Behavioral Counseling

'Labrador

Why are socialization and training important?

Socialization and training are essential for both dogs and cats (ideally from a young age) so that they learn how to interact with people and other animals. If we do not take the time to socialize our pets, it can lead to fear and anxiety when confronted with new people or animals.

What kind of training is best for my pet?

Positive training is the method that we endorse as this leads to better learning in the long run, and it is certainly the most humane method. Investing the time in training your dog or cat will lead to a greater quality of life for you and your pet, and your bond with your pet will be much stronger.

What steps can I take at home to have a well-behaved pet?

In addition to training, providing exercise and enriching the home environment are extremely important. For example, dogs need to be walked daily at a minimum, and cats need to be stimulated to play with various toys. Some dogs are very high energy, and they need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to avoid boredom and stress.

Cloe by Sound_language - http://www.flickr.com/photos/sound_language/2239494065/

What about cats?

Cats must have scratching posts and places to perch up high to feel comfortable in their homes. It is ideal to have a condo near a window, as they can sit up high and be entertained by birds and squirrels outside.

A good condo also serves as a place to scratch. Basic needs such as these must be met to avoid stress in a cat's life.

How do cats respond to stress?

Stress in cats can lead to diarrhea, cystitis, and herpes infections of the eyes, among other illnesses. Each cat responds to stress in their own way, but it is common for all cats, when stressed, to have "flare-ups" of chronic conditions like those listed above.

Where can I learn more about the causes of stress for my pet, and how to avoid them?

The Indoor Pet Initiative website is a great resource for parents of dogs and cats to learn about how to provide a home environment that fulfills your pet's needs.