There are a lot of people that don’t take their dog to the veterinarian.
If that is you, then we need to talk. You are breaking the law, and you are neglecting your dog’s welfare.
Vaccines: Regardless of all the hype, it is essential to have your dog appropriately vaccinated. And regarding rabies, it is the law, because rabies can be transmitted to humans and is lethal to humans. If your dog isn’t immunized properly, then your dog can get sick and die a horrible disease. Or your dog can infect another dog and kill it. You don’t want that to happen, do you? And it really doesn’t cost very much to vaccinate your dog. You can often get the rabies shot done very inexpensively at a discount clinic. And you can get the rest of the vaccinations and do it yourself, buying them at places such as horse feed stores. Call around. Vaccinations can be done very inexpensively.
Health Check: Veterinarians look at more than just whether your dog is vaccinated. There are a lot of things a veterinarian can find in an exam. Catching problems early on can prevent them from blowing up into major, and expensive, problems. The coat, skin, eyes, heart, breathing, and so forth all need to be looked at once a year, or immediately if anything just doesn’t look right.
Emergencies: I never let a suspected dog health problem go on. I immediately am on the phone with my veterinarian. I don’t wait until tomorrow. I don’t wait a couple of hours. I go NOW. I have also gone to the vet in the middle of the night. It can save your dog’s life.
Embarrassment: I think a lot of people are embarrassed that they haven’t been taking their dog to the veterinarian, so they don’t go at all. They are afraid of what the veterinarian is going to say. Look, they WANT to help you and your dog. They aren’t there to give you a hard time. They want you as a returning, happy client. And if they say things, they do it because they care about your dog. Just listen, thank them for their help, pay the bill, and then you are on track. Next time, you won’t have the embarrassment because you are now up to date.
Criminal Neglect: If you don’t treat a dog’s medical issues, and if your dog dies a horrible death, or is found to be suffering horribly because you didn’t treat your dog… guess what? You are going to jail, possibly for several years. So, it is better to deal with it than to postpone things and get yourself in even more hot water. Even if things are bad now, get your dog into the veterinarian and pay to have the dog treated. That is better than going to jail. Everyone knows you have a dog, and they know you are neglecting your dog. Believe me, they will tell the police everything if something bad happens to your dog. You can prevent that from happening by going to the veterinarian today. It is cruel to let a dog suffer, or to expose them to unnecessary risks. Don’t turn this into a criminal matter just because you are embarrassed at what the veterinarian is going to say.
Find Another Home: If you just can’t afford to care for your dog, or you don’t like your dog, or whatever… then find a reputable rescue group in town to take your dog. Call your local veterinarian, groomer, and dog trainer and get references. There are groups that will help out. There are even places that will help pay your dog’s medical bills if that is necessary. Ask around, OK?
I take my dog to the vet. I find a good one, I sacrifice if necessary to spend the money, and I love my dog. Now, go and do the right thing. You know in your heart what you should do, so go do it.
Sam Basso is a professional dog trainer and behaviorist, in the Phoenix/ Scottsdale metropolitan area. He’s known for being fun, kind, intelligent, and humane. Sam Basso has a unique personal touch. He has appeared on his own TV show, been a guest radio expert, gives seminars, publishes a dog related blog, does rescue volunteering, and is active in promoting animal welfare and fair dog laws.