Another New Year has arrived and as with every New Year, many of us like to set resolutions for ourselves to better ourselves in one way or another, whether it be financially, health wise, st4ive to be better parents, better spouses, etc. One good resolution to consider would be optimal care of one's pets. Our pets did not choose to be adopted by us, we chose them, and as such, we should never forget that having chosen them to accompany us on their journey through life, it is our duty to care for them as best as we are able, providing the best possible shelter, food, health care, and of course, love and affection.
Unfortunately, so many pet owners forget their duty they took on when they chose to have a pet in the first place, and let one or more of their responsibilities slack, with health care being among the first to lessen with time. Many pet owners begin by feeding the cheapest, worst quality, bargain basement food they can find, then progress to failing to provide yearly stool and heartworm testing for intestinal parasites and heartworm disease, respectively. Especially dangerous, without heartworm testing, patients cannot be placed on prevention, leaving them susceptible to a very serious and potentially debilitating disease.
Many of my clients even decline all other vaccines with the exception of rabies, the one required by state law - and if not for the law, I would wager that many of these types of pet owners would not even get that!
Now, I know that we are in the midst of tough economic times, and I am not suggesting that one put one's self or one's family in financial jeopardy in order to provide the family pet with the gold standard pet food and health care. I truly sympathize with those that have to make the choice between optimal health care for their pet, and financial security for their family. However, if you can afford going the extra mile for your pet, but to do so may require going without an occasional luxury or two, by all means, do it! Your pet should be more important than that flat screen high definition television you've been wanting since you saw one at your buddy's house.
Few things disappoint me more than people opting for only bare minimum yearly requirements as per state law, yet are sporting an expensive watch, purse, or drive away in some luxury car. It is clear to me where the family pet fits on the list of priorities for people like this. My question for people of this ilk is, "If your animal is of such little importance to you, why did you adopt him in the first place??"
Still, I see so many that have very little, but what they have, they allocate toward providing their pets the best possible care, and feeding the best quality pet food. This New Year, we should all try to aspire to do our best to be a little more like them.
Happy New Year everyone, and thank you for another year of reading and participating in my blog, and Web-DVM in general!