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Correcting unwanted behavior in cats and dogs

Bandit chews up all your shoes and Patches scratches up the couch. Sounds like you have behavior problems on your hands and not everybody is a Dog Whisperer.

First off, you want to ensure that the undesirable behavior is not the symptom of a medical health problem. Not uncommonly, behaviors such as refusing to use the little box or excessive barking can indicate a larger issue. 

Common issues with cats

Millie was faithful to her litter box for three years then suddenly began peeing all over the house. For cats, litter box issues may arise for simple reasons. Some cats prefer having their own box because they don’t want to share or wait in line. Other cats prefer a covered box or like having their box in a quiet place. Always make sure to clean your litter box daily.
 
Unfortunately for Millie, she developed a urinary tract infection. Luckily, instead of punishing her, her owner called her veterinarian right away to diagnose and treat her condition. As soon as she felt better, Millie went right back to faithfully using her litter box. Feline spraying is another common problem. This issue often goes away after spaying or neutering. However, you want to have the procedure done quickly before the behavior sets in and becomes a lasting problem.
 
We often hear cat owners complain about scratching. Cats scratch for many reasons, including keeping their claws neat, playing, getting out extra energy and marking their territory. To keep your furniture from damage, get a scratching post for your cat. If they don’t take to it right away, dabbing a bit of catnip on it should do the trick.
 
Common issues with dogs
Strider regularly poops outside but poops indoors if left alone for long periods of time. He may simply need more available access to outdoors or he may be experiencing separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is a common problem in dogs. When separated from their families, dogs may become destructive, bark or whine excessively, or pee or poop on the floor. Many dog owners find that crate training their dog and crating them when gone eliminates the problem. Often a crate can make your dog feel safe and more comfortable which stops the anxiety. You may also want to look into behavior modification and desensitization techniques or in extreme cases, we may recommend medication.
 
Chewing is another common behavior issue with dogs. They may chew for several different reasons. With puppies, sometimes chewing eases the discomfort of teething or they just may be curious about an object. With dogs of all ages, chewing can come from boredom, excess energy or anxiety. One of the most important things you can do to help correct this problem is to make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise. Maybe running around the yard or a walk around the block just isn’t enough for your dog. You might want to see if your neighborhood has a dog park with lots of room to run around and play. Providing your dog with lots of chew toys is also helpful. 
 
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