Here Are 50 Things People Should Understand About Their Pets, According To Veterinarians
Cats. Can’t. Be. Vegan.
[SHUT UP] with your “well I’m vegan and I want my pet to be vegan too!!”
THEN GET A [FREAKING] RABBIT
I am a vet. Do not get a cat and then expect me to amputate its toes because you don’t want it scratching the furniture. I refuse to perform declaws on cats because most of the time it is a mutilation for the cosmetics of a couch. There is no medical benefit to the animal.
About their pet, the best one I know is one I heard a while ago: You have your life, your job, your friends, your family to provide your social interaction per day. Your dog only has YOU. Interact with your dog for more than five minutes per day and maybe your dog will not go out barking every five seconds.
Don’t buy a dog only because you like the way it looks. Huskies and most sorts of shepherds are working dogs. They need lots of activities to be happy and they often turn aggressive, if they do not get enough of it!
I am a vet. I wish people just even had a BASIC understanding of dog or cat body language. Ffs. The number of videos posted on reddit of animals in distress and its tagged as “oh my little fluffster is so cute when he plays!” Or whatever makes my blood boil. That kind of moronic ignorance is what gets children bit by the pet dog or the cat who is now dying because the owner had no idea of the signs 4 months ago.
Don’t complain about your dog not having boundaries when you’re literally feeding them scraps off your plate at dinner time! That’s 100% on you.
Having a pet is a luxury, not a right. If you can’t afford unforeseen medical problems or pet insurance, please don’t get a pet!
From my former vet tech girlfriend, don’t leave your pets to be euthanized without you. It’s hard to be there and it’s hard to watch, but if you leave them they will die scared and looking for you. She had to try and comfort pets whose owner’s couldn’t bring themselves to stay and it’s one of the few things that makes her cry.
Your dog doesn’t “want to be a mom” or experience the “joys of motherhood”
RVT here. There are sooo many.
1. It is not cute or sweet to have an obese pet. It can cause joint issues and heart disease among many things. Stop showing love through over feeding (especially human junk food).
2. Dogs are living creatures who need preventative medical care just like you do. And sometimes they get sick like you do. If you can’t contribute the bare minimum to take care of them, maybe you should think again about owning one.
3. GET YOUR PUPPY ITS DAMN DISTEMPER/PARVO VACCINES.
Vaccines you get at the drug store on the corner or the feed and tack shop ARE NOT as good or the same as the ones you get at the vet.
Just because your dog is scratching its ears does not mean it has ear mites.
Your cat is not urinating outside the box because its a jerk ( it might be) it probably has an infection.
Not eating for 3 days while vomiting and having diarrhea is a huge deal! That 5lb chihuahua or even 80lb lab cant lose that many fluids without having any intake and be ok and neither would you.
There is no such thing as Alpha. The whole concept was based of a flawed methodology where even the researchers who wrote the book in the first place disavowed it. Simply use force free training and you and your pet will be happier for it
They rely solely on you for care. For everything. You are their everything. Don’t f**k it up.
KNOW YOUR BREED!!! Don’t complain about your dog being too energetic or destructive when you keep them cooped up in a cage for 12 hours a day!! A Labrador is a working dog – he needs a job to do!! A husky is a snow dog – don’t own one in Florida!! German Shepherds shed ALOT – don’t complain about the hairballs!! DO YOUR RESEARCH 1st!!
The internet is not a place for you to self-diagnose and treat your pet. I saw way too many things happen to pets that didn’t need to. Like putting oregano or oil in your dog’s ear to treat an ear infection.
Not a vet, but my mom was a vet tech for years and I’ve been an animal profession for awhile now.
Cats DO NOT do things because they are mad at you. Your cat did not poop on your boyfriend’s pillow as revenge for being yelled at, and they certainly did not pee on your clothes because they’re mad you didn’t feed them on time. Cats are creatures of habit and prefer routine to feel safe, so when you have drastic changes in behavior (such as eliminating outside the box), it’s typically due to one of two reasons: environmental changes or a medical issues. If you cannot think of anything in your home environment that’s changed, then you need to get them checked at the vet.
Neither milk nor tuna from a can are good treats for you cat, despite the stereotype.
Unless it’s for a legitimate medical reason, declawing cats is cruel. If you don’t want cats clawing your furniture, but can’t be bothered to do the bare minimum of just researching how you can prevent it, then don’t get a cat. Don’t have a completely unnecessary medical procedure done on your cat simply because you don’t want to be inconvenienced.
Not a vet but my mom is.
One thing that really frustrates her is the myth that neutering a cat will make them fat and lazy.
It reduces the amount of calories they need which means they need less food and/or more exercise to maintain the same weight. Cats generally get less energetic as they get older regardless, but most will still perk up if you make the effort to wave a toy in their face every so often.
