Fears and phobias are a prevalent behavior problem in our family pets. This distressing state can be brought on by different stimuli, with fireworks and thunderstorms the most common causes. Other phobias include being scared of visitors to the home or even going to the vet clinic. Dogs and cats can express their fear in different ways ranging from being timid, barking, showing aggression or becoming destructive. While there is no simple cure for behavior problems, your vet can certainly help with advice and medication. Short term anti-anxiety medication can be prescribed by your vet for known events that cause stress. Longer term your pet may benefit from behavioural modifications such as crate training and desensitization. Pets can be taught to sleep and eat in a large crate which becomes their safe den where they can feel secure at times of stress. Repeated gentle exposure to a phobia while receiving positive rewards such as food treats or praise can also be helpful over time. Your vet may also suggest consulting a behavioural specialist in certain cases to help your pet live a less stressed-out life. This is 16 year old Frazer who has no fears or phobias making him the perfect cat to live at our vet clinic.
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