Medication for Pet Anxiety?

Stem Cells Could
Save Your Pet's Life

Local Woman Turns To Cutting Edge Procedure To Keep Her Dog Alive

JUPITER, Fla. -- Seeing your pets suffer in pain can be hard to watch, but a new cutting edge procedure could be the remedy you've been waiting for.

Salmia Witt is a dog owner who spent thousands of dollars trying to help her beloved German shepherd. Witt said nothing seemed to work, so she went searching for a solution and discovered the prescription for relief was inside her dog's body.

Witt owns a 10-year-old shepherd named Ranina, who suffered from arthritis.

"It just progressively got worse. She started gaining a lot of weight, which was even harder on her joints, and then she got to the point where she couldn't really walk at all," Witt said.

In addition to the arthritis, Ranina was overweight and tore her cruciate ligament last winter. Witt said she didn't think Ranina could handle a big surgery.

"I was looking for something that would be more outpatient -- something just as beneficial but less invasive," Witt said.

So Witt took Ranina to veterinarian Dr. Michael Stephan at the Juno Beach Animal Hospital.

Stephan said Ranina was a candidate for a cutting edge procedure using stem cells.

"We discussed an alternative therapy using stem cells from the dog," Stephan said. "Most people are familiar with stem cells from embryonic research or banking cord blood in infants, but stem cells exists in adult bodies also."

Stephan said the procedure is similar to liposuction.

"We removed some of Ranina's fat and sent it to a California company called Vet-Stem," Stephan said. "The company then extracts the stem cells from Ranina's fat and sends us the cells in a syringe. They then go to work to repair the damage that has been done."

About two months after the shot, Ranina's owner said she was back in action.

"She was swimming and playing," Witt said. "She is not 100 percent better, but I would say from the time she had her surgery to now she is 75 percent better."

The procedure ranges in cost from $2,600 to $2,800.

Ready for a Pet?
Ask Questions First
By ROBIN Y. RICHARDSON, Marshall News Messenger

Loving, sweet, adorable, funny, innocent, loyal and intelligent is how I would describe "Max a Million."

What Woman Wouldn't Want a Companion Like That In Her Life?

Features editor Robin Richardson holds Max.

I knew I wanted Max A Million, a poodle/terrier mix nicknamed Max, the first time I laid eyes on him when checking my e-mail from the Humane Society of Harrison County to place in the Pets of the Week section of The Marshall News Messenger.

He was available for adoption and I was convinced by myself and others — once I declared my desire for him — that he was the dog for me.

So, I called Kay Hill at the Humane Society and confessed my interest in adopting the dog. She extended an invitation to come to the Humane Society's The Pet Place the next day, a Friday, to meet Max and see if we were compatible.

Max was running, playing chase with the other dogs inside the fenced outside area when I arrived. He's a little thing, but he could definitely keep pace with the pack.

He paused once he heard Sally Socia, director, summon him to meet his potential new owner. Sally gathered the rest of the dogs, led them inside, and let me and Max have some quality time to ourselves outside, getting acquainted with one another.

He must have liked me because he leaped in my lap the moment I sat down and nestled his wet nose against my hand. It was like we already shared a bond.

He didn't cry, he didn't whine, he didn't bark and he didn't howl. He just comfortably rested his head in my lap as if to say, "Thank you, for considering me."

I did consider him and decided to adopt him. Sally gave me some great tips on how to care for a house dog, since this would be my first. I grew up in the country so our dogs were always outside dogs — mainly strays that we ended up caring for.

Her main concern was that Max lived somewhere with a fence or gate so he wouldn't dart away and get lost.

Upon adopting him, I was given all of his medical records, which detailed all of the shots and immunizations he was updated on, and also included his age and breed. I also received adoption papers.

Max didn't leave with me until he was given a collar, which was placed around his neck with an ID tag with my name and phone number to contact me in the event he was lost.

As I was signing the papers, I couldn't believe that Max was actually coming to live with me. That meant, the Humane Society entrusted me to provide adequate shelter, food, water and veterinary care for him. I was responsible for him — possibly for eternity.

But, just in case I had any reservations, Sally was nice enough to allow me to bring him back within a week to see if it was for me. Before I left with him, she equipped me with helpful tips on when to bathe him, feed him and take him outside for relief.

