QUIZ: Is your dog a “scaredy cat”?
Is your animal anxious? Veterinarian Isabelle Demontigny-Bédard has a few tips on how to help your pet get over their fears.
Is your dog a “scaredy cat”?
There is no bravery without fear, and a certain amount of fear—let’s call it prudence—is normal and even necessary. But there’s fear, and then there’s fear. Being “afraid of your own shadow” or getting stressed frequently for no reason is a kind of illness. Dogs can also exhibit this type of behaviour, no matter their gender, size or breed. Does your dog behave this way? If so, have you noticed what circumstances tend to trigger this behaviour?
Dr. Isabelle Demontigny-Bédard, a veterinarian specializing in animal behaviour at the DMV veterinary centre, offers sound advice. If you know what makes your dog anxious or fearful, try to expose them to these triggers as little as possible until you figure out how to approach the problem. “Don’t punish your dog when they exhibit fearful or anxious behaviours,” she explains. “This will just aggravate the problem.”
If your dog appears more timid or anxious than usual in certain situations, book an appointment with your veterinarian soon to discuss the issue. They can determine whether specific training tools and techniques will help or if your pet requires medication. They will also ensure your dog is in good health. Your vet and their team may also draw up an action plan based on your needs and those of your pet.