Information and Action – Fort Bragg Advocate-News

I firmly believe that the most important job of a veterinarian is to provide guidance to the animal guardian. Do you need information. Flea vaccines and pills are important, but they’re not the number one reason to take your pet to the vet.

Many people seem to believe that if their pet is eating and acting well, it means everything is fine and there are no problems. I can tell you that about 99% of the time it’s incorrect, and that’s not an exaggeration.

You need information from an informed, objective and medically trained source. This information should be based on experience, research and clinical studies. Although the Internet is a powerful resource, it should be used with caution. I have even seen vets on the internet promoting false or misleading information. Money is often the motivation in these cases. Keep in mind that these vets are the exception, not the rule.

For conspiracy theorists, please understand that I believe the vast majority of veterinarians want to prevent disease, not cause it. I have voluntarily contributed to this column for almost 5 years now and long-time readers will know that most of my articles are about disease prevention. Vets could easily make more money in less time by ignoring prevention and simply putting out fires when the inevitable crisis hits. We don’t want to do that. Really.

Pet sitters need to understand and believe in prevention. They must take it to heart and act accordingly. I can tell you what you need to know, but I can’t be at your house every day to provide exercise, dental care, and proper nutrition for your pet. You are responsible for your pet. You should accept this fact before you even commit to having a pet. Ultimately, it’s about your pet living the longest and best quality of life possible. Although my priority is the health of my patients, preventive care will also save you money.

I am inspired to write this article as I have just celebrated my 20th anniversary of practicing veterinary medicine. I often hear myself saying the same things every day, about weight, nutrition and dental health. Although I’m blessed with a wonderful clientele, I feel like a lot of people struggle to take knowledge and turn it into action. I understand it’s hard to cut back on your dog’s food or understand and accept that dry food is toxic to cats. I also understand that it is an inconvenient truth that animals need dental care just as much as humans.

We must realize that taking care of a pet is not always easy. It assumes you want the best for your pet. And of course you want the best. The crux of the matter is wanting versus doing.

Here are the absolute basic necessities no matter what kind of pet you have. These are NOT OPTIONAL:

  1. Find a veterinarian you trust.
  2. At ONLY MINIMUM, have your pet checked once a year.
  3. Listen and record information from this visit. Ask all your questions.
  4. Act on this information!

I am slowly uploading and updating all my past articles on my blog and invite anyone interested to come read and comment if you wish, you can find it at

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