Getting adjusted

The ride home was nice. Max wasn't fussy. He adjusted well, finding himself a comfy spot beneath my coffee table to snooze and watch TV — yes, he actually watched TV. We often watched it together, me on the couch with him stretched out, relaxed across my lap.

Our morning walks became his favorite — and mine too, I must admit. Max was always anxious to take our daily walk early in the morning, even choosing it over eating a bowl of beefy flavored dog chow first. He would bypass his bowl of food and run to the door to spend our morning quality time together walking before I headed to work.

Flattered, I was.

He definitely taught me discipline in that area because I am, by no means, a morning person. But, once Max barked and scratched at my door, I would jump right up out of the bed, put on my walking shoes and clothes and begin our daily regime. I've never exercised that consistently so much in my life! It was great!

I would come home daily for lunch to check on him.

When I had free time at home, we'd spend it playing ball, watching TV or just walking.

Everything was great! He never destroyed my furniture, he was well house-trained, never using the restroom in my home. He was very respectful, smart and sweet.

But, I came to the realization that I just couldn't be in it for the long haul. As a young professional woman who is always on the go and juggles an extremely busy schedule, I had a difficult choice to make — should I keep him or return him. So, before it ever got to the point of neglect, I decided to return Max so he could be placed with someone or a family that truly had the time for him that he deserves.

I got to the point where I felt guilty about being so busy and having to leave him.

One thing tells you about "How to Know if You're Ready for a Pet," is to ask yourself, "Do you have the time?"

It says that you'll want to enjoy your pet, but if you have an already-crowded schedule, you may simply not have the time to spend getting to know the pet. It further reads, unless you have the time to devote to the care and raising of a pet, maybe you should delay your decision to get one."

So, on last Friday, I contemplated — even making a pros and cons list — and consulted everyone in my circle about it. Ultimately, it was my choice and I had to make the hard decision of whether to return dear, adorable Max. I spoke to Sally first and revealed my decision. She was very understanding.

"I don't mind if you fostered him for a while," she told me.

Sally even allowed me to spend one last weekend with him and enjoy our time together.

When Monday came, I went to work, still with Max on my mind. It was hard for me to depart, but I knew it was a wise choice to make. I went home for lunch to check on him as usual, feed him and walk him outside. In the afternoon, I went back home to pick him up and take him back to The Pet Place. The ride in the car was bittersweet. My eyes started to well as I watched Max through my mirror, looking out the window.

I didn't realize how emotional departing from your pet could be until I was inside of The Pet Place and the reality of him not coming home with me hit. As I sat, waiting for an attendant, tears silently streamed down my face as he jumped out of my lap to frolic with another dog passing by. It would be the last time I would see him, but I found joy in knowing that he'll hopefully be adopted long-term — this time. I was, to my knowledge, his third home and second home in a matter of two weeks.

But, Friday the 13th, brought some good news for Max. Sally reported to me that he was adopted by a widow who was a retired nurse and lived in Woodville. I sure hope it works out for him.

But through the experience, I learned several things about adopting a pet — make sure you are ready and prepared for the commitment, don't make an abrupt decision — think it through, don't beat yourself up for realizing when something wasn't for you at that particular time — applaud yourself for making a wise decision.

Perhaps the greatest lesson Max of the many he thought me during our 13-day stay together was respect — respect for all pet owners and rescue groups. I truly admire them because it takes a special group to be caretakers for this spectrum of God's creatures.

Max definitely made a mark in my heart.

To quote my sister, Kim, who fell in love with him too and visited him nearly everyday, "Oh, Max," she said, during a visit the day before I returned him. "I'm going to miss you.

"I never thought I'd like a dog as much as I loke you," she continued, cradling him in her arms. "You're sweet and loveable."

I absolutely agreed.

With that said, I want to say thanks a million, Max, for melting our hearts with your canine charm.


Do you have the money? You need to realize that pets can be expensive. There's pet food, toys and a place for it to live, not to mention that, should it become ill, there'll be veterinanrian bils that can run into the hundreds of dollars. Be sure you can handle a pet financially before you make the decision to get one.

Do you have time? You'll want to enjoy your pet. But if you have an already-crowded work schedule, you may simply not have the time to spend getting to know the pet. If you are thinking about getting a dog, for example, it will require housebreaking, or else you will suffer the consequences. And it will need to be trained to avoid behavioral problems that could be a danger to both you and your children. Unless you have the time to devote the care and raising of a pet, maybe you should delay your decision to get one.

