Utilizing Telehealth for Veterinary Behavior

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Behavior is one of the most common reasons for a pet parent to seek veterinary care. Whether clients want their pet to have better manners or if they are looking to curb unwanted behavior in their dog or cat, Anipanion’s telehealth app is a great platform to provide behavioral services.

When working with a client and their pet with behavioral issues, it is of great importance to observe the pet and pet parent in a neutral environment and to be able to communicate with the client without disturbance. This process can be facilitated with real-time telehealth or asynchronous chat communication with videos and pictures. Communication with the client can be with a veterinarian, vet technician, or even a trainer or behaviorist that has partnered with your hospital.

The behavioral services offered can be tailored to the comfort level, skill, and interest of your clinic team. Perhaps all new puppies and kittens receive a complimentary “Puppy or Kitten 101 Telehealth Class” that is built into the cost of their first exam, or your hospital may offer more advanced telehealth behavioral issue training sessions.


Watch the full video on our Continuing Education site!
Below, you'll find some behavioral topics to discuss with your clients in a telehealth consultation.

Behavior training sessions by age

Puppies

  • Focus on socialization
    • Expose puppy to other (fully vaccinated) dogs, people, new places, sights, sounds
    • Emphasize positive reinforcement
  • House training techniques
    • Patience
    • Consistency
    • Positive reinforcement
  • Obedience
    • Sit/stay/lay commands
  • Leash training
  • Kennel/Crate training
  • Hygiene Acclimation
    • Nail trimming
    • Grooming
    • Bathing
    • Teeth Brushing

Adult Dogs

  • Obedience
    • Sit/stay/lay commands
  • Leash training
  • Kennel/Crate training
  • Hygiene Acclimation
    • Nail trimming
    • Grooming
    • Bathing
    • Teeth Brushing

Kittens or Adult Cats

  • Discuss litter box maintenance
    • Number of boxes
      • Location of boxes
      • Type of box
        • Covered vs uncovered
        • Shallow or deep
        • Auto-cleaning
    • Litter substrate
    • Scented or unscented
    • Cleaning schedule
      • Scooped daily
      • Dumped and cleaned weekly
  • Environmental enrichment
    • Scratching posts/towers/perches
    • Safe spaces to hide/escape
    • Interactive toys/games
    • Interactive mouse feeders
  • Hygiene Acclimation
    • Nail trimming
    • Teeth brushing
    • Grooming if needed

Unwanted behavior sessions
Canine

  • Anxiety
    • This is a big topic that may involve a multi-modal approach with training tips, prescription medications, behaviorist or trainer
    • Separation anxiety vs generalized anxiety
    • Severity of anxiety
  • Aggression
    • This is a big topic that may involve a multi-modal approach with training tips, prescription medications, behaviorist or trainer
    • Type of Aggression
      • Fear based
      • Anxiety based
      • Territorial
      • Possessive
      • Pain or illness related
      • Predatory
      • Redirected frustration
  • Jumping
  • Excessive Vocalization
  • Hyperexcitation
  • Submissive urination
  • Storm/Loud noise phobia
  • Destructive Behavior
  • Excessive chewing

Feline

  • Inappropriate Elimination
  • Destructive Scratching
  • Aggression

Often, the behavior issue that the pet owner is concerned about will not be apparent while in the hospital. Behavioral consultations by telehealth can actually be more effective than those in person, as you can view the pet in the natural environment and potentially see behaviors live and trigger that cause it.

Additionally, your team will be safer (especially in the case of fearful or aggressive behavior) and there is less stress for both the pet and pet owner. Try offering behavioral consultations as part of a package, or in partnership with a local trainer!

 

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