Okaw Veterinary Clinic

140 W. Sale
Tuscola, IL 61953



Rescue Pet Quirks - Funny Things our Pets Do



I recently asked our facebook audience what "quirk" or behaviors their rescued dogs or cats have had. We had a wide range of comments - some very unique and not a problem all the way to some pets having a lot of behavior baggage as they came into a home. I thought I would share some of them with you and explain a little of what is going on. This question helped me to understand how our rescued pets adjust to a new home as well as how new owners adjust to a rescued pet.

Many people commented about how their cat or dog was timid or afraid of meeting the other pets or some of the people in the home. I heard about separation anxiety, fear of strangers, loud noises to name a few. Some needed more than time and love. They needed positive training and an understanding from the owner of what the problems were to help unravel the fear and anxiety. Owners were able to get help from a trainer or a veterinarian. Getting outside help that was based on current behavioral science was essential to finding the right answer for what was troubling this pet.  

Here are some of the funny quirks - the cat who eats peas; the dog who nurses his bed before falling asleep; and of course our Ranger who really loves to have t shirts on him and have his picture taken. These are not a problem but they sure make you wonder. For your pet there is some kind of sense to these things. In other words these unusual habits are sensible to your pet and as long as they don't cause a problem for themselves or you - it's okay that they do this.

 When these quirks are now a problem do not wait to tell your veterinarian. In a recent survey, owners claimed the veterinarian was the person who led them most reliably and quickly to the right help their pet needs. Early intervention is very important. Even a periodic problem is easier to fix than a daily one. I find the biggest difficulty is getting owners to see life through their pet's eyes. I guess this is natural. We are human so why would we understand? That is where a veterinarian and veterinary staff trained in animal behavior can help figure out what is going on and help. We are trained to look at life though both the pet's eyes and yours (we are human too!).

So what if this rescued pet's "quirks" are just too much? Let the rescue know as soon as the problems start up. Some may have known about some trouble and mistakenly thought they would just be better in a home. They may have the names of veterinarians who can help you out. They may also know what helped at the rescue and that may help you at home. Finding a new home for your pet is not always easy. If there are any problems with your pet that makes finding a new home more difficult. Some problems are difficult to tolerate as you are discovering what the cause of behavior problems are. Returning to the shelter won't solve the problems in the home. They are 2 different settings. Please tell your veterinarian about the problems especially in the first few days. There may be some simple solutions because it has not become a habit or worse in your home.