That they are NOT human. Anthropomorphizising your pet often leads to behavioural issues ( small dogs being treated like babies makes them feel they’re pack leaders, no your dog is not smiling, he’s [fricking] stressed, no, your dog is not guilty, he’s terrified of punishment). So for the love of all your deities… Love your pet as if it was your child and treat it how it deserves to be treated – through communication it understands!
If your pet eats your weed stash, let the vet know. They are not going to call the police. They need to know everything they can to diagnose your pet.
Ripping your cat’s claws out to preserve your furniture is absolutely disgusting and inhumane.
Don’t justify it by saying that at least you’re giving him/her a good home. You’re depriving the animal of one of the core essence of being a cat!
If your cat or dog was hit by a car and is whining and limping, when you bring them in and get asked when the accident happened, the damn answer best not be ‘oh, 4-5 days ago, but I haven’t had time to bring him in’
Source = wife is a surgical vet nurse
Vet Nurse for 10+years….
90% of your pets behavioural issues are your fault. If you’re not willing to train your pet (mostly dogs here, cats just dgaf) basic commands and getting them used to being handled then you can bet we will restrain and muzzle if need be or we will charge extra for sedation. My colleagues and I are not in the business of fluffing around whilst trying to treat your pet and or getting bitten.
What you think is cute in your large breed puppy (growling, resource guarding, biting) is not cute when it is a 30+kg uncontrollable beast.
Retractable leashes are the worst invention ever and should be banned. You have no control over your pet.
Stop letting your pet wander up to any other pet in the waiting room. Not all dogs are friendly and cats are stressed enough.
Overfeeding your pet is the same animal abuse as underfeeding.
Start a savings account for your pet if pet insurance doesn’t suit. If you never need it you have money you can spend on a holiday.
Your dog does not need to eat grain free food with massive amounts of protein because they are “basically a wolf.” No. They’re not. They’re a dog. And not only does the actual science not support the need for these trend diets, now there’s concern they’re actually doing harm, causing dilated cardiomyopathy in certain animals.
In a similar vein, we do not get any money from diet companies. Do you think I would be wallowing in my 325K of debt (no this is not an exaggeration in the slightest), driving a 15 year old broken down car, and renting without a hope of buying a house, if I were getting kickbacks? I would not. If we make a diet recommendation it’s because current science says it may help your pet.
We agonize over cases, work longer hours than we should, spend time away from our families and friends to figure out difficult cases and help the really sick pets. Taking out your anger and grief on me and my staff does nothing but tear us apart and contribute to the high suicide rate that vets and vet techs have. We are helpers at heart and it hurts when we can’t help – please be kind and don’t make us feel worse.
It’s not cute to have a dog that obsessively protects you. It means they see you as a resource to guard. Nothing more than a toy or bone. They are supposed to belong to you, not the other way around.
Your rabbit is not a f**king hamster.
It needs actual space to run around, and not a single cage sold at a commercial pet store has even close to enough space. They need runs, and access to the house if you can.
They are incredibly social animals, so don’t come to me and say you got one. They are lonely, and need a buddy. If they don’t have one, be prepared to spend 6+ hours a day hanging out and socializing with them because they need the interaction.
They do not just eat pellets, 80-90% of their diet is should be hay and I’m tired of people coming in with morbidly obese rabbits as a result of the rabbit being fed nothing but calorie dense pellets and carrots.
And stop buying pugs from breeders. Bringing more of those poor suffering creatures into this world is inhumane.
My wife is a vet. She says that a lot of people tell her they want their dog to experience child birth at least once. It’s a horrible and traumatic experience for dogs because they not only have to go through pregnancy and labor, but they have to give up their babies.
Spay and neuter your pets.
Getting and relying on medical advice from breeders and groomers (with no medical background). I once saw a rat terrier with a fractured humerus, which typically requires surgical correction. As I stepped out of the room to check availability with a surgeon, the client called the dog’s breeder who said not to follow my advice and to “just put the dog in a sling” and that she’s “done on her own dog’s plenty.”
Also, not exercising dogs enough. Many behavioral problems can be solved with ample exercise daily.
Worked at a pet clinic for a couple of years and there are waaay to many people who buy cattle dogs/shephards and don’t give them the attention/exercise they need. Then they want to know why the dogs are stressed, tearing everything up and running away. Don’t get a working dog if you aren’t up to the challenges necessary to meet their needs. Get a pet that fits with your lifestyle, not just one that’s popular or intelligent or “the kind you always wanted”. These are living beings with feelings, emotions and needs, not a fashion accessory or tool to get internet points.
What anxiety actually looks like in animals, especially dogs, and how unfair it is to the animal.
