Behavioral Medicine in Companion Animals
Purpose: The main objective of this study was to investigate behavioural medicine interventions on the behaviour and mental health of companion animals.
Methodology: The study adopted a desktop research methodology. Desk research refers to secondary data or that which can be collected without fieldwork. Desk research is basically involved in collecting data from existing resources hence it is often considered a low cost technique as compared to field research, as the main cost is involved in executive’s time, telephone charges and directories. Thus, the study relied on already published studies, reports and statistics. This secondary data was easily accessed through the online journals and library.
Findings: The findings revealed that there exists a contextual and methodological gap relating to behavioral medicine in companion animals. Preliminary empirical review revealed that it is important to consider the unique needs and circumstances of companion animals when designing and implementing behavioral medicine interventions. Factors such as the animal's history, environment, and the presence of underlying medical conditions must be carefully evaluated to tailor interventions effectively. Additionally, the role of human caregivers, including pet owners, trainers, and veterinary professionals, is paramount in the success of these interventions.
Unique Contribution to Theory, Practice and Policy: The Social Learning theory, Cognitive Behavioural theory and the Attachment theory may be used to anchor future studies on behavioral medicine in companion animals. The study recommended for promoting early and comprehensive behavioural assessment, increasing awareness and education for pet owners, expanding access to qualified behavioural professionals, incorporating evidence based approaches, fostering collaboration between veterinary and behavioural professions and emphasizing prevention and early intervention.
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