Compulsion is one of the most common behavioral problems in pets. This is because it is more and more common for animals to live in apartments, spend a lot of time alone, do few exercises and almost no socializing with other animals.
This routine can generate anxiety and stress and the furry end up developing some “crazes” like licking their paws, running and biting their tails, walking around, overeating and more. Thus, compulsion is characterized by repetitive behaviors and apparently without reasons.
Next we will talk about some of these manias and explain better how to deal with them. Keep reading this content!
It all starts with a lick on the paw here, another one there. An hour turns into a wound and the habit of licking is in place. The compulsive behavior that some pets have in licking their paws (or other regions of the body, such as their tails) is known as psychogenic licking and it can arise as a result of a behavioral disorder.
Among the most common problems associated with compulsive licking are anxiety, sudden change of environment, arrival of another animal, abandonment for many hours or day, in addition to the lack of mental and physical stimuli at any stage of the pet’s life.
Licking is a natural pet act. However, when the dog begins to repeat this behavior itself repeatedly and whenever something bothers him, it can be dangerous. That’s because repetitive licking can cause skin damage, as well as being a sign that something is not going well with the dog.
There are signs that the guardian should notice if he suspects that the dog has a “habit” of licking itself all the time: change in the color of the hair in the region (a rust color), which occurs due to the acidity of the saliva; hair loss, wound in the affected region. It is common for dogs to start licking a spot and this constant causes a wound. The physical aggression caused by the repetitive act of licking prevents the wound from healing and ends up predisposing the animal to a secondary infection.
However, it is important that the tutor knows that only a veterinarian can make the diagnosis if the case is a lick dermatitis or not. For this reason, it is always important to have the help of a professional, preferably one specialized in animal behavior. In addition to caring for the animal’s psychological behavior, it will be important to treat the skin problem.
Pets with binge eating they eat more than they need in the face of a problem like depression, boredom or stress. The problem is that this behavior can cause obesity in the fur, which will bring a series of other complications to the pet’s life.
In the face of this problem, consult your veterinarian to identify what is causing this “exaggerated appetite”. Only a professional can indicate the reason.
How to treat compulsion in pets?
The first attitude that the guardian must have when suspecting that the pet is showing compulsive behaviors is to see a veterinarian. Only the professional can evaluate the animal and rule out any clinical disease. This is common when the dog, for example, has a skin problem. He repeatedly licks his paws to scratch the area. So, until you receive the proper treatment, you will be licking the place. Now, if the problem is behavioral, the ideal is to seek a specialist in animal behavior.
When the compulsion is related to a lack of physical or mental activity, it is important to create activities that he can be very entertaining. Thus, one of the measures is to promote environmental enrichment. Preparing the pet and the environment that the fur will stay throughout the day is one of the most important actions for you to have no problems leaving it alone.
Here are some tips:
Tour: if you need to leave the dog alone for a long time, remember to walk him before leaving the house. A walk of about 30 minutes will cause the dog to expend energy on the street. This way, when you get home, you will be less agitated. Know that walks are important and should be done daily, even if your pet has a yard available.
Toys rotation: one of the most common mistakes is always leaving the same toy for the pet when leaving. The novelty is always interesting, so make a rotation of toys every week.
Hide rewards: hiding snacks around the house before you leave can help too. The dog will be focused on seeking the rewards and time will pass faster.
Ambient sound: when leaving, leave the television or the sound turned on, at a volume not too high, to distract the pet from the noises outside the house.
Did you like the tips? Be sure to follow Botica Pets also on Telegram!