Commonly Asked Questions
More About What We Do
How do I know if my pet's behavior is severe enough to warrant an appointment?
* If your pet's behavior is causing you and/or your family members stress, anxiety or worry, or if your pet's behavior is affecting their day to day quality of life, or is creating a risk to other people or animals then a visit with Dr. Lewis is a great choice.
* If your pet has injured another person, another animal, or even you.
* If your veterinarian or trainer has said that your pet's behavioral issues are outside their level of expertise.Your pet has injured you, another person or another pet.
* If your pet is showing abnormal repetitive behaviors, is destructive, or is causing injury to him /herself.
* If your pet seems scared of new people, new environments, or is unable to settle in the presence of new people. Your pet always seems afraid.
* If your pet's behavior has progressed to the point where you are considering humane euthanasia or re-homing him/her.
What behavior problems does Dr. Lewis treat?
Aggression towards people or animals
Compulsive disorders (spinning, abnormal licking, shadow chasing, etc)
Cognitive dysfunction (senility)
Fears and phobias
Litter box challenges
Foster dog evaluations
Choosing a new pet
Improving veterinary visit stress
Spinal manipulation services (aka animal chiropractic)
What should I expect during my appointment?
Please complete the pre-consultation questionnaire and return 48-hours prior to your pet's appointment. The first portion of the consultation Dr. Lewis will review the questionnaire with you while she is observing your pet. Dr. Lewis will then describe your pet's behavioral diagnosis and outline a behavior treatment plan. The behavior treatment plan will include management recommendations, a behavior modification outline, medication recommendations (if needed), and goals. The last portion of the consultation will include hands on step-by-step instruction and demonstration of the initial plan.
In the days following your consultation you will receive a written report that outlines all the information discussed.
How is a veterinary behaviorist different from an obedience trainer?
Unfortunately there is no official standardization in the field of dog training, so dog trainers vary in skill level, methods used, and knowledge about animals. When dealing with behavior problems it is important that the methods used are backed by scientific research.
While many trainers are accomplished to assist in puppy socialization, basic manners, or teaching foundation behaviors most trainers don't have the knowledge needed to diagnose and treat more complicated behaviors. Some trainers are equipped to help change problem behaviors, and have additional experience and education. The Association of Professional Dog Trainers has a guide to discerning the difference between various dog training credentials and who may be able to help assist your pet at this level.
Training is only one component of addressing behavior problems in dogs and cats. A skilled veterinarian is better suited for treating a new problem, creating a comprehensive treatment plan (including behavior modification and management strategies), and ruling out other potential factors such as underlying medical issues of pain, hormone imbalances or neurological abnormalities. Veterinarians are also licensed to prescribe medication that may address behavior concerns. A trainer can be very helpful down the road in helping to carry out the behavior modification plan.
I am already working with a trainer, will I have to switch exclusively to Lewis Veterinary Behavior Solutions?
Dr. Lewis is always happy to work with your trainer if they are interested. With your approval she will also send them the final behavior consultation report. If your trainer is comfortable and is experienced in working with your pet's specific issue they can be helpful in implementing the behavior treatment plan that Dr. Lewis recommends following your behavior consultation.
Do you offer a guarantee of successful outcomes?
Dr. Lewis guarantees that she will treat you and your pet with respect, compassion, and honesty. Our pets are living beings with varying histories, genetics, experiences, homes and as such have individual responses to treatments. It would be unfair and deceitful to offer guarantees of treatment. Most clients report significant improvement once treatment has started. Dr. Lewis will support you and your pet on your journey to the best of her ability.
There are a few questions to consider that may impact your pet's response to treatment:
1. How long has the behavior been going on? Has the intensity of the behavior changed?
2. Are you reasonably capable of avoiding situations that may trigger your pet's behavior when starting treatment?
3. Are you willing to check in with Dr. Lewis about your pet's response to treatment, struggles, successes?
4. Are you willing to devote time each day to working on various exercises?
5. Do you have realistic goals in mind for your pet?
Do you have more questions for us? We’ll be happy to assist you. Just get in touch today.