A question we get on a daily basis from our clients and customers, and even some vets is “How often do I need to take my pet to the vet and do I really need all the things they recommend?” Many variations of this question often include foods, flea preventatives and treatments, heartworm products, supplements and topicals like shampoo and grooming products.
This poses an interesting challenge. We know that pet owners and lovers are looking for the best information available to keep their pet healthy and yet not throw away their hard earned dollars on items that are unnecessary.
Let’s start with the questions you need to ask yourself.
You get a reminder in the mail that “Fluffy” is due for a check-up. Ask yourself, what does this mean? Has your pet been suffering and your provider is doing a follow up to track your pets’ progress? Is your pet due for a test for a condition or for license purposes? Is it a tool to get you back to the clinic to sell you new products and services? These can all be legitimate reasons and it’s sometimes difficult to choose what to do.
You must remember that your vet or clinic is in the business of selling you the products and services they provide. Are these all needed and necessary? Well, since they sell these products and services, they think they are absolutely necessary, and their approach can resemble that of the car salesman that needs to meet their quota.
You need to define your goals and needs and then ask them to fill those parts you cannot do yourself. There are books, videos, seminars, and unlimited information available on line that can help guide you in your search. The more informed you are the better consumers you will be.
Let’s look at diet as an example. This is easy for me because it’s a major component of our programs but it wasn’t always so. Today we are advocates for feeding real, biologically appropriate diets, for all out pets. However, for most of my professional life, I too believed much of what the pet food representatives told me. I even worked for one and introduced hundreds of products to my customers. Then I started to realize that the claims for many of these products were to help problems that didn’t even exist years ago. Claims like “will add two years to your dog’s life”, does that compare to the food they sold me last week or on to their natural expectancy of my pet. What about “sensitive stomach diet?” What were you feeding before that caused this condition?
Same is true of vaccinations. If we have been vaccinating for any disease for many generations, shouldn’t that disease cease to exist? How do I know that my pet is really protected? Have you ever vaccinated for “kennel cough” before you board you’re your pet, only to get him back coughing? Did that vaccine perform as claimed? If it doesn’t, will your vet give you your money back and pay to correct the problem? You’d expect that of your car dealer or most retailers.
We offer guidance to all our clients but the responsibility still belongs to you! Your care providers, regardless of how compassionate or caring they appear to be, have no real vested interest in your pet. They are there to provide specialized services for you.
You can visit us on the web at the Pet Health Café. Com and expand this question on our radio show or email, or just visit us at Fiesta Pet Deli.