Do you know what to get? It's not enough to say that you want to get a dog or cat. Each comes in a variety of breeds, and you need to determine which breed fits into your lifestyle and that of your family. For example, there are certain breeds that are traditionally difficult to be around. If there are young children in the family, you'll need to find a pet that won't turn nasty if subjected to the typical treatment young children provide. Do your homework before you bring your pet home.

Are you ready for a long-term commitment? Dogs and cats can live 20 years, or more. So, before you get one, understand that you are making a huge commitment. Pets are not like cars that you can test-drive, than walk away if you aren't happy. Be certain that you are ready to dedicate a portion of your life to a pet before you decide to get one.

And like Sally Socia with the Humane Society said, "It's a commitment, but shelter and rescues will work with you to pick a dog that's right with your lifestyle and family."


Animals are adopted to persons 18 years of age or older as household pets. The animals shall have adequate food, water and shelter at all times, and veterinary care as required (including current inoculations, heart worm prevention, and flea/tick control). If adopted as an outside dog, which is not preferred, ,the animal shall have a well-fenced yard and shelter, and shall not be chained.

No adoptions are made in violation of lease or rental agreements.

Adopted animals shall not be traded, sold, given away, or used in research. They must be returned to the Humane Society if the adopter becomes unwilling or unable to care for them.

Adoptions are not made to recipients of low-income spay/neuter assistance, so that their financial resources may be devoted to the proper care of the animals they already maintain.

Adoptions are not made to applicants who have unspayed or neutered animals already in their care, or animal not current on vaccinations and heartworm prevention absent special circumstances approved by the Humane Society.

Adoptions are not made to any individual who has had an animal cruelty complaint or citation without further investigation.

Adoptions are not made to any individual who has previously lost or had killed an adopted animal with out further investigation.

There are not guarantees on the health or disposition of any animal adopted, and the Humane Society is not liable for any animal adopted, or for any damage to person or property that maybe caused by the animal.

Refunds may be made if the animal and adoption papers are returned within five days of the adoption, or by special arrangement with the Humane Society

Adoption of cats are not made to individuals who intend to declaw the animal without trying behavioral modification techniques before subjecting the animal to that mutilation. Persons who prefer declawed cats may be contacted as potential adopters for animals that are received by the Humane Society and are already declawed.

Adoption approval is discretionary with the Humane Society and requires that an animal and the potential family be compatible in terms of the ages and composition of the family, the breed, age and needs of the animal, and any other factor relevant to the long-term health and safety of the animal.

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9 Reasons You Should Never
Buy an Animal from a Pet Store
by Sarah Irani -

When my husband and I were about to move to our new place, I told him I’d like to get a cat, so we planned to adopt one. We didn’t get that far, however, because as soon as the landlady unlocked the front door to let us in to our new place, a skinny little black cat scurried in and made herself at home. She’s been with us ever since.

Speaking of black cats, there still prevails a superstitious bias against dark-colored animals and they are often passed over for adoption at animal shelters. Unless you have all-white furniture and the dark shedding fur would cause you major grief, consider bringing a black dog or cat home with you.

There are some other important and compassionate reasons to consider adopting a pet over buying from a store.

Puppy mills. Most pet stores get their puppies from factory-style breeding facilities called puppy mills. Puppy mills are high-volume breeding facilities where many dogs are kept in squalid, caged conditions until they’re ready to sell. They often have health and socialization problems.

Save a life, make a friend for life. It’s sad but true ““ space is limited in animal shelters and if that sweet little creature doesn’t get adopted within a certain amount of time, it will have to be euthanized. There are some no-kill shelters, but they are in the minority.

Save money. It costs much less to adopt from a shelter than to buy from a pet store. What you pay to the shelter generally includes vaccination, de-worming and spay/neuter services. You’ll also get some guidance and advice for the care of your new pet!

AKC papers don’t guarantee health. Purebred papers from the American Kennel Club guarantee only the purity the breed ““ nothing more. Even if a puppy is purebred, it might have hereditary health problems. If you are looking for an AKC-certified pet, look beyond the anonymity of the pet store or the internet and visit a reputable breeder in person to find out more about the puppy’s parentage and living conditions. These days there are rescue organizations for nearly every breed, so it’s not necessary to adopt a mutt if you want to rescue an animal.

You can find purebreds at a shelter. If you’ve got your heart set on a particular breed, give animal shelters a chance; purebreds show up there all the time.

