petMD.com Provides Seven Common Signs of Behavioral Disorders in Pets
Miami, Fla. – September 5, 2012 – While proper training can eliminate unwanted behaviors in pets such as excessive barking or meowing, there are certain behaviors that can persist or develop over time that may indicate an underlying behavioral disorder. Symptoms of behavioral disorders can be severe and may result in cats and dogs endangering themselves or others. To help pet owners determine if their pet’s behavior indicates an underlying problem, petMD.com has pulled together a list of seven common signs of behavioral disorders in pets.
- Panic When Left Alone: Separation anxiety in dogs and cats is a common disorder often identified by the level of stress the pet experiences when his owner leaves home. Symptoms of this anxiety typically include destruction to the home, breaking out of a crate or enclosure, the inability to self-soothe, and the repeated tendency of causing self-harm.
- Fear of Loud Noises: Dogs and cats that shake uncontrollably, excrete inappropriately, become destructive, or attempt to run away during a fireworks display or thunderstorm likely have a phobic disorder that leads to severe anxiety.
- Compulsive or Repetitive Behaviors: While most pet owners would not think this ‘game’ indicative of a behavioral issue, a dog that is repeatedly chasing his tail, especially when he is upset or anxious, may be suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder. Other signs of this disorder include licking, spinning, fly biting, or fixation with lights and shadows.
- Aggression towards People and Other Animals: The intensity of aggression in dogs and cats can vary from one situation to another, but repeated expressions of extreme aggression towards people or other animals are cause for alarm. Intense and usually unprovoked barking, snapping, growling, hissing, and attacking indicate a behavioral aggression problem.
- Frenzied Behavior: Although many pet owners expect their pets to be energetic and playful, the inability to listen to her owner when ordered to “heel” or “stop” is often a symptom of hyperactivity in dogs and cats. Other signs of this behavioral disorder include incessant vocalization, non-aggressively attacking people, furniture, the air, and an inability to remain calm.
- Nervous or Fearful Behaviors: A detriment to a pet’s quality of life, nervous behaviors such as quivering when a guest enters the home or being startled by his own shadow are common indicators of pet anxiety.
- Spraying or Marking: A dog or cat urinating or defecating outside of their designated bathroom area is another common symptom of anxiety, often induced by another pet’s territorial aggression.
If a pet demonstrates one or more of the above listed behaviors, professional treatment is recommended. Pet owners should speak with their veterinarian to find a certified behaviorist in their area.
Media Contact: Kelly Lange, 610-234-4114,
petMD.com is the leading online resource focused solely on the health and well-being of pets. The site maintains the world’s largest pet health library, written and approved by a network of trusted veterinarians. petMD was founded to inspire pet owners to provide an ever-increasing quality of life for their pets and to connect pet owners with pet experts and other animal lovers. petMD is a subsidiary of the Pet360 family of brands, which also includes www.Pet360.com – a highly personalized & engaged community dedicated to simplifying and enhancing pet parenting, www.PetFoodDirect.com – the most complete pet food and supply retailer online, and www.NationalPetPharmacy.com – a fully certified, full-service pet pharmacy delivering pet meds, vitamins and comprehensive pet health and wellness products.