Here at Minnesota Valley Pet Hospital we do our very best to minimize your pet’s stress during their visit.  From keeping dogs and cats separate in the lobby, to spraying calming pheromones on exam room towels, to keeping notes on their favorite treats for distraction, we try to take their stress level into consideration during every phase of their appointment.

When working with your pet, we use as little restraint as possible to get our job done. This may mean that we will only do tasks that are immediately necessary. If your pet is noticeably stressed, we may ask you to return for a second visit with the help of anti-anxiety medications. We will always try to make sure that your pet has a positive experience, and we will treat your pet as if they were our own.

If you have behavioral concerns regarding your pet, please feel free to reach out to us! Nicole is a Certified Veterinary Technician who specializes in behavior. Nicole does all of our behavior consultations in our clinic and loves to educate both humans and pets. We have a positive reinforcement approach which entails rewarding the pet for the good things they are doing while ignoring the negative behaviors we do not want to see. We do not support punishment techniques as they only harm the human animal bond, and increase anxiety and fear.

Your pet’s behavioral health is just as important to us as their physical health. Whether you are starting out with a new puppy or kitten or you have just adopted an adult, let us help you on your journey.





Body language is an essential part of animal behavior.  Here are some helpful visual references that we use to guide us as we recognize and treat stress in dogs and cats.  These can and should be used at home too!


You can find more fun and informative visual references HERE!



Videos are also a great resource to help us understand and visualize animal behavior.  The internet is full of examples… both good and bad.  Here is a list of videos we have found that are realistic and informative about different issues with behavior.

+ Visit Video Page +





The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) has helpful information on many topics.  Here are some relevant articles on how to choose a trainer for your dog, and the advances away from dominance-based training. 


Behavior Handouts:


Cats by Nature are Inquisitive

Chewing and Biting in Puppies

Clicker Training

Clicker Training for Humans

Cognitive Changes in Senior Pets

House Training 1

Kennel Training

Ladder of Aggression

Planet Zoltan

Positive Reinforcement

Potty Training

Signs of Anxiety and Fear

Socializing and Handling + Jumping in Puppies

Suggested Book List and Online Resources