When you think of veterinary care for your pet, you probably think of vaccinations, wellness examinations, dental cleanings and treatment of the occasional physical ailment. But there are two critical aspects of animal health and wellness that can easily be overlooked by pet owners: nutrition and behavior. Nutritional and dietary issues can permit serious health problems such as obesity or food allergies, while behavioral problems can force owners to give up their beloved pets altogether. That’s why we provide nutritional and behavioral counseling here at Casillas Veterinary Hospitals.

Animals have specific nutritional needs just as people do — and they’re not the same as yours. For instance, pet owners often make the mistake of feeding dog food to their cats, or feeding human food to their animals. But cats and dogs require different mixes of nutrients, and cats aren’t omnivores like dogs are; they must get their nutrition solely from meat. Neither species benefits from human food, which tends to be much too high in fat, sugar, sodium and other unhealthy ingredients. Some animals have allergies to specific foods, causing them to experience skin rashes, digestive upsets and other problems.

The most insidious issue of all is excess weight, a problem for more than half of all dogs and cats. Obesity is associated with hypertension, diabetes, organ failure, joint problems and even cancer.

Behavioral problems may stem from anxiety, emotional stress, obsessive-compulsive disorder, trauma, depression or a cognitive disorder such as age-related dementia. These issues may cause everything from howling and tail chasing to dangerous aggressive outbursts. Unless the underlying cause is addressed, the pet can become so difficult to live with that heartbroken owners surrender them to shelters.

Nutritional and Behavioral Counseling for Montebello, Lynwood and East Los Angeles

Our experienced team of Dr. Juan F. Casillas and Dr. Yolanda Cassidy can help you help your Montebello, Lynwood or East Los Angeles pet overcome nutritional and behavioral problems. Nutritional counseling can help you optimize your pet’s nutritional intake and dietary habits. Annual wellness evaluations allows us to weigh your pet; if he’s too heavy for his breed, bone structure and age, we can make recommendations for modifying the frequency and quantity of his meals. Specialized diets can combat obesity as well as addressing health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and thyroid disease.

Behavioral counseling can help you understand the reason behind your pet’s misbehavior and the most effective ways of correcting it. We can recommend a course of training based on positive reinforcement instead of punishment, for instance, since punishment usually just makes matters worse. We can also determine whether pet’s problems are caused by an underlying mental or physical problem requiring treatment (such as inappropriate elimination, which can be caused by a urinary disorder).

Contact us for a consultation with our veterinary team. We can help your pet live a healthier, more harmonious life with you!