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Rated 5 Stars By Over 3,500 Pet Owners

Pet Therapy: Does it Work for Behavioral Issues?

General Health 

PET THERAPY: DOES IT WORK FOR BEHAVIORAL ISSUES?

August 19, 2021


Dogs are just like humans -- well, except for the part about four legs and fur! Also like humans, your pup can also experience myriad emotions. It’s pretty obvious to recognize when your dog is happy or excited -- just look for the wagging tail, often accompanied by playful vocalization, hopping or running in circles and even a smile! However, other emotions may be harder to recognize and might present in the form of negative behavior. With that in mind, if you’ve recently noticed a change in your dog’s behavior, it might be worth investigating.

 

It’s pretty common for pets to need some sort of intervention to remedy poor behavior. Seeing a pet therapist can help get to the bottom of issues that might not be so obvious. Before seeing the pet therapist, schedule a visit to the vet to rule out any underlying physical issues that could be causing your dog’s negative behavior. Once it is determined that the behavioral issues aren’t physical, then you can begin working with a pet therapist.

 

Pet therapists have several methods and techniques to help remedy behavioral issues, especially if the negative behavior might stem from emotional unrest. We’ve listed some of the most common issues that lead pet owners to seek professional help, but just like with all things worth doing, it takes time and effort, so don’t expect a quick fix.


ANXIETY



Behavioral changes like excessive barking, accidents in the house, destructive or compulsive behavior or aggression could be the result of anxiety. If you’ve noticed that your typically happy pup has developed new habits or behaviors, there’s a good chance it could be stemming from anxiety. One way to alleviate your pup’s anxiety is with 
all-natural calming treats from Ready Pet Go! However, if it becomes an ongoing problem, you could probably use the help of a vet and/or pet therapist.

 

While many pets enjoy lazy days sprawled out on the carpet, if your dog isn’t getting enough mental stimulation or physical activity, it could lead to anxiety and boredom. If you have a more hyperactive dog, help your pup release some of that excess energy with a walk outside or a fun game of fetch. Either way, the exercise will not only keep your dog healthy, but it will keep a healthy level of endorphins pumping and most likely make your pup feel totally pooped and ready to relax.


DEPRESSION

 


Just like humans, dogs are also susceptible to depression. Causes of depression may vary but they usually appear after a change to your pup’s normal routine. Things like the death of a loved one, a change in your schedule, moving to a new place or the arrival of a new baby in the home can flip your dog’s whole world upside-down. Symptoms of depression may include a lack of appetite, sadness, apathy, inactivity, a reluctance to provide affection, behavioral changes, excessive sleep, a lack of play behavior or hiding from caregivers. If your dog has any of these symptoms, be sure and make an appointment with a dog therapist and/or your vet so you can address and resolve the issue.

In the interim, there are also several things you can do on your own to help your dog feel better while you are waiting to get into the appointment. Going for a walk to get some fresh air and a change of scenery is always a good thing. Exercise will also release endorphins in you and your dog, which stimulates good, happy feelings. Socializing with other dogs is another way to help lift your pup’s spirits. Regardless if you’re going for a walk, hanging with the other hounds or just relaxing at home together, spending quality time with your dog will help reduce anxiety and alleviate feelings of loneliness. Mental stimulation and intelligence toys can also help augment the therapy process because it keeps your dog’s mind busy.


STRUGGLING TO GET ALONG WITH OTHER DOG

  


If your dog doesn’t play well with others, it’s important to understand the reason in order to resolve the issue. Sometimes, it could just be a matter of slowly socializing your pup or training your dog to have good manners when out in public. It’s also important to recognize and 
understand the difference between reactivity, guarding and aggression.

However, it’s important to note that among all the possible behavioral issues your dog may present, aggression is one that should not be ignored, as it could pose a danger to other people, other animals, to you or your pup.

 

You could just keep doing what you’re doing, which is probably restricting your and your pup’s social life, which could also be causing you to feel frustrated or embarrassed about the behavior. Instead of throwing in the towel and just accepting that this is just who your dog is, you might want to consider seeing a pet therapist to help remedy the issue.


DIVORCE



Divorce can affect our pets just like it affects us. From your dog’s perspective, your family is a pack. If anyone should leave the pack, your pup is essentially losing a parent or sibling. Dogs are creatures of habit, so this type of disruption to your dog’s normal routine can cause a lot of confusion, anxiety and depression, which might present in the form of negative behaviors. You dog was most likely used to being around both of you every day, but with such a big change, your pup may wonder if he/she did something wrong. Your dog may also experience a grieving period in response to this new adjustment, which could lead to separation anxiety and depression. Treating your dog with 
Ready Pet Go! Zen Chews is a great way to help reduce those feelings of anxiety.

 

Just as you would with children in divorce, it’s important to have a plan for your pet, too. Divorce could bring a change of residence or split residence, either of which may result in some behavioral issues and may require some retraining. In any case, take note of any changes to your dog’s temperament, as your pup willlikely need your help adjusting to the situation. It’s not out of the question to arrange a custody agreement so your dog can still see the other parent and that will help alleviate any potential long-term anxiety issues.

 

Dogs are pretty intuitive and can sense human emotions. So it’s no wonder that they have feelings, too. Again, like humans, sometimes those feelings can become overwhelming and come out in the form of undesired behaviors. With a little extra love and compassion, seeking intervention through your vet or pet therapist may be your best solution.


OATMEAL SHAMPOO

Our Oatmeal Shampoo for dogs is perfect whether you have an allergic pup with dry and itchy skin or just want an extra-gentle bath option. Formulated with natural ingredients that boost skin & coat health and smell amazing!

Oatmeal Shampoo

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