Dog Owners. Get this book!

Engaging and easy to read “A Modern Dog’s Life” offers a new approach to owning and training a dog.

Written by a Vet, it draws on the latest research on dog behaviour and explores the challenges that face anyone who owns a dog today.

It covers areas of dog management that most dog owners today struggle to get right as well as setting out some blunt home truths about the realities of keeping a dog.

We recommend all dog owners to get this book. It will help you become a better dog watcher, team – player,companion and life coach for your dog.

You can grab a copy of the book from here or check out your local bookstore.

Enjoy the video!

Flea products can kill more than Fleas if you’re not careful

Nothing sends you running to your local petstore or supermarket faster than the discovery of these pesky parasites on your pet’s coat.

But before you grab the first, best priced (and the one with the most attractive packaging) – FLEA KILLER please check out what chemicals it contains.

Flea products come in all different formats: from shampoos, sprays to spottons, even oral tablets -and they all contain some type of Active Ingredient to kill these unwelcome creatures quickly.

However, some of these Active Ingedients, while safe to use on or near dogs, can be exteremely dangerous for Cats.

Products containing Pyrethrums / Permethrins are for DOGS ONLY. Do not use these on Cats or allow cats to come into contact with them.

Same goes with products containing the Active ingredient Amitraz.

Application of a permethrin or pyrethrin based insecticide to a cat will usually result in toxic symptoms within a few hours.

These include:

  • Salivating (drooling)
  • Seizures or muscle tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy

This mistake is often made in multi pet households where it’s tempting to buy a pack of something and share it around all the pets. With so many of these products available on the market, and most being sold without advice, (online stores and supermarkets) it’s easy to overlook the fine print.

How to choose the right Flea Product

First of all – most Flea preventatives are formulated for a specific species. There’s products that are safe for use on Cats and ones that are for Dogs only. Most products will clearly indicate the species thy’re intended for but still check the fine print. Sometimes pictures can be misleading.

Then of course there’s the age, weight and health restrictions. All products should caution you against using the product on or around specific types of animals such as young puppies and kittens or animals which are sick or underweight.

Sometimes names of products can be confusing too. Advantix for example (A flea and tick preventative spotton for dogs) can be confused with Advantage – another product which kills fleas only.

Both Advantix and Advantage contain the Active Ingredient Imidacloprid which is safe for both dogs and cats however Advantix also contains Permethrin (to kill ticks) and is toxic to cats.

So never – ever use Advantix on Cats. In fact, if you apply this product to your dog keep your cat well away from him for the first few days after application. So sleeping together is a big No – No!

Our advice is – get advice whenever you buy antiparasitic products and stick with well respected brands that use safe active ingredients – and ones which are guaranteed effective against the feisty invaders.

Some cheaper generics may contain ingredients which no longer work as well because the parasites have developed a resistance to them.

Also – be aware that some flea products don’t actually kill adult fleas. They act as a Flea contraceptive which simply prevent fleas from breeding. These products won’t help you if you need to get rid of fleas quickly. Their role is to reduce the flea population over time. Sentinel Spectrum is an example of this type of product.

Choosing antiparasitics can be confusing and it’s easy to make a mistake. So – always read the fine print and preferably – ask for advice. After all – peace of mind is important too!

“Best Practice” Medicine. Wonderful – but is it for you?

Put simply -“Best Practice” means offering you the best treatment options available for your pet’s condition.

  • Sometimes it means offering you the choice of a superior surgical technique over what has been commonly addressed a different way.
  • Sometimes it involves a referral to a specialist clinic.
  • Sometimes it involves high tech diagnostics or a different approach to treatment.

Naturally “Best Practice” techniques are expected to produce better outcomes. Now whether this means a more accurate diagnosis, a faster recovery process or a better long term outlook for the patient, they certainly have their benefits.

But in the end it does boil down to affordability.

Now while it’s our job as vets to explain these options to you – (from our experience) – it’s the budget that most often dictates the choice our clients make. Sure – it’s great that there’s a host of superior solutions out there, but they’re not so great if they’re out of reach.

Unlike human doctors – we vets don’t have the luxury of always applying best practice techniques. We can’t always run all the tests we’d like to get to the bottom of a problem nor can we send all our patients off to a specialist if a condition is particularly challenging. Most often we have to find a workable solution within a specific budget – at the same time providing the much needed emotional support that so often accompanies situations like these.

Fortunately – many conditions do have treatment options so make sure your vet goes through them all with you. This will help you make an informed decision.

But – if compromises are made, make sure you fully understand the implications of your decision.

  • What are the disadvantages of this option?
  • What are the risks involved?
  • How will it affect the long term health of my pet?
  • Will I be able to change my mind down the track and choose a different treatment option?
  • If this option doesn’t work then what needs to happen then?
  • Have I limited my options in the future by going down this path?
  • Has this option worked for patients in the past? How well? What’s your experience?

In an ideal world – we’d all be making “Best Practice” decisions. Like having root canal treatment vs. extraction. The first is clearly the superior option (no gaps – tooth stays in place) but the other works just fine. Gets rid of the pain and is a lot cheaper.

Is it always that simple? Not always. But do get all the facts and give yourself enough “thinking” time to make sure you make the decision that best suits you, your pet and your budget.

And if your vet is unable to provide these options for you – find someone who can.

A thing called Loyalty can save the day!

Unlike the good old days where loyalty to a particular business for whatever reason was almost the norm – these days most of us tend to use a number of different providers to buy what we want or need.

And why not! After all, saving money and convenience is important too. Especially as we lead busier lives and expenses keep going up and up.

But in the midst of all this, have we lost something? Something important?

Like being recognised by a business as a “regular” customer. Someone they’ve gotten to know over the years and who knows them.

Now you might think there’s no real advantage to being a regular client of any one business but that’s not entirely true.

Imagine you’re suddenly faced with a large and unexpected vet bill. Your pet has been severely injured and needs urgent surgery or treatment.Your credit card’s maxed out and you’ve just finished paying all the household bills. The veterinary services are strictly COD and the payment is due now!

Will your vet help you out? Like – offer a payment plan that’s manageable? Or a 30 days to settle the account?

While you’ll find that most veterinary services are strictly payment at the time of service, you might discover that if you’ve been a regular at your vet clinic, they might reward your loyalty by offering you some payment options of their own.

Like we do – for clients who have been coming to us for years and who we trust to pay us as agreed.

We know this has helped a lot of our clients out over the years. It provided a choice. And in some cases – the most valuable choice of all. Treatment vs euthanasia.

If this is not possible then:

Another option of payment may be through third party financing which means you’re applying for credit through a separate credit provider. Most clinics these day offer this service. We use GE Care Credit as a third party credit provider. (They offer interest free terms if your application is succesful)

But – if you don’t like the idea of restricting your choices in pet healthcare – take out pet insurance. Here all or most of your veterinary expenses are taken care of through the insurance provider so you’ll never have to worry about an unexpected vet bill or which vet to turn to for help.