Top Ad 728x90

What is a veterinary behaviorist? Is it covered by dog insurance?

A dog with behavioral problems needs to be treated by an animal behaviorist. But this represents a very high cost. It is therefore better to have anticipated this by taking out a health insurance policy for pets. Be careful, however, because the coverage is only possible if you go to a behaviorist veterinarian and not to a dog trainer. Let's take stock of this recognized profession and what are the conditions for his acts to be covered by the health insurance of his dog.

Behaviorist veterinarian: a highly qualified specialist

The behaviorist veterinarian is a specialist in veterinary behavioral medicine. To be able to practice his profession, he has followed long studies in order to obtain a diploma recognized by the state since 1998. This course of study takes at least 9 years, 7 years to become a veterinarian and 2 years to specialize. Thus, this Doctor of Medicine, expert in animal behavior, specialized in animal ethology. He or she has a great knowledge of neuroscience and all the necessary skills to study the behavioral problems of a dog, a cat, a horse, a parrot, a donkey, a cow, etc.

The veterinary behaviorist should not be confused with the dog trainer whose profession is not sanctioned by a state diploma.

What does the job of a veterinary behaviourist consist of?

The veterinary behaviorist has different missions, namely :
  • To detect a behavioral disorder in an animal and confirm its diagnosis,
  • To set up a protocol of care. He is authorized to prescribe :
  • drugs, psychotropic substances and any type of treatment since he has a great knowledge of the pharmacopoeia,
  • Behavioral therapy adapted to each case,
  • simple training sessions.
  • To ensure the follow-up of the treated animal,
  • Evaluate precisely the level of dangerousness that the dog or any other animal may present.
The veterinary behaviourist also intervenes as a privileged interlocutor in many fields, among which :
  • The insertion of animals in the urban environment,
  • Breeding,
  • Animal education: this specialist can organize educational meetings between several owners and their pets, so that each one integrates the rules of conduct to be respected and that all members of the group can share their experiences.
  • Prevention of behavioral problems.
You can consult this specialist when you have just welcomed an animal in your home to be advised on the rules of education, socialization, the means to establish a harmonious relationship between the master, his family and the animal. But a consultation can be essential at any time, whatever the age of your pet, because it can present behavioral problems for various reasons, for example when it undergoes hormonal changes, when a baby arrives in the home, in case of illness or simply because it gets older...

Does a mutual insurance company reimburse the acts of a veterinarian behaviorist ?

As soon as the animal is insured with a mutual health insurance, the expenses incurred by its owner for a follow-up with a veterinary behaviorist are reimbursed. Depending on the plan the pet owner has subscribed to, this reimbursement can be either full or partial. The reimbursement is possible because this professional has a state diploma, which is not the case for the dog trainer whose intervention does not give rise to any reimbursement.

It is important to understand that insuring your dog (or any other pet) with a specific health insurance is essential to take care of your little companion, from his youngest age until the end of his life. This allows you to be reimbursed for veterinary procedures following an accident, an illness or for expenses incurred by a behaviorist veterinarian.

In this regard, it is important to know that the cost of a consultation with this specialist generally varies from 90 to 160 €. The bill can rise considerably when your dog, cat or other small companion has serious behavioral problems. In order for the cost of the consultation not to affect the budget of the owner, it is better that the latter takes precautions to be well reimbursed.

Before signing a dog health insurance contract, you should take the time to read the general conditions, the exclusions... Some companies only cover the services of a behaviorist veterinarian if the behavioral problems are linked to a physical pathology.