People don’t know that yawning, side-eye, lip licking, constant paw licking, etc. are signs of anxiety. That is your animal trying to speak to you and their surroundings that they aren’t ok. Over time it can escalate when they aren’t heard (up to biting) and the only way I can really intervene as a vet is some behavioural therapy but mostly through lifelong meds.
Many clients hate giving anxiety meds because it is a daily commitment and/or they don’t believe it is a big deal. They don’t think that their animal feels anxiety because they perceive the animal to have had a good life and what they do is “just a quirk.” Furthermore, if they stop some of the meds the animal will be chemically resistant when you try use them again (like Prozac). Animals can’t really go to a therapist like we can but also it’s unfair to let them live in states of extreme anxiety. Think of those moments when you have a situation (or no obvious trigger) that you feel your stomach drop, you can’t focus, and you have that sense of impending doom you can’t shake. Animals feel that too.
Also don’t get me started on behaviour misinformation. Dominance/alpha theory, ignoring your animal when you come home/leave, purposely switching up your routine so they can’t “tell” your leaving. All bulls**t.
“I can’t believe you pulled 12 teeth out of Lucy!”
I didn’t pull, they fell. They FELL OUT. It amazes me how many people don’t notice the discomfort their pet is experiencing with their teeth rotting out of their face. Preventative dental care is so important!
RVN Here (U.K.).
1)Vaccinating you’re animals costs WAY less than treating them for potentially fatal diseases. If we wanted your money we would advised AGAINST vaccinating.
2) calling your pet obese isn’t fat shaming. It is no different to having a super skinny underfed animal. Under weight or overweight, this is cruel and your animal is suffering.
3) your animal will not die peacefully at home. It’ll often take days or even weeks of suffering, struggling to get up, struggling to breathe. Please put your animal to sleep when we recommend you to. We are really doing it for the best interest of your pet.
4) your pet is in pain. Just because he is eating or running around doesn’t mean he isn’t in pan. Animals live in the moment, and do not show pain as much as humans as a way to survive. They can still run around with crippling arthritis. If we tell you your pet is in pain, trust us, they are.
5) please neuter your animal. They will not lose their personality. Neuter your animal, is much cheaper than treating them for prostate/testicular cancer, or a womb infection (pyometra). Please neuter your pets.
Vet tech here : if you can’t afford the adoption or breeder fee, then you can’t afford a pet
Pets, especially DOGS need pet insurance. Do your research before getting a pet. They are not just something you can throw away. You would think adults would understand this but some really just don’t
Woah, I rant about that so many times to my coworkers lol.
1. Having an obese pet is NOT cute.
2. Even if your pet is a darling at home, it still can bite me and you shouldn’t judge me if I put on a muzzle (even more if it’s a big, angry dog/cat).
3. Your pet has moods, just like a human.
4. Any change in behavior of your pet should be critically looked at. Why is it that your pet suddenly growls/bites when you touch it in a special place? Could it have pain there?
5. Argh dunno how many times I said that but most people bring in their pet when it’s too late, I had so many cases where I had to use much more expensive treatment cause Karen was too lazy to come here with her cat who obviously had a tumor.
6. I wish people would understand a pet is not a toy for your children you buy and stuff away whenever you’re done with it.
7. It’s NOT cool to make your dog into a killer machine. Especially if I – the vet – have to give it a shot etc.
Yeah… sometimes I highly doubt some people should be allowed to even own stuffed toys…
There are so many things, but I really want people to realize that while puppies are cute, they NEED APPROPRIATE SOCIALIZATION AND TRAINING. Especially when that cute puppy will grow up to be huge! I have seen many young dogs this year since COVID-19 has left many people with free time on their hands. They obviously aren’t using this free time working on their pet’s behavior though. Nothing like juvenile dogs who don’t know how to walk on a leash, will literally knock you down, or will just try to bite you if you get near them. Or a young dog who is terrified of everything.
Also, update your concept of training to this century please! No self respecting behaviorist or trainer will use dominance theory or negative reinforcers like shock collars. Evidence based research has shown is this is NOT the way! It breaks my heart when people take their dog to a trainer and it gets worse because of the methodology used.
Ex vet tech.
Dogs and pancreatitis. It Can happen by eating the wrong food once, and it can kill an otherwise healthy dog within 2-3 days.
For the love of god. Don’t feed your dog table food. 1 intake of the wrong food can potentially cause pancreatitis. Most people think that “we rarely do it” so it’s okay to sneak some sausage to their dog during dinner
No no no. One time Can trigger it and it can be extremely deadly.
Also hand in hand with this: if your dog isn’t eating or drinking water, it needs medical attention. Don’t “wait a few days” if it isn’t drinking or eating. It will get dehydrated and it may die.
Absolutely do not have your rabbit in a carrot only diet. They need balance. Some of them don’t even like them. Thanks bugs bunny
DON’T FEED GRAIN FREE FOOD! If your dog actually has a grain allergy it will need a veterinary prescribed diet. Don’t listen to the people at the pet stores. Grain free is causing DCM.
