Your Pet’s Care Is In Your Hands

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In the past year, I have been writing about helpful hints for you, as a pet owner, to save expenses on the care of your pet. We have talked on everything from good nutrition to good veterinary hospitals. Yet, ultimately it is up to you for the care of your dog.

It’s true that genetics and the environment of your pet play some role in your dog’s longevity, veterinary expenses, and other expenses. Allowing your dog to run free increases the chances that your dog may be injured and incur large veterinary bills for his or her care, if he or she makes it. And yes, certain breeds have genetic predispositions which shorten their lives i.e. Newfoundland dogs with heart conditions, Schnauzers and bladder stones, and German Shepherds with poor hips. But beyond this, our pets are what they eat and drink and how we care for them.

We have talked about good nutrition and this idea is becoming more and more important. Just look at and look at the recall notices for pet foods and pet treats. These recalls are the result of people reporting in large numbers the death or illness of their pet as a result of eating this product. That means, somebody’s pets were sick or died in such large numbers that the manufacturer or government required a recall, after the fact to protect dogs and cats in the future. So, buy American made dog food and dog treats from reputable manufacturers i.e. Hills, Royal Canin, Iams, Purina, Delmonte. And use human vegetable treats instead of all these preserved body parts that are out there i.e. carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.

Above all, you are responsible for your pet. The government can only do so much in the veterinary profession. It’s up to you to ask questions of your veterinarian. Develop a good rapport with one of the doctors at the animal hospital. Investigate what you feed your pet. Ask questions when your pet is sick. Ask for an estimate and learn what you are getting and what you are paying for. Finally, if you need to, get a second opinion. It is worth it.

Dr. Manda DVM, MS, MBA, CVPM, is a full-time emergency veterinarian, former veterinary hospital owner, pet food executive, and successful entrepreneur. He consults to the pet food, animal health, and veterinary marketplace both nationally and internationally.  At home, he has three cats who request all of his free time.

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