At Jefferson Animal Hospital, we want your pet to be healthy and happy – in every way possible. This includes mental and behavioral health. To get your pet off to a good start, we offer FREE puppy socialization classes (we like to call them “Puppy Parties” – we just think it sounds like a lot more fun!) for dogs under the age of 6 months old. Socialization may sound complicated, but what we really mean when we say it is “get your puppy used to things s/he might come into contact with, that way they won’t be scary in the future”. This is important, because unlike humans, you can’t really explain to a dog that something isn’t going to hurt them, especially if it smells, sounds, or looks really scary. When puppies are young, they learn what types of things are safe to be around. Later in life, they are more likely to fear anything they haven’t been exposed to, because it might not be safe! To help your pet be less fearful of new things, we like to try and expose them to many different types of dogs, people, and objects during our Puppy Parties. Think that sounds awesome? Give us a call and ask us when our next Puppy Party is going to be!
For our feline friends, we are looking into having some similar classes for socialization (we think the name “Kitten Kindergarten” has a nice ring to it). If you’re interested in Kitten Kindergarten, please give us a call, and ask with the next one will be!
If your adult pet is having behavioral problems, please let us know! Sometimes behavioral problems can stem from medical issues, so the first step should always be ruling out pain/discomfort, or illness. If you’re still having problems after that, we can refer to Certified Veterinary Behaviorists, who specialize in behavioral therapy for animals, and can help your family get back on the right track. Take a look below, for information on free behavioral help lines, the Certified Veterinary Behaviorists closest to Kentucky, and for handouts and information on behavior from Dr. Sophia Yin.