The Top Ten Pet Owner Mistakes to consider for New Year’s Resolutions

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10. Purchasing a pet out of spontaneity. Think the puppy in the window is adorable and irresistible? How much work can they really be? Think again. Learn where your puppy came from, and be educate yourself about what you are committing to when you bring your pet into your home.

9. Skimping on obedience training. I am a veterinarian and not a trainer and am not about to begin recommending a training program for you, but it is absolutely crucial that your pet is trained. Think the biting puppy is cute and harmless now? Wait until the 65 lb dog bites your child or a stranger in the face.

dog mass, bump on dog, find a vet, good veterinarian8. Not getting a second vet opinion. Your vet wants to watch that mass on your dog’s belly or listen as the persistent cough progresses into pneumonia? All vets aren’t created equally, and some just plain don’t listen. Find one that does. Read signs that you have a good veterinarian and things not to do at the vet.

7. Not checking with your home owner’s insurance policy before adopting or buying a specific dog breed. No it’s not fair, but did you know that owning one of the many popular dog breeds will actually void your home owner’s insurance? Consider a rescued mutt instead.

6. Not spaying and neutering. Unless you are an actual breeder or it is medically recommended to not spay or neuter your dog, spaying and neutering is one of the best things you can do to help. There are over 11,000 animals that are euthanized each day in U.S.A. Please do your part in helping to end this.

dog medicine, dog illness symptoms, cat throwing up5. Buying your pet’s medications from the vet. Ask a veterinarian for a generic medication script to take to Target or Walmart and you’ll save more money than you can imagine.

4. Not being consistent. If different people in the household let Fido get away with different things, he’ll never learn. Even if you are the solo human in your household, it is crucial to be consistent with your pet’s training. Not most of the time, every time.

3. Piling on too many treats.

Pet obesity is more than on the rise, it’s an epidemic.

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2. Not providing enough activity—both mental and physical, for your pet. Pets needs stimulation! Leave them alone too long, and things will get destroyed. Leave them to be sedentary too long, and their gut will grow just like our own.

1. Being selfish in how your choose your pet. Live in a tiny highrise but still really want a Great Dane? Research before you bring home a living thing. Different dog AND cat breeds have different needs. Are you away from home for 10 hours a day? Consider a cat instead of a dog. Just because a dog is small and comfortably “fits” into your apartment does not mean that a Jack Russel is going to be satisfied by curling up with you for a lazy Saturday.

Tell me, are you guilty of any of these? What will your New Year’s Resolutions for your pets be?

Dr. Laci

SIGNATURE DVM

Dr. Laci Nash Schaible, DVM



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15 Comments

January 2, 2011 at 01:31
 

It’s nice to read a good article. I really enjoy many of the blog posts on your website.

January 4, 2011 at 11:39
 

Thanks Sandy! It’s nice to know you enjoy the posts as we are still new and always open to feedback! Happy New Year!

January 2, 2011 at 04:24
 

Sadly, we were guilty of #8 until two years ago. Kind of. We went through a bunch of vets but weren’t seeing any difference. Until circumstances brought us to the vet we have now.

We love our vet now, but it still doesn’t mean that we take his word for everything. One of the main great things about him is that we can have a discussion and he will consider ideas other than his own.

I would respectfully disagree about the first part of #1. I really don’t think that a small ‘den’ is a problem for a large dog if they get enough exercise.

Our place is small and we have two Rottweilers. All the space they need at home is the space their bodies take up when they stretch out comfortably.

I really think that if a dog gets enough walks and activity outside, it doesn’t matter how big your place is. That is our experience anyway.

January 2, 2011 at 10:36
 

Jana,

You went through such a tremendous amount with Jasmine and finding a vet that would listen to you and not dismiss symptoms. It really is that way many areas of life, especially human medicine.

Rereading I could have explained myself better on the breeds and needs. You are right, it is about the individual breed and what their specific requirements are. I think people too often don’t research the breed’s temperament and take their lifestyle into consideration, which may result in frustration.

January 2, 2011 at 15:57
 

Dear Laci, yes, considering the needs of the breed is certainly important. Every dog needs exercise and mental stimulation, some breeds need more of it.

January 4, 2011 at 10:02
 

Great post, and I can’t agree more with number 1. Please don’t put a herding dog in an apartment and not expect problems.

January 4, 2011 at 10:49
 

George, it really results in a lot of stress on everyone involved and all too often rehoming–or worse.

Thanks for commenting!

January 5, 2011 at 03:37
 

I find #5 very interesting, coming from a vet. I’ve never had to get expensive meds for Jersey *Thank God* But I’ve heard that common practice in vet clinics is to charge a script fee, if you don’t buy the meds from the clinic, so you don’t really come out ahead.

January 5, 2011 at 04:14
 

Karen, the program available in US is really great, we don’t have it here :-(

Our vet never charged script fee when sending a prescription to our pharmacy.

January 5, 2011 at 10:17
 

It is so unfortunate it is limited to the USA! Boo! Perhaps some day. I am glad your vet doesn’t charge a prescription writing fee. I wouldn’t expect any different. :-)

January 5, 2011 at 10:15
 

Karen,

I know of two vet hospitals that charge fees to write prescriptions–perhaps it is considered more common because it irritates pet owners and they talk about it?

I think it is a terrible idea, and I can’t even believe it is allowed ethically. Yes, it takes time, and it does add up. (It can tack an hour onto the end of a vet’s day to go through all the faxes that come in requesting heartworm med scripts.)

But when a patient is in my office or an ongoing case and they want to buy generic rimadyl to save them $100 / month? It takes less time to write a prescription to Wal Mart for that than it takes me to order the meds and fill it myself. I think charging for that is ludicrous, and solely a stab to encourage people to just buy from the vet, which in essence is promoting vet to be drug dealers.

The vet world is very far behind IMO regarding medications. Still accepting weekend retreats at spa getaways to stock a particular brand of drug and push it on their clients? Horrible. Why do vets needs to make their profit off of drugs? Still, there are more and more vets out there that wonder why we sell drugs, so the future can only improve.

Sorry for the rant, it is something that really pushes Dr. Jed and I are very passionate about!

January 6, 2011 at 01:49
 

That is very kind of you not to charge a script fee BUT I do understand where the vets who do, are coming from. They run a business and have to be profitable.

However, I am very surprised that vets are allowed to accpet swag and travel junkets from the drug companies. No conflict of interest there :D

January 6, 2011 at 14:04
 

Karen,

Yes it is a business, but all other health professionals that I can think of do not charge a prescription writing fee. Can you imagine if your doctor charged you to write a script when you wouldn’t buy an antibiotic from them? Would be outrageous! There are other ways to make money, like actually practicing medicine.

January 10, 2011 at 02:12
 

Seems we love dogs. Check out my site. Thanks :)

Clay Hofler
January 26, 2011 at 20:37
 

I got a really nice wire dog crate with a pad and bowls for less than $80 for my collie. It was one of the best training tools we could ever have invested in.