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Hours of Operation

Doctor's Hours: Monday - Friday: 9:00am-12:00pm and 3:00pm - 6:00pm
Saturday: 8:00am - 12:00pm
Lobby Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:30am - 6:30pm
Saturday: 8:00am - 12:00pm
Sunday: CLOSED

Dog Behavior - A Compassionate, Sensible, Effective Approach

At Creekside Animal Hospital, our veterinarians and support staff have many years of experience diagnosing and prescribing treatment methods for dog behavior issues. We can help determine the cause of disorders such as separation anxiety and obsessive behavior, and then develop an effective, humane training program.

Will training make my dog a better companion?

Puppy Care in The WoodlandsPuppy training and adult dog training play a key role in helping you to raise a well-behaved and socially adjusted canine companion. There are many different methods of dog training, and recommendations naturally vary depending on the age of the dog and the severity of any unwanted behavior that has already developed. Not all methods prove to be reliable or humane, and we strongly recommend against pursuing radical, or inhumane forms of dog training.

What are some of the common behaviors dog training programs help treat?

Common behaviors that training can address are:

  • Aggression: This is the number one reason dog owners seek dog training. Aggression is a natural defensive instinct in dog behavior. However, dogs must be deterred from taking hostile stances against people and other animals. These aggressive behaviors may include biting, snarling, growling, lunging and posturing. If your dog shows signs of aggression, it must be addressed. These behaviors will not go away on their own and will typically become more severe without intervention.
  • Barking: As a dog's main form of vocal communication, barking conveys a dog's wants and needs. However, barking can also become an excessive and obsessive behavior that is a nuisance for you and your neighbors. If your dog barks incessantly or for no apparent reason you should consider obedience training.
  • Chewing: Chewing is an essential behavior in puppies and some older dogs, as a method of maintaining a healthy mouth. However, excessive chewing can indicate anxiety, hyperactivity, stress, frustration or fear. If your dog chews inappropriate items such as furniture, bedding or carpet, you should pursue dog obedience training.
  • Food guarding: This is a behavior that instinctually dates back to a wild animal protecting its precious sustenance from other animals. However, in the modern day home, food guarding can lead to dog attacks and other dangerous interactions between humans and canines. This is a behavior that should be addressed when your dog is a puppy to set up appropriate boundaries for your dog. If your dog guards his or her food, this is a behavior that should be addressed sooner than later. Please schedule an appointment ASAP.
  • Howling: Like barking, howling is a normal form of vocal expression. Dogs howl to announce their presence, attract attention and make contact with other dogs, and is more common in some breeds than others. However, excessive howling can also indicate separation anxiety and even medical issues. If your dog howls excessively, we can discuss it at your next veterinary appointment.
  • Mounting and masturbation: These are also normal behaviors in dogs of all ages for dominance, social and reproductive purposes. Even after spaying or neutering, many dogs continue to mount other dogs in shows of dominance. But in excess, these behaviors can indicate compulsion, stress and certain medical issues. Therefore, it is important to seek veterinary advice if your dog exhibits these behaviors abnormally.
  • Mouthing: While this is perfectly normal dog behavior, mouthing can also lead to more dangerous behavior. Nipping and biting other animals or humans is totally unacceptable dog behavior that can lead to dangerous interactions. If your dog nips or bites during play or other interactions, dog training is essential to stave off potential disaster.
  • Separation anxiety: This is a very common dog behavior. After all, you are the main living being your dog associates with, and when you are not there, your dog wishes you were. Negative behaviors such as destroying property, barking and making in the house can typically be corrected with the right obedience training techniques. Some cases require medication to alleviate the severe stress that the dog is experiencing.
  • Whining: This is also a normal vocal dog behavior. It can convey a need, but can also indicate anxiety, illness or injury. If your dog whines compulsively or incessantly, there could be a medical issue or condition causing this dog behavior to occur. For excessive and/or abnormal whining, give us a call and let's get your dog the care they need.

Anxiety related to Thunder and Fireworks

Featured Quote:

The best way to treat this disease is to treat it early and before the problem even occurs.

Video Transcript:

Hello, I'm Dr. Dave Dolan from Creekside Animal Hospital and I'm back with another video on caring for your pet.

Our subject today is noise anxiety associated with thunderstorms and fireworks. As you know, summer brings both events and they can be traumatic for your pets.

