Animal behavior specialist talks about the importance of associating behavioral therapy and herbal medicines to treat behavioral disorders in pets.
When a dog or cat has a behavioral disorder, its guardians turn to a behavior professional. Today, in addition to trainers, there are behavioral therapists, also called behavioralists.
Behavioral therapy is based on three pillars
1) physical part;
2) behavioral modulation;
3) environmental management.
In the first pillar, the physical part is extremely important. Therefore, every animal must be evaluated by a veterinarian, regardless of the complaint.
Without proper treatment, the outcome of behavioral therapy may not be as effective. Also found in this pillar is the possibility of using psychopharmaceuticals, pheromones and herbal medicines, to assist in the agility of responses of the other two pillars.
If an animal is extremely stressed, its learning capacity reduces, making it difficult to accept a new routine or even a training proposed by the behaviorist. So, before something is taught or added to the animal’s life, it is important to get him out of anguish, fear or stress. In addition to removing stressors, such as noises or specific situations, we can add the physical part to the treatment, with herbal medicines.
This does not mean that behavioral modulation, through the teaching of new behaviors, or environmental management, through a modification of the environment in which the animal is inserted, are not sufficient. But, depending on the case, it is necessary to give assistance to the animal, so that it responds faster to pillars two and three.
Let’s take an example. Little Chihuahua Ruan was attacking visitors. So, your tutors called me to understand why that behavior and how to resolve it. During the behavioral consultation, I noticed that the little dog was very afraid of everything that was unknown to him. And, as a way to chase away the stimulus that caused him to fear, he barked, growled and advanced on the stranger.
The big issue was not the dog’s aggressiveness, but its excessive fear. I could prescribe countless trainings and toys, but it could take a while before he was interested in interacting with those new objects and routine. So I indicated the Passion fruit formula.
I explained to the tutors that the Formula would not dope the dog, let alone leave it
prostrate. It would just help you relax and be more open to the news. Thus, the tutors accepted the nomination and started offering the Formula for a week, as an experience.
During this first week, the dog was offered new toys. Changes were also made to his routine. The tutors have already observed changes in the animal’s behavior, both inside and outside the home. However, after the first week, they stopped giving the dog the Formula. He continued to respond to stimuli, but with less confidence, compared to the first week. On the street, I was more scared and tense.
Upon learning of the change in behavior, without the Formula, I asked tutors to
to offer the herbal medicine again. A single dose was enough for the dog to be more confident and to better accept environmental enrichments. It wasn’t the Formula that cured little Chihuahua, it was the whole. Just like a three-legged table, behavioral therapy needs its three pillars attended to have
a real effect on the dog’s behavior.
In the case of Ruan, I could only pass the Formula, but without the news and challenges, it could take much longer to feel safe, even at home. Likewise, without the Formula, only environmental management would not have such an effect. The animal would take longer to respond to treatment, leaving it in unnecessary suffering.
Today, after two months of treatment, Ruan accepts to receive people at his home. As long as your space is respected and no one tries to caress it. What he used to bark and bite, now he is comfortable around the room, running with his little ball.
The results don’t happen overnight. It requires a lot of dedication and persistence from behaviorists and tutors. But everything is worth it to improve the well-being of our furry ones!
Luiza Cervenka she is a biologist, with a master’s degree in psychobiology, a doctorate in veterinary medicine and a graduate degree in journalism.
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