Good karma. Many years ago, our family cat went missing and although my mom scoured the local shelters for him, he was never found. In the meantime, however, she came across a scrawny little ball of fluff that caught her eye and tugged at her heart. She brought him home, took care of him, and now he’s the biggest, fluffiest Maine Coon you’ll ever see. He and my mom are inseparable. She saved his life and he’ll never forget it.

Socialization. A pet store animal has probably never been in a house before, whereas a shelter animal most likely has. Most shelters screen for good behavior and temperament and will be honest with you about the animal’s personality and needs, whereas a pet store only wants to make a profit. Most shelter animals have been left behind because of a cross-country move, a new baby, or expense. These animals have likely been housebroken and know how to manage their way in the world of humans. They’ll certainly be happy to have a new home.

Don’t support animal over-population. There are already so many domestic animals in this world that need a home. Pet shops and puppy mills support over-breeding of these animals for profit. It’s estimated that 6 to 8 million pets are euthanized every year! Rescue a spayed or neutered pet instead and give it the loving home it deserves.

Shelters offer a huge selection of animals. Many shelters rescue more than just dogs or cats. Birds, horses, guinea pigs, hamsters, reptiles, farm animals and all kinds of other critters may be your ideal companion, too.

Ask a Vet:
Should I Seek a Pharmaceutical Solution
to My Pet's Anxiety Problem?
Los Angeles Times

Allow us to introduce a new feature here at Unleashed: Ask a Vet. We're excited to have Dr. Heather Oxford of L.A. veterinary hospital California Animal Rehabilitation (CARE) on board to answer your burning questions about your pet's health and well-being. Got a question for Dr. Oxford? Leave a comment on this post, and look for her answer in an upcoming installment of Ask a Vet.

Photo: Seamus the dog takes his stress out on a feather duster. Credit: CM / Your Scene

Unleashed: Under what circumstances, if any, would you prescribe medication to deal with a pet's anxiety? Do you recommend any herbal remedies?

Heather Oxford, DVM: Great question, because anxiety is the second most common reason pets are brought to veterinary behavior specialty practices today! Mild forms of anxiety do occur and are usually easy enough to correct if the cause of anxiety is identified early and the veterinarian and owner work together to help modify the behavior and the environment.

Behavioral modification, involving teaching the owner the proper way to leave and return without creating anxiety in the pet and teaching the pet to be calm and independent, is key. Managing the environment, such as taking the pet in the car, hiring a pet sitter, confining the pet during the day or even sending the dog to daycare, are good ways to help avoid the situation that makes the pet anxious in the first place. If the anxiety is due to an unavoidable noise phobia like car alarms, smoke detectors, fireworks or thunderstorms, I recommend distracting the pet with music, or games that will divert his/her attention.

For mild forms of anxiety I find that Dog Appeasing Pheromone (D.A.P. by CEVA) is pretty effective at reducing anxiety. This comes in both a diffuser and a collar. I have also had good success using the lavender collars, and Bach's Rescue Remedy either added to the pet's water or three to four drops placed directly on the tongue.

More severe anxiety usually requires all of the above, and then some. Separation anxiety is the most common type of anxiety and is a serious problem that can cause the pet to vocalize excessively creating a disturbance to neighbors and other people and pets in the home, destroy property or themselves (scratching, licking, chewing their paws) and even urinate and defecate in inappropriate locations. If the pet is doing any of these things, the pet first needs a thorough physical exam to make sure a medical condition is not the cause. It is best to start drug therapy as soon as the diagnosis is made in order to have the most effective treatment. Pets typically are on the drug for a minimum of six months. The drugs that are used for anxiety can cause several side effects, including vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea and even hyperexcitability in rare cases, and some cannot be used with certain other medications that the pet might already be on. It is important to remember that drugs are not "cure-alls" and will work effectively only if used in conjunction with behavioral modification and environmental management.

Oxford received her bachelor’s of science degree at Bowling Green State University, Ohio. She also received a master's of public health degree in epidemiology from Emory University and went on to work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. She then went to the University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine, where she received her doctor of veterinary medicine degree. She practices at California Animal Rehabilitation and is also certified in veterinary rehabilitation and acupuncture. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Wade, and German shepherd, Tess.

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Money Saving Tips
for Your Pets
Michael Finney -

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's estimated Americans will spend $45 billion on their pets this year. But giving your pets the best doesn't mean you have to spend a lot.

