How to Know if Your Pet Needs to See a Psychologist

There are many reasons why an animal may need to see a professional. Today, we'll tell you how to decide if your pet needs to see a psychologist. 
How to Know if Your Pet Needs to See a Psychologist

Last update: 09 March, 2019

You’ve probably heard about dog psychologists but, like many others, you might be skeptical about whether the profession is actually necessary. Does your pet really need to see a psychologist?

As we’ve learned more about this profession and the work they do, we’ve seen how important they are for the mental and emotional health of animals. They really can improve their moods and lives.

Dog psychologists treat more than just mental problems; they also work with dogs with temperamental issues. They’re staples for those who seem to have superior intelligence, or those animals with behavioral issues. 

In this article, we’ll talk about some of the needs our pets may have. How will you know if your pet needs to see a psychologist? For what reasons? And, how can you find a good dog psychologist?

Emotional needs, one reason your pet needs to see a psychologist

Emotional problems are a reason your pet needs to see a psychologist.

Even if you take great care of your dog, he may still develop emotional problems for several reasons. For example:

  • If he spends a lot of time home alone. Maybe everyone in the home didn’t use to work, or at least they didn’t all work all day. But now they do. Everyone understands that, except your dog. If he’s home alone for too long, he may start to experience episodes of stress and anxiety. As a result, these may lead to behavioral problems.
  • If he feels rejected. You may have recently brought a new pet or a baby home. And, although we know that you still love your dog, you may be leaving him out without even realizing. But he has noticed. So, he might start to feel left-out and suffer emotional problems. This is another reason your pet may need to see a psychologist.
  • Moving. If you’ve moved recently, your dog might not adapt well to his new home. As a result, he may start behaving poorly and he may need to see a psychologist.
  • Adopted dogs. Most adopted dogs come from places where they were mistreated. This could have caused traumas that have made them depressed, fearful or even aggressive.

Why go to a psychologist?

Most of these cases can be treated by a veterinarian because that’s one of the things that they’re trained to do. However, it’s still best to see a psychologist. These professionals are prepared to deal with the issue from its roots, from the cause.

Your dog may have not gone through any of these situations, but their behavior has still changed suddenly. This may be a sign of some kind of problem or mental illness. A dog psychologist will know to figure out and solve the problem. 

What’s important now is that you know how to choose a good dog psychologist for your pet.

How to choose a good dog psychologist

In order to choose a good professional, or to know if your dog really needs to see a psychologist, it’s important to take certain steps:

A puppy laying on the floor.

  • Talk to your veterinarian. He’s the most qualified person to tell you if your pet needs to see a psychologist or not. There are some veterinarians who are trained to treat certain emotional and mental problems. However, depending on the severity of the case, they may still refer you to a psychologist.
  • Fix problems the owner is making. Sometimes a dog’s behavioral problems are the result of an owner’s poor attitude. A good psychologist will evaluate this possibility before wanting to charge you for dozens of sessions or giving your pet medication.
  • Search for references. Talk to other pet owners who have taken their animals to a psychologist. If you don’t know anyone who has, look on internet forums. Other owners’ satisfaction will help you choose the right psychologist.
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