Behavior Counseling in Tampa, FL

Behavior Counseling For Pets

If you experience behavior issues with your pet, contact Harbourside Animal Hospital at (813) 229-3322.

Pet behavior problems can frustrate pet owners and disrupt family life. They are also the number one reason for pets to be surrendered to their local animal shelter.

Our team at Harbourside Animal Hospital in Tampa, Florida is here to help. Our veterinarians provide counseling and direction for pet owners to understand the causes of their pet’s behavior and build a happy and healthy relationship.

Understanding Your Pet’s Behavior

Our furry friends do not have words to express their physical or emotional discomfort. Instead, they often express pain, fear, frustration, or anxiety in unpleasant ways such as:

  • Aggression
  • Inappropriate urination
  • Chewing
  • Other destructive behaviors

Our team of veterinarians at Harbourside Animal Hospital are trained to understand your pet’s behavior, enabling us to diagnose and treat your pet’s condition or guide you in the direction of a professional animal behaviorist, if necessary. Here’s what we aim to do when your pet visits us for a behavior consultation:

Rule Out Health Problems

Identifying the root problem is crucial in diagnosing and treating your pet’s behavior problem. The first step toward behavior modification is to ensure that no underlying health issues are to blame.

Pet owners often misidentify the symptoms of many common physical ailments as behavioral problems. For example, a cat urinating outside the litter box can be a hallmark of urgent urinary tract problems, and a physical exam may be in order.

Pinpoint What Triggers the Behavior

After ruling out health issues, it’s important to examine the undesirable behavior and attempt to pinpoint any potential triggers. In some cases, your pet may communicate discomfort or anxiety with a variety of small behaviors.

For example, destructive chewing when you leave your pet alone is a common sign of separation anxiety in dogs. Our team at Harbourside Animal Hospital works with you to assess the situation and find the best course of action for you and your pet.

The most common behavior issues among dogs and cats include:

  • House soiling
  • Biting, scratching, or chewing (self-mutilation)
  • Chewing or destroying objects around the home
  • Digging
  • Noise aversions

Types Of Behavior Treatment for Your Pet

After diagnosing your pet’s condition, our team at Harbourside Animal Hospital in Tampa, Florida will prepare a customized plan of action to address any behavior issues.

The most common treatments include a behavior modification program which may involve one-on-one or group training sessions, positive reinforcement, and other tactics. We will customize a treatment program to achieve the desired results.

In some instances, we may recommend a professional training service, a consultation with a certified applied animal behaviorist, or referral to a board-certified veterinary behaviorist, depending on the severity and chronicity of the behavior.

Medication to Reduce Unwanted Behavior

Our veterinarians at Harbourside Animal Hospital have the knowledge and experience in animal behavior to determine if your pet would benefit from prescription medication to treat behavior disorders. These may be pursued if your pet is displaying signs of:

  • Separation anxiety
  • Obsessive behavior
  • Fear of other animals, objects, and people

Medication may be recommended in conjunction with or as an alternative to behavior training, depending on your pet’s condition.

Contact Us Today

Your furry friend deserves the same care and compassion as any other member of the family. Let us help you and your pet resolve undesirable behavior issues and restore the cherished bond you share.

Call the caring, compassionate team at Harbourside Animal Hospital at (813) 229-3322 for a consultation.