Cat and Dog Making a Mess

Ten Tips for Preventing Pet Behavior Problems

  1. Set rules immediately and stick to them.
  2. Avoid situations that promote inappropriate behavior.
  3. Observe the pet and provide what it needs to be cared for and attended to.
  4. Supervise the new pet diligently through undivided individualattention and training, and restrict the pet's access to a limited area of the house until training is complete.
  5. Encourage good behavior with praise and attention.
  6. Correct bad behaviors by providing positive alternatives. (A toy for a slipper, scratching post for the sofa.)
  7. Never physically punish or force compliance to commands. This may lead to fear biting or aggression.
  8. Don't play rough or encourage aggression or play biting.
  9. Expose pets to people, animals, and environments where you want them to live.
  10. See your veterinarian if serious or unresolved behavior problems exist.

Copyright © 2008, American Animal Hospital Association

Reprinted with permission from the American Animal Hospital Association.