It wasn’t all that long ago that animal welfare only required that we meet our pets physiological needs – they have food, water, and shelter, and get treatment for illness or injury if needed. Recently we’re realising that meeting an animals behavioural needs are equally important to keep an animal happy!
Most behavioural problems are normal animal behaviours being expressed in ways that are annoying or disruptive to the humans having to put up with them! Unfortunately by the time a behaviour is getting really annoying, the pet has usually been practising it for quite some time, making it a hard habit to break.
It is important for pet owners to learn about what their pets normal behaviour should be, how to give them outlets for their natural behaviours that aren’t destructive or annoying, and how to notice signs that their pet might be becoming stressed or unhappy. This is just as important as researching which vet to go to, what food to feed, and what toys and bedding they will need.
Owners often say they’d love it if their pet could just tell them what’s wrong! Our pets, whether they are dogs, cats, or birds, are well equipped with a wide range of body language and behaviours that can give us wonderful information about how they are feeling.
A massive part of what we do at Treat. Play. Love. is helping owners to learn how to pay attention to their pets body language – the different ways a dog can wag its tail, the way a cat might back away and watch warily if its unsure, and how a birds eyes might flash before a bite. These are all clues we can tap into to improve how we interact with our pets, showing that we understand and respect what they’re trying to tell us.
Not sure where to start looking for more information? Just ask us! There are excellent books, e-books, websites and online groups that are all dedicated to helping owners understand their pets behaviour. We want to help people unravel the mystery so they can train smart, not tough.