In-Home Veterinary Behavior Consultations
Dr. Nellie is not currently accepting new patients and may refer you to The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Behavioral Team with Dr. Meghan Herron (board certified veterinary behaviorist) and her residents or to Pet Behavior Partners for in-home behavior consultations with Dr. Laurie Schulze. You can also find a list of trusted Columbus dog trainers and behavior consultants here.
Dr. Nellie is available for in-home veterinary behavior consultations for cats and dogs in Columbus, Ohio. Her goal is to help families find peace in their household by improving communication between guardians and their pets and helping the household meet each other's needs.
Check out this awesome article: "Is your dog perfect? No? Neither is mine. So why do we have that expectation?"
Common concerns that can be addressed include:
Fear of vet visits
Undesirable scratching behavior
Thunderstorm fears and phobias
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
Fear of people, places, and sounds
Age related behavior changes (cognitive dysfunction syndrome)
All of the methods I use are science based. Absolutely NO dominance, positive punishment, painful tools, threats or force will be used on you or your furkid. I use techniques (e.g. desensitization, counterconditioning, and positive reinforcement) that are physically and emotionally safe (and fun!) to help us change your furkid's emotions from fearful or anxious to happy and relaxed.
Behavior (of humans and pets) is not easy to change and takes time, consistency and effort. There are no true "quick fixes" as it may sometimes appear on TV. Watch my video below to learn more about my techniques!
Full Behavior 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. We will spend time taking an in-depth look at your household to help best understand your pet's behavior and formulate a comprehensive management, behavior modification, and treatment plan.
The cost is $300. Additional in-home follow-up appointments are encouraged; see details below. If you have another pet in the home who also requires a behavior consultation, the fee is $150 for each additional pet.
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 $200 and appointments generally last 60-90 minutes. This option is not recommended for pets with other behavioral concerns outside of vet visits. Additional in-home follow-up appointments are available; see details below.
Follow Up Visits: I offer (and encourage) in-home follow-up visits for current patients of mine who need more guidance than email and phone follow-up allows. In-home follow-up allows us to work through the behavior management and modification plan to make any necessary changes to help you and your pet succeed.
The cost is $150 and sessions typically last 60-90 minutes.
Phone Consultations: For families wishing to discuss their pet's behavioral concerns at length before scheduling an appointment (or for those living outside of my service area or unable to afford a full consult), I offer phone consultations
The cost is $50 and an additional $1/minute after the first 30 minutes. If the conversation lasts 30 minutes or less and turns into a scheduled in-home visit, there is no charge for the phone consultation.
I serve families within 1 hour of the center of Columbus. If you live greater than 35 minutes from the center of Columbus, there is a $1/minute charge (starting after the first 35 minutes to and from your home) to compensate for additional time and fuel costs.
I accept cash, check (preferred) and credit card (via Square) in-home.
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!
You have an appointment scheduled but you want to start working with your pet Today?
Check out the helpful tips below:
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 dog 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, scare or hurt 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 feel any better about what was scaring them in the first place.
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 in training and follow the instructions in this video.
Remember to always have fun when training!
Are you facing the difficult decision of re-homing or euthanizing your pet? 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.