Behaviour Support for your pet - where to start

Seeking behaviour support for your pet is vital when faced with emotional difficulties - in fact it is as important as any medical condition.  Prevention and early intervention is paramount to help behaviours escalating.    We have our own Behaviour Support Nurse and a knowledgeable team of consulting nurses who can help advise you.  For details of our Behaviour Support Consult Fees please click here for further information.  Please contact us if you have any concerns, and visit our individual advice pages for Dogs, Cats, Rabbits and Guinea Pigs.

Referral to a registered behaviourist

If we have recommended you seek further help for your pet's behaviour, which requires more than experienced trainer support, please follow the guidance below.

We only refer to practitioners registered under the Animal Behaviour and Training Council either directly or through an approved affiliated organisation, e.g. Association of Pet Behaviour Councillors

Behaviouists are grouped under several different categories, e.g. Veterinary Specialist in Behavioural Medicine, Veterinary Behaviourist; Clinical Animal Behaviourist or Accredited Animal Behaviourist. All follow a strict code of conduct and require patients to be referred to them via veterinary referral.

A recent veterinary examination is needed to ensure your pet is clinically well.  For example if your pet has or is experiencing pain, this can affect their behaviour and will require treatment.  There are many other conditions that could affect your pet's behaviour - like us, their emotional health is closely related to their physical health and vice versa.

You can search the Animal Behaviour and Training Council for a registered practitioner, or contact the following local Clinical Animal Behaviourists below.  We recommend you make initial contact to briefly discuss your pet's needs, expectations, fees and how their service works / what it includes.  While these practitioners are not employees of our practice, we work closely with them.

Please refer to their websites for their services, which unless noted below cover all aspects of behaviour issues.

Note: Remote assessments / support from one of these Behaviourists, should be considered.  In fact it may be in the best interest of your pet, depending on their behavioural condition, to have this done remotely.  Usually the role of the behaviourist is to observe and not force interaction with the pet, therefore remote support can actually be preferable in some cases and can be conducted very successfully over a video call.  This can sometimes allow you to speed up the date of your assessment appointment and ongoing support.

There is no quick fix to behaviour issues and requires time and patience from the owner/s.  This is why prevention and early intervention as mentioned above is important.  It is also important to establish your expectations against the advice given by your behaviourist.  In many situations, where difficult behaviours are already established, we are looking at improvement of behaviour and enhancing your pet's emotional welfare.  It is not always possible to fully resolve difficult behaviour, but emphasis that with the right professional support / time and patience, you will see results.   Nutraceutical calming supplements, pheromone products and calming sprays can be useful in helping to support your pet.  In some cases behaviour medication is required, often in the short term to give your pet the 'head space' to allow behaviour and training progress.  Please follow the guidance of our vets in this situation as behavioural medication must be prescribed by a vet. 

Clinical Animal Behaviourist, local practitioners:

Veterinary Specialists in Behavioural Medicine:

There are currently 10 Veterinary Surgeons in the UK who specialise in Behaviour.  Please visit the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeon's website for a full list of these registered practitioners, click here.

Veterinary Behaviourist:

We recommend you check your pet's insurance policy for any available cover towards treatment of behaviour and referral to one of the above practitioners.

Please contact us if you are concerned in anyway about your pet's emotional health and behaviour.  Let's start a conversation and help you and your pet.