Importance of Addressing Pet Behavior Problems

September 1, 2016
American Veterinarian Editorial Staff

E’Lise Christensen, DVM, DACVB, veterinary behaviorist at Veterinary Behavior Consultations of Colorado & New York City, stresses how veterinarians should devote more time to address behavior questions.

E’Lise Christensen, DVM, DACVB, veterinary behaviorist at Veterinary Behavior Consultations of Colorado & New York City, stresses how veterinarians should devote more time to address behavior questions.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability).

“Average vet visits often consist of behavior questions. In fact, clients really want their veterinarians to understand behavior. The problem is that veterinarians often don’t have time to address it, or they feel like they don’t really know the answer. Neither of those are compatible with giving good advice.

The good news is, there are plenty of places to get information on behavior that can give you quick tips [that] you can share with your clients, even in a very short exam. One thing that clinicians forget about is that doing a complicated, or even somewhat difficult, behavior consult is no different than a surgery. You wouldn’t diagnose a cranial cruciate ligament problem in one appointment and do the surgery in that same appointment because you don’t have time to give it an adequate shot. That’s the same for behavior as well.

There’s a lot of resistance to scheduling additional behavior consults, but if you take that time, you will do a better job and your client will see that you truly care about it. That’s where I think a veterinarian can be so helpful in supporting the human-animal bond.”