SAN ANGELO, Texas (Concho Valley Homepage) — Veterinarians in San Angelo have noticed an increase in dogs coming in to be treated for wounds after being attacked by another dog.

Whether it be a stray, a newly adopted or a dog that has been in the family for years, Associate Veterinarian Shelby Ragan with Western Veterinary Hospital shares that there has been a rise in dog-on-dog attacks in San Angelo.

Dr. Ragan explains that when it comes to these increased dog fights, it is usually one of two situations – a stray dog was brought in or a newly adopted dog was not properly introduced to other dogs at the home.

Although it is tempting to help a homeless dog, leave the animal alone unless you can safely take the animal in or have a place it can go by the evening. “If you have a situation at home where you know you cannot keep a stray animal or pet, don’t put yourself or your family in that situation,” Dr. Ragan explained.

According to the local vet, calling animal control and taking pictures of the animal, and where it is, is the best and safest way to handle a stray dog. “Take a quick picture, note your locations, call animal control,” she said. “If we call every single time and report it, it’s been reported.”

She also notes that it is important to ensure that your dog cannot get out. By getting the correct fencing and checking it often, fewer dogs will get the chance to roam free in San Angelo and potentially harm another person’s animal.

In other situations, Western Veterinary Hospital has seen families adopting a new dog and not properly introducing them to the other animals at home. Owners can take steps like introducing the two on neutral ground, feeding them in separate rooms and maintaining distance between them while they become safely acquainted.

“Most the time when we see dog fights, it’s those two scenarios,” she said when talking about the rise in San Angelo.

Despite seeing an increase in stray and adopted dog attacks, dogs that have been around each other for years are not out of the question for showing aggressive behavior. If your dog starts to get protective of their food or aggressive towards other living things in the home, Dr. Ragan recommends that the owners have a behavioral consultation done. With the help of Western Veterinary Hospital, dog owners whose animals might be acting up can receive the care they need whether it be medication, training or a combination of both.

When behavioral consultations are done, Dr. Ragan starts with a physical exam. “Sometimes pets can be fearful or reactive because they’re in pain,” she explained. After determining if there are any underlying health concerns, Dr. Ragan will implement a training program and administer medication that fits the pets and owners’ needs.

Western Veterinary Hospital understands that being brought into place to be poked and prodded can be very stressful on dogs. Dr. Ragan and those at the veterinary hospital allow their clients to bring in their pets on days they might not receive an exam. During these trips, the dog will receive nothing but love and treats from the staff to help relieve their stress and fear when coming to the vet. Through this program, dogs can start working through their fears and stress in a way that is safe for both them and their owner.

For more information on how to help a dog showing aggressive behavior or to have a behavioral consultation done, visit the Western Veterinary Hospital website or call  (325) 703-6450.