If you see a stray cat with a cleanly clipped ear tip do not take it to a shelter. Either take it home to live with you or leave it on the street.
Clipped ears mean they were caught, neutered/spayed by the city/county, and released. This is a way to control cat populations and, over time, protect wildlife. They compete for resources with fertile cats without adding to the population.
In many cities, stray cats are more likely to be adopted from the street than in the shelter. If the cat is taken to a shelter they cannot legally release it because it is now abandoning the animal. That cat will be euthanized, or at best absorbs resources until it finds a home.
If they’re limping/straining/ clamping one eye shut they’re in pain. They don’t cry and whimper like we do.
I’m not making up how serious heartworm disease is where I live in South Texas. Yes, even for cats.
At least where I live, you won’t dry out their haircoats by bathing them. Skin allergies are so prevalent here it actually really helps.
You can socialize cats and acclimate them to carriers and car rides. I encourage you to do so, it’ll make their +/- 20 year lifespan so much more enjoyable for both of you!
PLEASE don’t declaw you cats and crop your dogs ears.
Don’t pay a backyard breeder to “rescue” a puppy or kitten from them.
Whew- looks like I had a lot to unload here!
Not a vet but I worked/interned at a vet for about a year. Take care of your pet’s dental hygiene the best you can. I’ve seen many gnarly mouths and several pets that have had to have almost all their teeth pulled. Also, dental diseases can cause your pet a lot of pain.
Your pet is not just there for cuddles and cuteness. They require training, proper diet, and health. Don’t let your dog be a pee/poop demon just because you can’t be bothered with its existence unless it gives you attention.
Not a vet but my sister is.
Vet care is NOT FREE. There are a crazy number of clients who think that vet care should be free because if they charge money they must “hate animals and like to watch them suffer”
RVT here. Exotic animals (reptiles, birds, small mammals such as rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs and rodents) may be easy to acquire and assumingely easier to take care of but most of these animals have very specific housing and dietary needs that need to be met and require enrichment.
Also, not every veterinarian has experience with exotic animals, and exotic animal medicine is sometimes at a premium but is still necessary. I’ve met a lot of people who get a small mammal or a small bird for like $20 from the pet store and then won’t pay for medical care because it costs way more than the pet was purchased for.
I wished that they understand that they have a live creature that need all type of cares not just medical but environment enrichment a correct and health feeding and why not? even emotional care but the average pet owner think that him/her just have a teddy bear or something.
Vet in the UK – 1. the sounds that flat faced dogs make are not normal 2. there is no such thing as ‘he/she is just a bit stiff but he/she is not in pain, it’s just old age’ if your dog/cat is stiff or slowing down on walks then it’s very likely they are in pain 3. on the same note pain relief is important, yes all pain relief has side effects just like all human medication does, but please don’t let your pet suffer 4. if your vet says your dog/cat needs a dental then please follow their advice, I’ve seen some horrendous mouths covered in calculus with teeth falling out and the poor animal’s had to put up with it for years because ‘he/she is still eating so his/her teeth must be fine’
America, don’t call the vet’s office to describe your own symptoms in the hope they’ll let you run in and pick up some meds for … the dog. And don’t take fish antibiotics from Petmartco, either.
Our neighbor Dr. Lucy, DVM
5yr Vet Tech Assist.
If your pet is scratching and we find flea dirt, then your pet has fleas. Just because you take 1 pet out for just a few minutes doesn’t mean they can’t get fleas. Accept it, treat it, prevent it.
STOP feeding table scraps. Pancreatitis sucks for everyone involved and is an expensive treatment.
Yes, we recommend heartworm prevention all year around. We are not in it for “the money”. We are in the South, it doesn’t stay cold enough to keep the pests away.
Your clearly aggressive animal isn’t cute behavior. Period.
Getting them spayed or neutered under six months of age is going to prevent unwanted litters, cancer issues later in life, infections (pyometra), and behavioral issues. What it wont change is them gaining height or muscle. That stuff is genetic.
Not a veterinarian, but I am a veterinary assistant. What people often think is an “emergency” really isn’t an emergency and your pet will not die that night if we can’t squeeze you in for a same-day appointment. For example, if your dog has a minor ear infection, it’s not gonna die if we tell you that our earliest appointment is next week and we don’t have anymore available slots for the current day, especially not when we’re about to close in an hour. We had a client with a GS insist that her dog needed to be seen NOW because it was an absolute emergency and that her dog was completely, 100% non-ambulatory and that she (the dog) would need to be carried into the hospital via a stretcher…Dr agreed to squeeze her dog in for an appointment during his lunch time, and guess what, the dog was walking fine and our doctor didn’t find anything significant even with radiographs.