Important information

At Behavioural Referrals Veterinary Practice your dog will be treated by a team of veterinary surgeons and rehabilitation trainers. During the diagnostic consultation the veterinary surgeon will determine the emotional motivation for the behaviour that your pet is exhibiting. Emotional (mental) health is as important for our pets as it is for us and we tailor our management and treatment programmes to the underlying emotional state of the individual patient. Once a diagnosis has been made we use positive, reward based and force free methods throughout the treatment programme. We do not approve of the use of aversive techniques or gadgets, such as loud and intimidating voices, shock collars and choke chains, water pistols or rattle cans.

What We Can Offer

At Behavioural Referrals Veterinary Practice, we offer a referral service in small animal behavioural medicine. Practice owner and clinical director Dr Sarah Heath BVSc PgCertVE DipECAWBM(BM) CCAB FHEA FRCVS is a recognised RCVS and European Veterinary Specialist in Behavioural Medicine, and she is supported by a team of veterinary surgeons who are Advanced Practitioners in Behavioural Medicine and/or undertaking their residency training for the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine. We offer a comprehensive service in the assessment, treatment and management of emotional disorders and resulting behaviours. Our vet team works alongside our rehabilitation team who are responsible for the ongoing follow up and practical implementation of behavioural modification techniques to help you and your pet.

The Behavioural Diagnostic Consultation

The assessment is carried out by a veterinary surgeon and during the COVID-19 pandemic the first part will be carried out via remote video consultation.

The remote video part of the consultation will be 2 hours in duration for single pet households and will be followed by a 1 hour face to face meeting with the vet as soon as COVID-19 regulations permit. The duration of the video component of the consultation will be longer if there is more than one pet. (consultations can be also be extended depending on the nature of the issue(s) and the number of pets in the household). A detailed history is taken and the vet gathers information about your pet through conversation and observation. The veterinary surgeon will work with you to help your pet and will create a behavioural modification programme tailored to them. Handouts may be sent to you at the time of the consultation and you will receive 3 months telephone/email support. The assessment is theory based and it is beneficial for all of the members of the household to attend.

Follow Up

Follow up visits with our team of rehabilitation trainers are strongly recommended. During the COVID-19 pandemic these visits are taking place remotely via video. We will arrange face to face rehabilitation sessions as soon as COVID-19 regulations permit.  The rehabilitation team will discuss your individual management and treatment plan and teach you the techniques needed to modify your dog’s behaviour.  In addition, the rehabilitation team will offer you ongoing support via email or phone for a period of six months following each rehabilitation trainer session.


We will give you the tools and techniques to work with your pet to modify their behaviour but it is important to know that the successful treatment requires a lot of hard work, time and commitment from all members of the household. There is no quick fix and it is crucial that everyone understands this and has realistic expectations of the process. All clients receive 3 months’ telephone or email support and you will be encouraged to keep in regular contact with Behavioural Referrals so that you can maintain motivation when times are difficult and continue to make progress with your pet. We also encourage you to regularly submit video footage to us so that we can observe your pet in your home or out on walks or in a variety of other relevant contexts and assess progress.


Many insurance companies do provide cover for emotional disorders and resulting behaviours as part of their policies. However, there are a number of very different types of cover available. Behavioural Referrals Ltd is a veterinary practice specialising in behavioural medicine and your diagnostic consultation is with a veterinary surgeon. Some companies have different cover for veterinary behaviourists and will consider these claims under the Veterinary Fees portion of your policy, while they will cover non-veterinary behaviourists under the complementary section. Other companies do not differentiate between veterinary and non-veterinary behaviourists so it is important to check with your insurance company to be sure what your policy offers in terms of cover.

The level and duration of your insurance cover will vary from company to company but also between different policy types from the same company. All companies will charge an excess when you make a claim and they will collect this amount for each condition in each policy year. This means that if your pet’s period of treatment spans more than one policy year for your policy you will be charged more than one excess by your insurance company. It is therefore important that you check your policy documents which should contain all the necessary information regarding your excess level, cover available and date of policy renewal. If you are considering being referred to Behavioural Referrals Veterinary Practice it is important to inform your insurance company that you are having an appointment with a veterinary surgeon specialising in behavioural medicine, as this may affect the level of cover that is available for your pet.

Please note that all fees for our services are payable prior to you claiming against your insurance. With some insurance companies, we are able to offer a Pre Authorisation Service (subject to a small administration fee) where we can approach the insurer directly and gain authority to bill the insurance company directly after you have paid your excess. Please check with your insurance company to see if they offer the option to pay your vet directly.

If you have any questions regarding insurance, please call us on 01244 377365 or email


Diagnostic Visit

A theory based remote video session with one of our vets scheduled for 2 hours followed by 1 hour house visit when COVID-19 regulations permit. (If an extended time is required for the video session due to multiple pets or complex conditions additional charges will be applied accordingly)

The vet will take a detailed history to understand the emotions that are driving your dog’s behaviour and the responses that they are exhibiting. They will produce a management and treatment plan to help address the emotional motivations involved and discuss with you how this can be implemented in your specific situation.

Following the consultation you will receive inclusive telephone and email rolling support for 3 months.

Follow up

Additional follow up consultations can also be arranged as required. During the COVID-19 pandemic these visits are taking place remotely via video but we will arrange house visit follow up sessions as soon as COVID-19 regulations permit.


Appointments are held Monday-Friday 09:00 am -17:30 pm.


Please take time to carefully read questions below and answer them as comprehensively as possible. The more accurate the information is, the better our clinical staff can start to understand your concerns and enable us to offer you the most appropriate appointment.

Please note: The information we receive will be used solely for the diagnosis and treatment of your pet.