We hear about many complaints about pet behavior from clients at our hospitals. Many behavioral problems with dogs and cats have an underlying issue that needs to be addressed so that behavior modification can be successful.
Talking to your veterinarian early can help increase the number of treatment options available and help prevent the behaviors from becoming worse. In severe cases, some of these behaviors can cause injury to you or your pet. Here are some tips to help get you through these trying times.
First and foremost, it’s important to identify the trigger(s) for barking. This can happen when there’s a knock on the door, someone or something passing by outside, or at meal times, etc.
Once the trigger is found, try to minimize or control your pet’s exposure with methods like the ones below:
- Keep your pet away from windows
- Put your pet in another room while preparing his or her meal
- Distract or keep your pet calm when you know the barking is about to happen
- Give your pet a toy or a special treat; provide environmental enrichment
- Teach your pet basic commands such as sit and stay
Barking can also be a result of anxiety, so the underlying cause should be addressed with your veterinarian.