Pet Behaviour Mythbuster #4 Behavioural Medications only mask the problem

The purpose of modern behavioural medications, when prescribed correctly, is to treat disease. They help an unhealthy brain function in a more healthy way, to allow the animal to learn more efficiently and make good choices.

They are not supposed to mask underlying problems or sedate an animal. If a professional is telling you this, they may not understand how these medications work.

Ask yourself if you would say the same about other medical treatments like insulin, antibiotics or hearing aids.

 

 

 

- Dr Jo

Dr Joanna McLachlan is an accredited Behaviour Veterinarian. She is the owner of Pet Behaviour Vet, a mobile behaviour only veterinary practice in Sydney, Australia. If you would like to enquire about having a consultation with Dr Joanna, please contact us. Don't forget to Like us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog.

Pet Behaviour Mythbuster #3 My Pet will be a Zombie!

This one speaks for itself, really!

- Dr Jo

Dr Joanna McLachlan is an accredited Behaviour Veterinarian. She is the owner of Pet Behaviour Vet, a mobile behaviour only veterinary practice in Sydney, Australia. If you would like to enquire about having a consultation with Dr Joanna, please contact us. Don't forget to Like us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog.

Pet Behaviour Mythbuster #2 – More exercise is not always the answer

A common piece of advice we hear frequently is that dogs showing behavioural problems (like barking, destruction, aggression and escaping) must be suffering from a lack of exercise. Therefore they must be regularly exercised to the point of exhaustion in order to curb these signs.

What worries us is that this advice is often given out (by well-meaning people) without taking into account what the actual CAUSE of the behaviour problem is.

Whilst increasing exercise would certainly be helpful if the animal is in fact suffering from a lack of physical exercise, it would not be helpful in cases where the behaviour is driven by a training problem, physical problem or mental health disorder.

It’s a bit like recommending insulin for a dog who is urinating too much, without first diagnosing the cause of the frequent urination (which could be due by anything ranging from a completely normal behaviour, to a UTI, to diabetes).

Excessive exercise and exhaustion can also cause irritability and an increase in anxiety and aggression. Think about how grumpy you sometimes feel after a long day on your feet!

In summary: please try to determine the cause of the problem before you recommend a ‘treatment’!

Pet Behaviour Mythbuster #2 - More exercise is not always the answer

- Dr Jo

Dr Joanna McLachlan is an accredited Behaviour Veterinarian. She is the owner of Pet Behaviour Vet, a mobile behaviour only veterinary practice in Sydney, Australia. If you would like to enquire about having a consultation with Dr Joanna, please contact us. Don't forget to Like us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog.

Pet Behaviour Mythbuster #1 – It’s ok to comfort a scared dog!

Welcome to the very first installment of ‘Pet Behaviour Mythbusters’!

First up is a response to one of the most common myths we come across:

“I don’t want to reassure my dog when it is scared because it might reinforce its fear”

 

 

As there’s no point in reinventing the wheel, here is a link to a great post written by Eileen Anderson (eileenanddogs.com) who explains this concept in greater detail.

- Dr Jo

Dr Joanna McLachlan is an accredited Behaviour Veterinarian. She is the owner of Pet Behaviour Vet, a mobile behaviour only veterinary practice in Sydney, Australia. If you would like to enquire about having a consultation with Dr Joanna, please contact us. Don't forget to Like us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog.

Why obedience training won’t fix your panicking pet

Bandit in school gear- Envious Photography
Clever ‘Bandit’- Envious Photography

As a veterinarian, one of the most common topics I am asked about during a standard consultation is behaviour. Sitting somewhere at the top of the list of commonly asked questions is this one: Why does my dog do so well at obedience training, but still wreak havoc at home?
Read more Why obedience training won’t fix your panicking pet