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https://todaysveterinarypractice.com/table-of-contents-november-december-2021/
BANFIELD Pet Health By The Numbers, Behavior

Focus on Canine Behavior

Focus on Canine Behavior

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Statistics extracted from data collected from the medical records of nearly 2.3 million dogs and 470,000 cats presented to more than 850 Banfield Pet Hospitals in 2013.

In each issue of Today’s Veterinary Practice, Pet Health by the Numbers correlates specific article topics with statistics provided by Banfield Pet Hospital (banfield.com). These statistics are extracted from data collected from the medical records of nearly 2.3 million dogs and 470,000 cats presented to more than 850 Banfield Pet Hospitals in 2013.

Note that these data are based on diagnoses made by the patients’ veterinarians. Learn more about data collection by reading Welcome to Pet Health by the Numbers (January/February 2014 issue) and Key Findings from the State of Pet Health Report 2014 (May/June 2014 issue), both available at tvpjournal.com. 

Q&A: THE USE OF MEDICATIONS IN CANINE BEHAVIOR THERAPY

The following tables outline the top 5 behavior problems diagnosed in dogs, categorized by age and size, as a percentage of total pets presented to Banfield Pet Hospitals in 2013 in each category.

Prevalence of Canine Behavior Problems by Age (2013)

Behavior Diagnosis

Juvenile
(< 1 year)

Young Adult
(1–3 years)

Mature Adult
(3–10 years)

Geriatric
(> 10 years)

TOTAL NUMBER

543,445

575,193

1,100,183

251,143

Aggressive Behavior

1.01%

2.29%

2.18%

1.63%

Fear/Anxiety

0.63%

1.46%

1.09%

0.57%

Separation Anxiety

0.15%

0.36%

0.33%

0.28%

Coprophagia

0.55%

0.16%

0.07%

0.06%

Submissive Urination

0.37%

0.27%

0.12%

0.02%


Prevalence of Canine Behavior Problems by Size (2013)

Behavior Diagnosis

Toy/Small
(< 20 lb)

Medium
(20 to < 50 lb)

Large
(50 to < 90 lb)

Giant
(≥ 90 lb)

TOTAL NUMBER

1,160,457

614,312

472,237

44,469

Aggressive Behavior

1.97%

1.92%

2.01%

2.01%

Fear/Anxiety

0.74%

1.28%

1.51%

1.20%

Separation Anxiety

0.23%

0.37%

0.39%

0.32%

Coprophagia

0.25%

0.14%

0.17%

0.14%

Submissive Urination

0.11%

0.29%

0.32%

0.26%

 

Path to Pet Wellness: This large data set presents an excellent opportunity to quantify behavior problems in dogs, but the numbers presented may underestimate prevalence. If owners do not report behavioral issues on presentation, a diagnosis may not be made and, ideally, clear criteria should be documented for each diagnosis.

Based on this data, the most common behavior problems in dogs—among all ages and sizes—were aggression and fear/anxiety. In contrast, one study reported that 15.6% of dogs in a general veterinary caseload had bitten a person.1 Aggression has consistently been the most common problem in dogs referred to veterinary behaviorists and may be directed toward other animals as well as people.2

—Ilana Reisner, DVM, Diplomate ACVB

References

  1. Guy NC, Luescher UA, Dohoo SE, et al. Demographic and aggressive characteristics of dogs in a general veterinary caseload. Appl Anim Behav Sci 2001; 74:15-28.
  2. Bamberger M, Houpt KA. Signalment factors, comorbidity, and trends in behavior diagnoses in dogs: 1,644 cases (1991-2001). JAVMA 2006; 229:1591-1601.
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