Aggression between pet housemates is one of the most dangerous and difficult to treat behavior problems. We believe it is because veterinarians who are inexperienced in treating behavior problems tend to treat only the aggressor, and they may not even have chosen the correct pet to treat.
The reality of interpet aggression is not simply one of an aggressor and a victim. There is often much more going on. Sometimes individual pets do not respond properly to clear body language from the other pet that they don’t want to be bothered and continue to antagonize the other pet. The other pet feels they have no other choice but to attack. The aggressor in this case is not the entire problem- it’s the victim that doesn’t read their species body language. Also the family has to recognize the signs of discomfort in their pets and intervene before pets are attacking each other. That’s why we call it the dysfunctional pet family- it’s often a lack of communication that causes the problems.
Our goal is to restore respectful non-violent communication between pets, to help the family understand pet body language, to give the family reasonable management techniques to help restore the peace and maintain everyone’s safety, and to reduce the fear, anxiety, and stress that often remains long after the conflict is over.
How to Schedule the Dysfunctional Pet Family Treatment Package
First, we need a lot of information. Start with the behavior history form for each pet that is involved. Then complete the Dysfunctional Family history form.
If you are not a current patient of Family Veterinary Mobile Clinic, we will also need a New Client Form, a New Patient Form for each pet, and the complete medical history for each pet emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once we have the required information, we will schedule an Initial Behavior Consultation with your family, Dr. Meghan, RVT Chelsea, and Animal Behavior Consultant Jael.
This package includes 6 weekly sessions. Additional sessions may be necessary and can be purchased at $100 each. If you follow our instructions, including the weekly homework, you will have much better results.
We keep families from the heartbreak of losing a pet to death or rehoming due to aggression between housemates. It’s incredibly difficult to impossible to rehome a pet that has attacked other animals. And we don’t want anyone to have to euthanize their pet due to their behavior.
Our first step in treating aggression between pets is to avoid the situations in which they are aggressive. For long-standing aggression, that often means permanently and completely separating those pets to keep everyone (pets and humans) safe. This is especially true of cats- they can sure hold a grudge for a long time! You will feel instantly relieved knowing your pets and your family are safe.
Optimize Each Pet's Health
Then, we analyze and treat any medical cause that can make a pet feel less comfortable with interactions with other pets. It’s a very common for older pets to be aggressive towards new puppies or kittens because of pain in the older dog or cat. That’s because pain is often a factor in the older pet. We may also have to discuss management of pets with deteriorating hearing, vision, and/or cognitive function. You can read more about medical causes of pet behavior problems here.
Just as with people, it’s very difficult for a pet to have a happy, healthy relationship with others if they are not happy and healthy themselves. So we make optimizing each pets’ individual health a main goal. Even if you don’t do anything else, restoring your pets’ health goes a long way in improving their relationship. And who doesn’t want their pets to feel better anyway?
Individual Behavior Modification
Once all of the pets involved are feeling as well as they can, we can start individual behavior modification. What we do depends on what the underlying emotional state of each animal is. For example, some pets lack confidence, some have fear or anxiety in certain situations, some lack impulse control. We may have to teach pets how to communicate more clearly, or to understand communication better. The goal is to improve each pet’s mental health so they are reay to relearn how to interact properly with others.
Group Behavior Modification
The final step is to reintroduce the pets. Here, we work to desensitize and counter-condition the pets to accept each other in far greater circumstances than they could before. They may never be besties, but they should be able to coexist peacefully in most situations. And your family will learn how to read your pets’ body language so you can safely and effectively intervene should they show signs of fear, anxiety, or stress. Your pets must have confidence that you are in charge of the situation so they aren’t tempted to take matters into their own jaws and paws.
In general, we find that pets who have had the dysfunctional pet family behavior treatment package experience a much improved quality of life, greatly reduced stress, and far fewer situations that may trigger aggression.
After treatment, you will have:
- Healthier pets
- Happier pets
- Improved management of the pets’ environment
- Relief knowing that your family is safe
- Peace and harmony in your home
- Better individual quality of life in each pet
- Lifetime support from Family Veterinary Mobile Clinic
Returns and Cancellation Policy
If you cancel before the first session, we will refund your entire $995 purchase price. Once you start the package, you can reschedule sessions as needed due to illness, weather, etc. and there will be no refunds.