|TABLE AND OFFICE BEHAVIOR
Most pets have some anxiety over visiting the veterinarian, just as most humans have anxiety over dental visits. This is regardless of the good or bad nature of their previous experiences. However, when Fear Behavior or Aggression, Dominance Aggression, or Unreasonable Adversiveness are the animals table or office behavior, these behavior often are the limiting factor in what a veterinarian can do to help your pet.
As far back as 15 years ago, it was recognized that 80% of pet animals were euthanized due to some behavior problem. Today the American Veterinary Medical Association has made a renewed effort to educate pet owners to the dangers of euthanasia or abandonment due to behavior problems. The AVMA sites over 5 million dogs as being abandoned each year because of behavior problems. This national veterinary association goes on to site “The real tragedy is, most of them could have been helped.”
Just as our children do not come into this world knowing the manners and acceptable behaviors expected in polite society, neither do our pets. When we take an intelligent living being into our household and family, it is only responsible pet ownership to help that pet learn what is acceptable in human-pet social interaction.
Part of the nobility that we recognize in domestic pet animals is the acceptance and loving interaction with humans. Just as in humans, animals come to this world with a full spectrum of emotional nature; there are saints and there are axe murderers. However, we can help animals with demonstration of fearful, aggressive, or adversative nature overcome these behaviors.
Animal Medical Clinic and it’s staff are deeply interested in increasing pet owner awareness and knowledge of good skills in socializing your pet. We offer Free of Charge pet behavior modification visits when we observe poor table or visit behavior. The goal is to barrage the animal with experiences in our office to the point that they become “HO HUM” routine to the animal. At this point fear or aggression is replaced with an “OH WELL!! JUST THEM AGAIN” attitude. A more self-serving goal is that we cannot serve nor gain income on a dead pet, and we know the statistics on behavior problem pets and the deadly results of their problem behavior.
It has been our finding that 3 visits a week for 3 weeks is a minimum efforts to help socialize your pet. These visits involve owner-controlled time in the waiting area, quick and positive table placement, and body handling. Usually the visits will last 5 to 10 minutes on each event. Remarkable results are usually the reward by the end of the three weeks of visits. You will usually have ended a lifetime of fearful or anxious behavior on the part of your pet, and contributed greatly to its chances of surviving a life threatening emergency needed veterinary care.
Visits to our office for socialization are usually not the only effort needed. The entire family must be of one mind and effort toward training and aiding the pet. Setting the pet up for introduction to unfamiliar visitors and handlers at home is also necessary. Dr. Windley will discuss safe and effective techniques for this learning time. Using the tried and true techniques of nonviolent giving or withdrawing family affection is necessary. Use of loud, startling, and intimidating voice in letting the pet know what is not acceptable, followed by a period of shunning, is necessary from all family members.
We encourage you to look seriously at your pet’s behavior on the exam table or in the office. Remember the cold and deadly facts about problem behaviors. Take the time to join with us in ending your pet’s behavior problems and add to the total enjoyment and safety that your family will experience with the love and companionship of a well behaved pet.