How to avoid making mistakes that will shorten your dog's life
My friend, Dr. Catherine Lavoie, an animal chiropractor, came to visit us from Quebec. I love when she comes to visit because we get to talk about dogs, share our experience and talk about the challenges you face when looking for the right veterinary care for your dog.
A big chunk of these challenges come from the lack of integration and connection between holistic and conventional medical practitioners and dog lovers often end up in the middle, confused about what to believe and who to trust.
Catherine and I sometimes get fiery about this topic and are unhappy about the pharmaceutical and pet food company driven system. But we also know that if we focus on what we do well, share it and try not to get distracted by the ever present information overload, we are more likely to help.
FOCUS is it!
No one can do it all.
Perhaps the problem in veterinary medicine is that veterinarians try to do too many things and veterinary colleges try to control every animal healing modality. They say that control is needed to protect you and your dog, but one can argue that such control does not exist in human medicine.
I love animals and consider them equals to people. However, for some reason dogs are subject to many more bylaws and regulations. It doesn’t make sense that people can choose their healthcare practitioners, but can’t make the same choices for their animal friends. That is why many people see these bylaws and regulations as self-serving protectionism.
So, what is ultimately the solution?
No one should need to ask a veterinarian for a referral to a skilled and well-educated practitioner, for example, a chiropractor, rehabilitator, massage therapist, homeopath or acupuncturist.
If we look at the statistics, doctor error is one of the top causes of death in medicine. The errors of other non-veterinary practitioners are unlikely to be as serious as the ones that are caused by veterinarians.
Is there a chance we can change the system?
I believe so, but it will take time and focus.
Here are 5 steps for better health care for your dog
I gather some practitioners are worried if they share too much with their clients they will be out of business, but the opposite is true. Sharing expertise will naturally attract more clients and customers. People trust those who are genuine and transparent.
It may surprise you that 99 percent of the 300,000 plus people who come to our website every month never buy any of my natural supplements and vitamins for dogs. It really makes me happy that we can share free info and ultimately make it work. The one percent who trust, love and buy our products make everything possible. If you are one of them, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Working with a variety of health practitioners is the key to better healthcare for our dogs. It also minimizes the likelihood of errors due to lack of knowledge or practitioner burnout. Sharing the results of treatments is equally important because that is how we can make medicine better.
3. Sharing practitioner and product reviews
Telling our clients about who we know and what we use is essential for reducing the likelihood of people ending up with the wrong practitioners and products. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful ways of finding a good practitioner. People talk and that is the reasons why some practices struggle to get customers and others are bursting at the seams.
4. Small team of experts
Working together is the key to better treatment results. I like to work in teams of less than a handful of practitioners, where each of us has different skills and are open to collaboration. Most of my treatment protocols involve a chiropractor or a physical therapist, rehabilitation and mobility practitioners and sometimes an acupuncturist.
My role in such a team is to focus on nutrition,
Being focussed is the last, but very important part of helping your dog live a healthy and long life. We live in an era of short attention spans and people have many choices. Jumping from treatment to treatment and practitioner to practitioner makes it difficult, especially when they give you conflicting information. I suggest you choose your practitioners and stick with them, not for a few days or weeks, but for months to get the right results.
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM