If you put the phrase “Questions to ask your Vet” into Google, you will find a few good suggestions regarding your dog’s wieght, medications, frequency of check-ups, nutrition, spaying and neutering, etc. These questions all have one thing in common: The Vet will have a rock solid opinion that benefits his practice. That is NOT an indictment of the Doctor. He or she is operating a business that requires him to think about the financial “bottom line.” By far, the majority of Veterinary Professionals ARE animal loving people, and they DO want the best for your dog, but they still answer to outside influences and personal opinion. YOU, as your dogs best advocate, need to be armed with “informed opinions”.
As an example, the issue of Spaying and Neutering. It seems to me that during training, most Vets have these procedures pounded into their heads as absolutely necessary, and a foregone conclusion. Many will even want to schedule your dog for the procedure as soon as possible. You WILL be pressured to have it done, and the Doctor is already armed with the reasons he believes that it is vital for your dogs future health. Many new dog owners have been pushed into having the procedure done, and regretting it later. If you ARE planning to have it done, then follow the Doctors instructions. However, if you have a dog that can legitimately add or preserve something for the breed, don’t be bullied. Do your homework, and be ready to explain why you have plans to possibly breed, after the dogs health and structure have been confirmed. BEFORE any of the Militant branch of spaying/neutering advocates jump all over me for not agreeing with them, and filling my messages with angry rebukes, let me inform YOU of something you will not be aware of. The Hans Foundation , (The Legal/Business entity that presides over, and administrates ” The National Competitive K-9 Scentwork Association” and the “Civilian Volunteer K-9 Response Group”, and two other business groups.) supports and contributes toward low-cost spaying/neutering programs, low cost vaccinations, and other Canine-centered concerns quite generously. We are NOT anti-neuter/spay, nor do we advocate a complete rejection of all vaccination policies. Do me the honor of listening to my reasoning.) There are those individuals that possess the skills, knowledge, and facilities to improve and add to the wonderful qualities of the German Shepherd Dog. (Or other breeds as well) Such breeders should not only be allowed to do this work, but should be encouraged to pursue this passion. Should they be held to high standards of practices? Absolutely. Should they be strictly governed by those without any knowledge (i,e. Federal Government intervention)? NO! Good Breeders will only survive if they produce good puppies and happy owners. Good breeders understand the best practices and follow them. They are self-governing by virtue of success or failure, and have the best interests of their dogs foremost in their practices everyday. ( RANT MODE now turned off )
Need a breather after that? Go ahead…Here’s a Photo to look at…
Okay, next I want to discuss the issues behind Vaccinations for your dog, types, schedules, and frequency. Again, I will ask you to do YOUR homework and educate yourself BEFORE choosing your Veterinarian. Opinions vary widely in this arena from Vet to Vet, and you should know what is NEEDED, what is OPTIONAL (and Why) and what may very well HARM your dog. By the Way, the funny caricature above was done by “Woofs by Weber” who has a site on Facebook! Check out her charming work!