Here’s how consistent training, combined with the right calming supplements, can help overcome behavioral problems in your dog or cat.
Behavioral problems are among the main reasons dogs and cats are surrendered to animal shelters. In the past, these animals led active lifestyles and often had jobs, whether it was guarding property or hunting vermin. Our modern lifestyle has evolved more quickly than our animals’ instincts, which means some of the once desirable behaviors that were bred into our dogs and cats are no longer useful. As a result, what you may interpret as bad behavior is simply your animal acting on natural instincts.
Begin training right away
It is very important to begin training your dog or cat as soon as possible after bringing him home. No matter what his age, training should be a priority; with consistency and patience, even older animals can learn household rules and become beloved members of the family. Training helps you communicate your expectations to your animal and can also be important for his safety. For example, if your dog escapes and runs toward the street, being trained to come when called could save his life.
Many dogs and cats adopted from rescue situations may be anxious, fearful, or timid as a result of early negative experiences. In fact, many rescuers report that their dogs or cats suffer from excessive anxiety. Training can help curb anxiety to a certain degree, but in many cases — particularly with dogs — high energy and anxiety are simply part of their temperaments.
When calming supplements are needed
There will be times when a calming supplement may make life a lot easier for both of you. Calming supplements can help slow down your animal’s chaotic thoughts, allowing him to relax and follow your commands. They can be particularly helpful when given prior to a known stressful event, such as a veterinary visit or severe weather. Some extremely anxious or high-strung dogs and cats may benefit from a daily calming supplement, and these products can typically be given long term without concerns about drowsiness or other side effects.
It is important to note that some experts have concerns about using calming supplements with aggressive dogs, as they believe the supplements might remove the dog’s inhibitions and result in more aggressive behavior. Dogs that display aggression should be evaluated by a professional with expertise in dog training and behavior modification.
There is no magic pill that can instantly cure challenging animal behavior. Over time, however, a combination of calming supplements and consistent training may be very helpful for dogs and cats that are anxious, timid, or fearful.