Trupanion-hosted event reveals 5 key tips for managing pet behavioral health
SEATTLE, Dec. 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Trupanion, Inc. (Nasdaq: TRUP), the leading provider of medical insurance for cats and dogs, collaborated with a panel of world-renowned animal health experts, to host a live event, “Understanding and Managing Pet Behavioral Health”, shedding light on the growing issue of pet behavioral health and its potential impact on both our pets and ourselves.
Responding to the pressing questions of Trupanion pet parents on this topic, Trupanion Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Steve Weinrauch, BVMS, MRCVS, facilitated the discussion by bringing together three experts in the fields of veterinary medicine: Dr. E’Lise Christensen, Diplomate American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, Dr. Kathy Murphy, BVetMed, DPhil, CVA, CLAS, MRCVS and Dr. Carrie Jurney, Diplomate American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Neuro).
The timing of this Trupanion-hosted event coincides with rising veterinary visits related to behavioral concerns in pets. Trupanion has reported that 2023 is on track to become a record-breaking year for claims related to behavioral issues, including stress, anxiety, and abnormal behavior. Over the past decade, Trupanion has observed more than a 4x increase in such cases.
Trupanion Helps Unlock 5 Tips for Pet Behavioral Well-Being
During the live event, pet parents received invaluable guidance on enhancing their pets’ well-being by understanding and addressing behavioral issues. Here, we share five key takeaways from the event to help pet parents better manage the behavioral health of their beloved furry companions:
1. Know Your Pet’s “Normal”
- Recognize your pet’s normal behavior. Any significant deviations, such as unusual nighttime pacing, should prompt a check-in with your veterinarian. Similarly, any sustained changes in appetite, drinking habits, or the presence of symptoms like coughing, sneezing, vomiting, or diarrhea warrant a veterinary check-up to rule out underlying medical conditions.
2. Prioritize Quality Socialization
- Quality, not quantity, of socialization and training is key to building resilience in your pet. Pay attention to early socialization and training, which can help your pet develop the necessary tools to navigate various situations and triggers. While puppies are natural optimists, their behavior can shift during adolescence. To sustain their positivity, consistently offer targeted training and diverse experiences. For instance, introducing your adolescent dog to new, positive interactions and environments will shape their behavior and keep their optimistic spirit alive.
3. Use Positive Reinforcement
- Utilize positive reinforcement training techniques that reward desired behaviors with toys or treats. Consider tailoring rewards to your pet’s preferences; some may respond better to treats, while others prefer playtime with a specific toy. Some research suggests that these techniques may positively influence your pet’s brain structure. To enhance your pet’s behavior, consider incorporating positive reinforcement into your daily routine. This can include simple actions such as encouraging your pet to rest quietly by your side, using gentle tones, offering small treats, or introducing new toys.
4. Establish Structure and Routine
- Create predictability in your pet’s environment and daily routine, while offering enrichment activities that give your pet a sense of enjoyment. Implementing a consistent daily schedule with designated play, meal, and rest times can help ease your pet’s anxiety. Incorporating training into your daily routine, even in small short sessions such as before a walk or during mealtime, can be particularly effective for pets dealing with fear and anxiety triggers. Doing so actively intervenes in your pet’s neurobiology and, when done multiple times a day, can provide the practice necessary to positively influence behavior and brain structure.
5. Manage Destructive Behavior and Teach Coping Strategies
- Understand that some behaviors, like digging, are natural for dogs, and may serve as coping mechanisms. Offer supervised alternatives, such as a sandbox, along with food puzzles or treats to make digging enjoyable and constructive. Additionally, indulge in relaxing nature walks, where your pet can engage in prolonged sniffing to reduce stress and induce a sense of calm. For leash-aggressive pets, proactively teach coping strategies in environments separate from triggers. Enhance leash skills in your backyard to improve behavior control during walks.
In summary, Trupanion reinforces that tending to your pet’s behavioral health is paramount for their overall well-being. By heeding these insights, pet parents can cultivate resilience in their pets, enhance their mental well-being, and foster a nurturing environment that strengthens the bond with their furry companions.
To delve deeper into the world of pet behavioral health and gain access to valuable insights, be sure to watch the recording of Trupanion’s event at trupan.in/PetBehavior. For information on upcoming events and other resources, visit us at Trupanion.com.
Trupanion’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Steve Weinrauch and our panel of animal health experts, are available to share related insights and tips into managing pet behavioral health. Please contact email@example.com for scheduling.
Trupanion is a leader in medical insurance for cats and dogs throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Puerto Rico and Australia with over 960,000 pets enrolled. For over two decades, Trupanion has given pet parents peace of mind so they can focus on their pet’s recovery, not financial stress. Trupanion is committed to providing pet parents with the highest value in pet medical insurance with unlimited payouts for the life of their pets. With its patented process, Trupanion is the only North American provider with the technology to pay veterinarians directly in seconds at the time of checkout. Trupanion is listed on NASDAQ under the symbol “TRUP”. The company was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Seattle, WA. Trupanion policies are issued, in the United States, by its wholly-owned insurance entity American Pet Insurance Company and, in Canada, by Omega General Insurance Company. Trupanion Australia is a partnership between Trupanion and Hollard Insurance Company. For more information, please visit trupanion.com.