaviorists become an alluring alternative to your regular veterinarian’s ministrations.
Sure, trainers and nonveterinary behaviorists can be great — they often devote lengthy amounts of time to working on behavior problems — but there are some limitations. They don't have the medical training to know when physical issues may be causing behavioral problems, and they can't prescribe medications when needed. Plus, many concentrate their efforts almost exclusively on dogs, leaving feline lovers in the lurch.
But board certification means that all pet owners can rely on these specialists to help solve even the most impressive pet behavior problems.
Specialists like Dr. Lisa Radosta, DVM, DACVB, my go-to veterinary behaviorist who helped me come up with nine reasons why your veterinarian might recommend seeing someone like her.
Sure, you’ve cried on your vet’s shoulder over the frustrating things that Fluffy is wont to do, but there’s only so much that he can help you with — general practice veterinarians know a good deal about a broad range of medical issues, but veterinary behaviorists are specialists who not only have veterinary degrees but also additional years of education just focused on behavior. So they have the expertise to dissect the important factors, and then make plans to address the unruly issues.
Aggressive behaviors are often accompanied by a physiologic response, and understanding how the physiology of the behavior affects what the animal does is essential to helping such pets. If your dog or cat has bitten someone, you should definitely talk to your vet about seeking help from a board-certified behaviorist.
Medications can be very beneficial when used in conjunction with behavior modification and environmental changes. A veterinary behaviorist has extensive experience with such medications, and can monitor their effects in conjunction with other parts of the treatment plan, making adjustments as necessary.
Let’s say that your pet has an unusual or uncommon behavior problem — like a dog who attacks photographs (I’ve seen this!) or who takes an amorous interest in household cats (yes, really). Who else to help you sort through such freaky issues than a veterinary behaviorist, who’s read all the obscure research?
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Shadow, a pregnant Lab-Terrier mix,
woke up her family when a fire started
near a space heater in their home.
This command can be a useful training
strategy for owners whose kitties are
always underfoot or jumping on counters.
A little bit of caution and preparedness
will go a long way toward helping to keep
your pets safe through the…
When a dog suddenly starts vomiting at
Thanksgiving dinner, SuperVet comes to
the rescue... and for some turkey.
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect
on what you love most about your cat —
and to show her some affection…
Before sharing leftover turkey or mashed
potatoes, find out if your favorite holiday
eats are safe or dangerous for…
The Bombay may look like a jaguar, but he’s much more easygoing and laid back than his wild doppelgänger.
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.