Polite Pets Month
March is Polite Pets Month and we are promoting good behaviour.
The Australian Veterinary Association as formulated several information sheets to help with common behavioural issues in dogs, cats and birds. Please note, these should be used in conjunction with balanced veterinary advice. Click on the links below for more detailed information.
Anxiety in birds Fear is a normal response in birds that enables them to manage dangerous situations. But pet birds can also show signs of fear in response to things that we may not consider to be dangerous, such as a new cage, new furniture or new people.
Ongoing fear can be detrimental to a bird’s physical and mental health so it’s important to discuss your bird’s behaviour with your vet if you think there’s a problem.
Anxiety in dogs – It’s normal for dogs to experience anxiety as it gives them the ability to prepare and respond to a threat. Anxiety can lead to significant physical changes such as an increased heart rate and blood pressure and it’s believed these changes contribute to the emotion of fear.
Anxiety in cats – Like us, cats can suffer from anxiety. To an extent, anxiety is a normal and necessary part of their lives and gives them the ability to anticipate and avoid problems. Fear is the normal automatic response that prepares the cat to either freeze, flee or fight, depending on the threat. Phobias are an abnormal, excessive and instant response to fear, even when there is nothing to be fearful of.
Noise phobias in dogs – Noise sensitivity is a fear response that occurs in dogs when they’re exposed to certain noises such as sirens, smoke alarms, fireworks, kettle whistles, vacuum cleaners and thunder. Noise sensitivity and phobias are medical conditions that can be managed by modifying the dog’s behaviour and its environment. In severe cases it can be life threatening and require daily lifelong medication. This is similar to how diabetes can be treated with dietary changes and exercise but often requires medication to prevent the disease from being life threatening.
Separation anxiety in dogs is a fear response that occurs in dogs when they’re separated from either a specific person or people, or in some cases, another animal. The dog is literally afraid of being left alone, just like some humans are afraid of public speaking or heights.