In-Home Veterinary Behavior Consultations
Dr. Nellie is available for in-home veterinary behavior consultations for cats and dogs in central Ohio. Her goal is to help families find peace in their household by improving communication between guardians and their pets and help the household meet each other's needs.
Common concerns that can be addressed include:
- Fear of vet visits
- Undesirable scratching behavior
- Thunderstorm fears and phobias
- Separation anxiety
- Inter-dog or inter-cat aggression
- On-leash reactivity to dogs, people, cars, skateboards, and bicycles
- Feline and canine housesoiling
- Introducing your household to a new pet
- Generalized anxiety
- Fear of people, places, and sounds
- Excessive barking
- Age related behavior changes (cognitive dysfunction syndrome)
- And more!
Behavioral Wellness Mini-Appointment: This type of appointment is for pets showing only one minor concern, preparing your pet for their next vet visit, adding a new pet to the family, or just trying to learn more about your pets and how to communicate with them and meet their needs. This 30-90 minute appointment can be done by phone or in-home and costs $1-2/minute. This option is not recommended for pets displaying fear, anxiety or aggression, as those concerns require more time and follow-up to address.
Happy Vet Visit Preparation: Do you have a pet who becomes fearful, anxious, or stressed during veterinary visits? This appointment will prepare you and your pet with a plan to succeed. We will discuss and practice body handling and restraint exercises, how to train your pet to happily wear a basket muzzle or calming cap, tips, tricks, and tools to have ready for your next vet visit, how to train your pet to love a carrier, and the use of pre-visit supplements and/or pharmaceuticals to help your friend remain relaxed during their next vet exam. The cost is $1-2/minute and appointments generally last 60-90 minutes.
Full Behavioral Consultation: This appointment option includes a complete behavioral history, a 2-3 hour in-home visit, and 6 months of unlimited email and phone follow-up. This is the recommended option for most pets as we will have time to take an in-depth look at your household to help best understand your pet's behavior and formulate a comprehensive behavior modification and treatment plan. This option costs $150-300. Additional in-home follow-up appointments can be scheduled and cost $1-2/minute.
My fees are on a sliding scale to help make behavioral wellness affordable for more families. If you are unable to afford my services, please contact me and we will come up with a solution to help you and your pet!
So you have your appoinTMENt scheduled. What should you do while you are waiting?
- Manage, manage, manage. By this I mean that you want to completely prevent your pet from being in a situation where you know the behavior problem will occur. This might mean keeping pets completely separated from one another, keeping your pet behind a gate or in a separate room when visitors are over or there are children playing, avoiding taking your pet to the park or on walks when other people or dogs will be seen, keeping all toys/food/treats off the ground, or not petting your cat if there is a history of biting/scratching.
- Learn how to communicate with your pet by studying body language! This will help you determine what your pet is trying to tell you so that you can prevent them from being in situations that might cause fear, anxiety or aggression.
- Avoid any and all punishment. This includes hitting, yelling, jerking on collars, being "dominant", spraying with water or any other technique that might startle your pet. Techniques that cause fear or pain have a high risk of worsening the behavior problem and increasing fear, anxiety and aggression. Your pet may appear to improve when punished but this is likely because they are behaviorally "inhibited" and not because they have actually improved.
- Study clicker training and begin to teach your pet one basic cue (command) using only positive reinforcement. Use a new word for this cue, something they have never heard before and follow the instructions in this video. Remember to always have fun when training!
Are you facing the difficult decision of behavioral euthanasia? The following articles may be helpful in providing support through this heart wrenching time.
I am always happy to provide non-judgemental support and a listening ear. If determined that humane euthanasia is the best option for your pet, I can help you arrange a peaceful in-home passing.