Does your Burmese cat or your German Shepherd have one little behavior pattern, one small quirk that really annoys you? Does your dog dive under the couch every time there’s a thunderstorm? Does your cat howl every night at 3 A.M.? What is it that makes your pet act the way he does?
Some people seem to enjoy the fact that their pets are not perfectly well behaved, because it gives them something to complain about to friends and relatives. Other owners derive some fulfillment from the fact that they aren’t the only neurotic ones in the family-their pets need just as much therapy as they do.
Where does a pet problem come from? Is it from the animal, the environment, or some combination of the two? Is it, perhaps, from the fact that you are interpreting his actions improperly and it looks like bad behavior to you? The problem in this case may be yours as well as the pet’s.
In today’s chaotic world, we are all a little crazy sometimes, and pets can be likewise. They have to cope with stress just the way we do as they deal with the variety of difficulties inherent in a family structure. Not all problems come from a pet’s being beaten or overprotected. Even the most loving owners can raise a pet that eventually needs help. But with careful observation, any caring owner can recognize problems early, and make sure that they don’t recur. You can have a well-adjusted pet if you realize what your expectations are at the outset, behave consistently, take the time necessary to educate your cat or dog, and honestly care about your pet’s well-being and his place in your family.
The problems of most household pets are generally solvable, and you don’t have to call in a specialist to take care of the trouble. The family members can do it themselves, at home, with observation, a little awareness, and a little patience.