New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA

Behavior Medicine

Our clinical team members combine skills from behavioral and other branches of veterinary medicine to address your pet’s behavior needs. We use a rigorous scientific approach to understand the mechanisms behind animal actions, which allows us to deliver effective and welfare-friendly treatment.

We see cats and dogs of all ages for behavior problems, including:

  • House-training and litter box problems 
  • Destructiveness
  • Self-injurious activity
  • Aggression towards people or other animals

What to Expect

Visits to the Behavior Clinic are by appointment only. Pet owners may be referred to us by their primary care veterinarians, or may contact us directly, without a referral. Before things begin, be aware:

  • An initial visit usually lasts two to three hours.
  • Pet owners are asked to complete an online history form before the appointment which details the pet’s home environment and the behavior problem.
  • We request the pet’s medical record from the referring veterinarian.

During the appointment the pet, client, and behavior team meet to discuss the pet’s difficulties and ways to manage and improve the animal’s behavior. The environment is non-threatening and primarily intended to help the veterinary behaviorist or behavior resident understand the problem.

Behavior Medicine

Appointments: Call 215-746-8387 
Please make sure to request a behavior appointment.

Questions about your appointment?

Support Behavior Medicine

Dr. Carlo Siracusa, Penn Vet Behavior


Meet Dr. Siracusa, DVM, PhD

As director of Ryan Hospital's Companion Animal Behavior Medicine service, Dr. Carlo Siracusa studies and treats behavior issues from an integrated perspective.

Learn more about Dr. Siracusa...

Defining a Treatment Plan

After diagnosis, your care team will build a treatment plan, which may include:

  • Safety counseling
  • Behavior modification
  • Management techniques such as modification of the home environment
  • Medication (if needed)

We emphasize the safety of our patients and of everyone who interacts with them.

In the second half of the appointment you will work with a behavior technician on the behavior modification techniques recommended by the veterinarian. You will be provided a detailed written summary of the visit with all of the veterinarian’s recommendations and instructions for continuing behavior modification at home.

If you have questions or concerns, reach out to the behavior team via email ( If a change to the treatment is necessary, the clinician will determine if a recheck appointment is needed. Typically, a recheck is required 8-12 weeks after the initial appointment.

Our Care Team

Carlo Siracusa, DVM, MSc, PhD, DECAWBM, DACVB
Associate Professor, Clinical Animal Behavior Service
A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (DACVB) as well as the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavior Medicine (DECAWBM), Dr. Carlo Siracusa has established a reputation as a leading voice in behavior medicine for companion animals, combining his extensive knowledge of physiology with a vast experience as a behaviorist.

Dr. Siracusa leads a team of intuitive clinician/thinkers in the field, and will help you to develop the best approach for dealing with your animal's behavioral issues.

Lena Provoost, DVM
Lecturer, Clinical Small Animal Behavior and Welfare

Programs and Services

CALM Program
The format for the Penn Vet CALM program allows veterinarians and veterinary professionals to learn, understand, and apply a variety of tools to enhance the welfare of animals.

Penn Vet Behavior Application
Developed in partnership with Intellivets, Connect for Education (C4E), and Penn Vet's Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society (CIAS), the Penn Vet Behavior App is a consultation and education service that connects pet owners and primary care veterinarians to reliable, scientifically-sound behavior expertise from the comfort of their home or clinic.



When you adopt a companion animal, dog or cat, from a shelter or a breeder, knowing some simple concepts will help you develop a good relationship with your new pet.

Explore our resources you can use, either stand-alone, or combined with your visits.


The work of Dr. Siracusa and the Behavior Medicine team at Penn Vet is often featured in the news media. Here are recent articles featuring Dr. Siracusa and his team's work in companion animal behavior medicine.


Our research is focused on clinical behavior problems and their relationship with medical problems, as well as low-stress handling of patients during veterinary visits.

Small Animal Behavior Residency program

Penn Vet is offering a 3-year residency position focused on clinical activity and research. Learn more...