Pet owners love to pamper their furry friends.

"She basically gets to choose her own toys so we go and I give her an array and whatever she kind of takes to, she gets. That's how she chose her bed, that's how she chooses her clothing," said dog owner Nicole Cramer.

All that pampering can be expensive. But you can save money by not overfeeding.

"If you can't easily see or feel your pet's ribs, it's probably time to cut down on the pet food," said Good Housekeeping's Janet Siroto.

If your pet is overweight, you can save $180 a year by giving your pet the lowest recommended amount on your pet food package. You can also take advantage of services at the local shelter. On average they charge one-third to a half of what a private vet does.

"One of the ways we recommend people save money long term is to not skip on annual exams, which a lot of people tend to do especially during tough economic times," said veterinarian Michael Sanchez.

If your pet needs medication urgently, get a week's worth from your vet and then take the prescription with you so you can order the rest online. Or see if your vet will match the on line price to keep your business.

Some vaccines may be unnecessary. If your pooch has no contact with other dogs, you may want to skip the "kennel cough" vaccine. That will save you about $20. Indoor-only cats may not need the feline leukemia vaccine, saving you about $25.

You can get good savings at warehouse clubs. For example, Good Housekeeping found at Costco a case of 24 22-ounce cans of Pedigree Chunky beef dog food for $24.99, versus $33.36 at a local supermarket.

Supplement your pet's diet with your leftovers. Just be careful and avoid spices and dairy. Be also careful with fat. Some human foods are toxic to pets, so check

Finally you can save money by buying your animal's prescriptions online.

Bowwows of Holly
Sun-Times Media

Pet pictures for holiday can be a snap

Pet owners love to take photographs of their pets, and often the photograph ends up as the family's Christmas card.

"Pet owners can capture great, festive photos of their pet," said David Sutton, an Evanston-based photographer specializing in pet photography.

Here are Sutton's tips on how to get the best holiday shot of Max or Buddy:

• Set the scene: Look for a clean background. Before shooting, scan the corners of the frame. Anything in the background will be in the photo and could draw attention away from the subject.

• Light 'em up: Don't use the on-camera flash. That makes light reflect into the pet's eyes, making them look like big saucers. Look for natural light near a window, or take the photograph outside. (The best outdoor lighting is found early in the day or in late afternoon.) If you have to use your flash, shoot from one side of your pet so he's not looking directly at you. That way you avoid retinal reflection.

• Lower, lower: For an interesting photo perspective, get down on the floor at your pet's level. The closer you get, the better you'll be able to capture your pet's distinct -- and adorable-- personality.

• Attention, please: Use unexpected noises, tops, treats or familiar and positive phrases to get Fido looking into the camera. But frame your shot, get your camera focused, and then grab your pet's attention. And don't try to shoot for more than 15 minutes without taking a break. After the break, try again.

• More, more: It's unrealistic to think you'll capture perfection in just one shot. Take lots of pictures. With a digital photo, extra frames cost time, not money. Keep only the strongest images.

Bonus tip: Shoot in black-and white for a mood that will seem timeless.

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Pet Travel Tips
By Chuck Zemek

When traveling with your pet on that weekend adventure, sometimes we will not remember their basic needs. Our pets often times are just as important as having a child with you. They can be noisey, have to stop several times and will get hungry. Like children, they need to stretch their legs, play and do their other business while we take them on our adventure. The adventure becomes more pleasant when they are not getting sick, making all kinds of noise that could take our focus off the road. That could be disastrous! Some quick tips to keep in mind.

Quick tip 1) Take some type of restraint. Pets' love to see what is going on. Surely, they will not use a seat belt, so take a leash or harness. This will also simplify when we take those much needed stops. Just unhook from the vehicle and walk.

Quick tip 2) Take along their favorite food. While traveling, we tend to stop at the local restaurant and grab a quick bite. Often times, this will not be the best food for you, and especially, not your pet. The best thing to do is have a sealed bag of their food so that their diet does not change. Animals should really not eat human food, it will upset their normal functions.

Quick tip 3) Bring a bag! You have seen it, while stretching their legs, along with their pet, the pet will have to do his "business". Often times the owner will just "let him do what he has to do" and just walk away. Disgusting. Be courteous and clean up after your pet.

Quick tip 4) Take a toy. Your pet loves to play and needs to get that energy out. Again, like a child, they will get restless after traveling too long. While stopping for food or rest, play. This in turn will make your travel experience more enjoyable and your pet will love the play time.

