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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I schedule a behavior consultation for my pet?

Behavior problems in animals can be very complex. Even seemingly simple problem behaviors can have an array of possible contributing factors. The advantage of seeking help from a veterinary behavior consultant is that all of these potential factors are considered, resulting in a more comprehensive understanding of your pet’s troubling behavior and a more thorough plan for treatment. Additionally, veterinary behavior professionals consider possible contributing medical conditions and can prescribe and manage behavior medications, if indicated.

Where does the appointment take place?

Most appointments occur in our specially designed clinic located just west of Highway 169 at 10029 Minnetonka Boulevard, Minnetonka MN 55305.  If you believe you or your pet requires an in-home appointment, please call us to discuss. You can reach us at 612.554.1182 or 320.292.6608.

How long does an appointment take?

Initial diagnostic consultations typically take approximately 2-3 hours. Most recheck appointments last 30-60 minutes. 

Who should take part in the consultation?

Optimally, anyone who has regular contact with the pet should be present. The relationship of animals to children is very important. Due to the length of appointments, however, we ask that you make arrangements away from the appointment for children under the age of five.

What happens during a consultation appointment?

The appointment usually starts with a discussion of the problem, along with observations of behaviors. This then transitions to the formulation of a plan, recommendations and, usually, implementation of behavior modification as part of treatment.

How much does a behavior consultation cost?

Please call 612.554.1182 or 320.292.6608 for current fees. We accept check, credit card, debit card, and cash payments. Payment is due at the conclusion of the appointment.

What is included in the consultation fee?

The diagnostic appointment fee includes the time for review of information before the appointment, including any video of your pet/situation, as well as the actual appointment. Within a few days, you will receive a written summary of the treatment plan discussed during the appointment. Two months of email and/or phone follow-up communication is included in each consultation fee.  In-clinic rechecks are required for ongoing support and are affordably billed by length of appointment. 

What if we need more help after the appointment?

We welcome and encourage frequent communication by email and/or phone following the initial appointment. This allows us to discuss any questions or concerns, and adjust the plan if needed according to the pet’s progress. If you are having trouble putting behavior modification strategies into place, we can put you in touch with recommended trainers for private coaching.

What additional costs might there be?

We often recommend baseline laboratory work as one way to assess your pet’s overall health and how it might impact behavior. You can arrange this with your primary care veterinarian before your visit. If additional tests are indicated, these too are typically handled by your primary care veterinarian. Fees for this health testing are arranged between you and your veterinarian. 

There will never be ‘surprise’ charges at Veterinary Behavior Specialties of Minnesota. The consultation fees are standard for all cases so that you can plan. Travel fees for home visits vary by location but can be firmly quoted prior to scheduling.   

Our goal is to provide you with as many options for help as you may need to succeed. In many cases, additional equipment, books or video may be recommended. Some of these items will be available at our office for your convenience, but you may purchase them wherever you wish — or not at all. This is always your option. We also have additional training help available at standard training rates.

Are further appointments necessary?

In most cases, recheck appointments are recommended 8-12 weeks after the initial consultation, and every 6-12 months after that. A detailed check-in allows us to fine tune the treatment plan, adjust and refill medications as needed, and continue working towards a suitable long term outcome. Fees for rechecks are based on time, with most recheck appointments lasting 30-60 minutes. Please call for current fees. Alternatively, clients whose pets are stable may choose to transfer their pet’s care back to their regular veterinarians.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Simply call us at 612.554.1182 or 320.292.6608 or send us an email. Typically appointments are scheduled Monday through Friday, typically between the hours of 10 a.m. and starting no later than 4 p.m. 

What preparations do I need to make once the appointment is scheduled?

We will ask you to fill out a pre-appointment registration form/questionnaire and return it by fax, email or U.S. mail at least 48 hours prior to your scheduled appointment. The forms provide us with the background information needed to make the most of your appointment time and focus on treatment options. 

Video can be an extremely valuable means of showing us concerning behaviors that may not occur during the appointment. For safety reasons, however, please DO NOT put anyone, including your pet, at risk for the purpose of making a video. No injury is worth a dangerous or frightening video!

Learn more by reading our Prepare for Your Appointment page.

My pet has bitten someone. Does this mean that my pet will have to be euthanized?

Not necessarily! When a behavior consultation concerns a pet that has shown aggressive behavior, we will discuss our risk assessment based on the unique circumstances for your pet, explore ways that you can reduce that risk through management, and discuss your pet’s potential for rehabilitation. Successful treatment is possible in most, but not all, cases.

Can I have a guarantee that my pet’s problem will be fixed?

No one can guarantee that a pet’s problem behavior can be fixed or cured. We enjoy great success with our patients, but because of the complexity of living creatures and because actual learning (and especially the un-learning of undesirable behaviors) takes time, there is no way to predict an exact timeframe or outcome. Part of the assessment process is to develop realistic expectations. We will do our best to help you achieve acceptable goals.