Can my Vet Help with my Dog's Aggression Problems?
Aggression is common in dogs, but it is also one of the main reasons why pet owners find themselves having to put their furry animals to sleep. Unfortunately, most dogs who reach this stage have behavioral or health problems that could have otherwise been prevented. If you suspect aggressive behavior that is out of the ordinary, then you should take your dog to a veterinarian immediately. The vet can help diagnose the cause of your dog's aggression, such as the dog needing pet dental care for example, as well as recommend ways to treat your furry friend.
Causes of Aggression
Determining the cause of aggression in your dog is crucial to deter your pet from causing harm to others. Aggressive behavior is quite common in dogs, and especially in puppies. Harmless aggression is normal during regular play, but if you notice that your pup is overly aggressive in everyday situations, then it is time to visit the vet.
Your veterinarian will first determine whether your dog's aggression is related to a medical condition or a behavioral problem. An underlying health issue, such as liver problems, tumors and hypoglycemia can lead to aggression because your dog is uncomfortable. Typically, owners pick up on other clues like decreased appetite. A veterinarian can help to properly diagnose the underlying health issues and offer treatments. Your dog's aggressive behavior issues will most likely decrease as his condition improves.
Although health issues can cause aggression in dogs, it is more commonly a behavioral problem. Some dogs are more aggressive than others, due to personality traits and a strong sense of territorialism. If your dog poses any kind of danger to you or any family members, then your vet will likely recommend that you seek help from an animal behavioral specialist immediately.
Dogs are naturally playful, but their energy can turn aggressive at times. If you notice that your dog is just being too rowdy, you should consider calming him down. A small dog can be held in place in your lap for a few minutes, while a larger dog might need to settle down in a crate temporarily. While it is important to calm your furry friend down, you also need to determine the best method to protect yourself too--many canines bite when they have aggressive fits, and especially when they cannot have their way.
It is important that any breaks are treated as short time-outs, as opposed to prolonged isolation. Leaving your dog alone for any given period of time will likely enhance his aggressive behavior, and he might start to distrust you. It is especially important to take care in handling older dogs because their aggression tends to stem from natural aches and pains. Also, never cause physical or emotional harm to your dog--such methods are not only cruel, but they are not conducive in treating your canine's aggression.
Seeing a veterinarian is an effective way to diagnose the causes of your dog's aggression, but it is also important that you keep in contact if you cannot help your pet's issues alone. If your dog's behavior does not improve with tough love, then it is time to revisit the pet doctor. Unless the aggression stems from a medical problem, then the vet will likely refer you to a dog behavioral specialist for treatment. Treating your dog now will help to decrease the chances of harm done to you or another person. This will ultimately protect your beloved pet too, because there is a less chance of euthanization following an attack on a human.