These are some of the quick tips when getting ready to take that weekend adventure with your pet. There are many others that can also be found at that will help make your weekend adventure one you will never forget.

We all have our favorite pet travel stories. The more time that your pet travels with you, the more it will become relaxed in how it travels. Our pet, Brewser, has been traveling since he was a puppy and has become well versed in his experiences, We have mapped our trips with the help of to make the most of our trips.

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Is There Lead In Pet Toys?
The Boston Channel

Team 5 Investigates Uncovers No Federal Safety Standards Protecting Pets

To get on store shelves, children's toys have to pass strict standards for safety.

But toys in the pet aisle don't.

Team 5 Investigates took 20 pet toys to the lab RMD Inc. in Watertown. While only one dog toy had lead levels higher than what's allowed in children's toys, lead detectors found everything from slight traces to lead levels much higher.

"Right now, it's looking to be 1,000 ppm (parts per million) or a little bit over perhaps," said Paul Bennett, a scientist at RMD, as he examined a "Spinmeister" dog toy.

The final reading: 1,360 ppm.

That's pretty high compared to the federal limit for children's toys, which is 300 ppm.

Wornick: "So you're not bringing this home to your family?

Bennett: "Probably not."

Like with humans, excessive amounts of ingested lead can cause a variety of problems for dogs and cats.

"Lead toxicity typically causes either gastrointestinal signs like vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite," said Dr. Lisa Moses, a veterinarian at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. "Or in more serious cases, actual seizures or other neurological problems."

But Team 5 Investigates discovered, there are no federal safety guidelines for pet toys. No federal agency monitors them for lead content or choking hazards.

Angell's medical files contain x-rays showing how dogs swallowed everything from a ball to rubber ducks.

"I think it makes a lot of sense for there to be similar regulations for animal toys that there are for kids' toys," Moses said.

Both Petco and Petsmart -- two of the largest national retailers for pet supplies -- told Team 5 Investigates in statements that they hire independent companies to check for toxic chemicals and other safety concerns before products are stocked on store shelves.

Team 5 Invesigates also contacted Cardinal Pet Company, the distributor of the Spinmeister.

In a statement, the company said its tests on the Spinmeister also found lead levels higher than what's allowed for children's toys, and stopped selling it, but can't control the sale of any leftover inventory still available at some stores.

Why is Quaker Parakeet
Biting His Owner?
by Dr. Lisa Radosta - Palm Beach Post

Question: I have a “bipolar” Quaker parakeet and want him to stop biting. He’ll start off sweet as pie, then, in a second flat, try to bite me. Are there any medications to level off his behavior? — Berdi

Answer: Quakers are commonly seen for territorial aggression, but that is not the only type of aggression they display.

While mood-altering medications are used in birds, they are generally used for severe disorders or at least less frequently than in dogs and cats. This is primarily because there is not a great deal of research on the use of pharmacologic agents in birds, birds are generally more sensitive than dogs and cats to medications and also because birds have such a fast metabolism, they usually have to be dosed multiple times a day to reach effective levels.

The real question here is not whether there is a pill which can solve your Quaker’s problem, but why your bird bites you in the first place.

The answer lies in the fact that birds are among the most misunderstood pets. Most birds kept as pets are not domesticated animals, but rather wild animals kept in captivity. This is not a small distinction.

Animals who are domesticated are bred for generations to display characteristics that allow them to live in harmony with people. They have been bred to be able to live in environments we provide for them.

Most pet birds live very under-enriched lives and this is at the root of many bird behavior problems. How enriched is your pet’s environment? The second thing to consider is whether or not your bird is healthy. Is he eating a proper diet? When is the last time that he went to see a veterinarian? Next, consider your relationship with him. Do you have a structured relationship with him where he knows how to get your attention?

The first thing to do is to bring him to your veterinarian’s office and make sure that he is healthy. Then, scour the Internet for information on captive foraging.

There are some good videos out there.

Then, enrich his environment with toys so that he has something to do. He needs A LOT of exercise. Finally, go to and look for information on training birds. Once your bird has a more “natural” life and he knows how to interact with you, he will bite you less and everyone will be happy!

Dr. Radosta

Lisa Radosta DVM, Diplomate ACVB
Florida Veterinary Behavior Service
PO Box 210636
Royal Palm Beach, FL 33421-0636

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