In this video, I’m going to share the signs of anxious pets and ways to minimize the trauma of thunder and fireworks.

How do you know if your pet is anxious?

Well, some signs include pacing, panting, hiding, or even hovering around you. If you're not around, some pets will destroy furniture or even injure themselves. If you’ve seen this in action, then you know there's potentially emotional, medical, and even property damage associated with pet anxiety. So, let's see how we can prevent it.

What Can You Do to Prevent Thunder and Fireworks Anxiety

The best way to treat this disease is to treat it early and before the problem even occurs.

We use behavior modification using a de-sensitivity training. Basically, that means using auditory stimulation under a controlled setting, starting with a low volume and slowly working to louder volume, all the while calming and reassuring your pet with positive reinforcement, meaning treats and petting them. Sometimes you need to have medication on board before you can even start this though. It depends on the pet.

If you can't get to behavior modification, the next and easiest thing to do is to block the noise. If you have an inside room that doesn't have windows that can work well. What you do is you put your dog or cat in there with a bed turn up the music loud so it blocks the sound of the thunder or the fireworks. That's the easiest way.

There are other options too.

There is a product called a Zen Crate, Z-e-n crate, with its own speakers and vibrating bed that blocks these noises. And we have several clients that have them and their dogs love them.

We've also got natural treatments that work for some. There's DAP, the dog appeasing pheromone, and Zylkene, which is a milk protein-based nutrition supplement. Both of those have their followers, and if it works for your pet, great.

Next is Benadryl. That's an over the counter product that you can get. Give us a call and we'll give you a dose on that. It sedates me when I take it. Some dogs do better on that than others.

Then there's prescription drugs. We have two of those that we use. The first is Gabapentin, which we use for chronic arthritis and pain control postoperatively or in conjunction with another medication. It has a sedative effect. It's a little bit more than Benadryl does.

Then the big gun is Trazodone, which is a medication used in people with anxieties and it's much stronger. We start with a low dose and we can work our way up from there if necessary.

In order to get these drugs, you need to schedule an appointment with us to discuss your pet’s anxiety levels, health, and options. Depending on what we find, we may send you home with a couple of doses of each to see which works best for your pet, and once we find what works, then we'll give you more.

Call us at (281) 351-8387 to make an appointment. Again, that number is (281) 351-8387 and we will get you in as soon as possible.

By the way, it's important to start treatment hours before the traumatic event happens, so if you're going to treat your dog at home, go ahead and start a couple of hours before the storm or the fireworks are starting to go off. Don't wait until they're already afraid. It's a lot easier to prevent fear than it is to treat it.

How important is puppy training?

Puppy Vaccines The WoodlandsPuppy training is essential to raising a well-behaved and socially adjusted adult canine. This is because behaviors learned or allowed during a dog's formative years are the ones that become ingrained in his or her consciousness as acceptable in adulthood. Because dogs age faster than human beings do, puppy training becomes essential to embark upon early in life. In order to ensure negative behaviors are corrected before they can become ingrained as normal or natural.

Puppy training should be started between 7-8 weeks of age. Between the ages of 8 and 12 weeks, there are many important milestones of behavioral learning for your puppy. During this time you will greatly benefit from the help of an experienced trainer. As your puppy ages, behaviors become quickly ingrained and certain behaviors become more difficult to change. It is much easier to mold the behavior of a puppy and ensure that your puppy is on the right track from the start.

Puppy training courses deal with many common, but negative dog behavior patterns and will help your puppy become a disciplined and well-adjusted adult dog. We strongly recommend puppy training courses for every dog and dog owner.

What are the benefits of training?

Imagine your canine companion as an obedient, loyal, and reliable friend on a leash or off. Imagine never having to worry about interactions with other animals or people of any age, appearance or demeanor. Imagine always knowing your dog will be well behaved in any situation. By undertaking dog obedience training, your imagination will take a back seat to the pleasant and peaceful reality of your everyday life. Dog obedience training is the key to a well-behaved dog.

Schedule An Appointment To Learn How To Train Your Dog

If you would like to discuss how to train your dog with one of our veterinarians, please contact us to schedule an appointment. We are here to help you learn how to train your dog humanely and effectively.

If you're ready to enjoy the company of a well-trained dog, give us a call!

Creekside Animal Hospital is proud to be an active member of our community and to serve as your veterinarian in The Woodlands, Tomball, Spring, Conroe, and surrounding areas.

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