Why so many people fail to protect their dogs from health problems
Dogs. Those of us who have been lucky enough to live our lives alongside a four-legged friend know how close to our heart they get.
They welcome us with a grin, tail wag and clear joy when we come back, even if we have only left for just 10 minutes. They love the same pleasures we do, like treats, being with friends and having fun. To summarize, they are like us, but most of them have clearer and, in my opinion, have better "values" than humans.
Most dog lovers would agree that life with dogs is much better and happier than without them, except when they get ill or die way before their time is up.
I have seen many people over the years heartbroken losing their dogs way too early, asking if there was something they could do differently to prevent a tragedy. Sadly, many of these people would be open to alternative healthcare, but no one told them that it exists. It is my experience that with a few simple adjustments to diet and health care, dogs could live longer and happier lives for several more years.
Do veterinarians have good intentions?
I believe that most veterinarians have good intentions and, with some rare exceptions, most vets are not in veterinary medicine for the money. Plus, the rare greedy ones do not do well for long because people talk. Honestly, I am kind of tired of the rhetoric that vets are only after peoples' money and in bed with drug and vaccine companies. It may be true in some cases, but mostly an average vet also does not know what he or she does not know. Often they have no more tools in the toolbox than drugs and surgery.
In veterinary or human medicine, one of the biggest challenges is that doctors are so busy putting out fires that they end up having no time to teach their patients or dog guardians how to prevent disease or learn about other treatment modalities.
Rewards for disease or health
The current medical system rewards practitioners for treating disease, not for creating health. The irony is that if a vet does a great job, he or she ends up with less income per patient.
I have not come across a client who would be open to paying their veterinarian for her/his dog being healthy and not needing their services.
"Hi Doc, I am just calling to let you know that Buster is doing really well and he has not been sick in the past 12 months, I am sending you a thousand dollars today. Thank you!" Yes, right ;-)
So, no matter what angle we see it from, the current medical system is severely flawed and that is why in 2007 I decided to make a transition. My practice then was bursting at the seams as people became more open to a holistic approach to medicine and were looking for alternatives to drugs, vaccines and processed food.
Some people would see this as the ultimate success, but I was not happy. I would help one patient knowing that it was just a matter of time before I’d see another dog with the same preventable condition.
I started writing articles and sharing what I have learned and saw that a single article can sometimes help thousands of dogs thanks to social media sharing and the Internet. That is how I decided to transform my work into what it is today. I believe that medical knowledge should be shared freely with anyone who needs it, so my practice model made the most sense.
Do you know what you don't know?
In the past, I wrote an article about why stubbornness and resistance to change make dogs suffer unnecessarily. Between you and I, it was at a time when some of my close friends either neglected or resisted well-meant advice from me only to have them come for help when "sh....hit the fan." It happens quite often and I needed to vent.
But now I see the biggest reason why people fail to prevent their dogs from falling ill is that they DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY DON'T KNOW.
Two stories that could have a different ending....
Once I went with my previous dog, Skai, for our weekly preventive exercise and rehabilitation session. As we were waiting for our turn, I asked a man who sat beside us what he was doing there and he shared his story with me.
His dog just had back surgery for a prolapsed disc. He was six years old and one day became paralyzed.
My heart sank because I knew that he could have very likely prevented this from happening if he knew what he didn't know. This poor man and his dog could have been having a good time on trails in the forest if they read my article on the damage that chucker tools and ball chasing cause.
Or another situation that happened… There is a bookstore in our local "village" near our house and I needed to buy a jigsaw puzzle for kids of our friends. As I was leaving the bookstore, I noticed that next door there was a sheepdog laying down in front of the counter chewing herself raw. Her guardian told me that six months ago, she needed a rabies vaccine for travel and was told that they would not give her a rabies vaccine unless she got all the other shots.
She didn't know about the article on how unnecessary vaccinations increase the chances of problems. She also didn't know what she didn't know, when it comes to excessive chewing and licking that is often caused by back and muscle injuries, which are common in active dogs.
These two examples represent only a drop in the ocean of sad stories of many dogs. Every day, I run into situations like these knowing that no matter how many people I talk to, it will not be enough to prevent people from "NOT KNOWING WHAT THEY DON'T KNOW”.
Let's make a pact
The only doable solution that you and I can create is a pact of helping other dogs and helping others find the necessary resources. I can promise I will continue writing articles as fast as possible and I hope I can ask you to share them with your friends, community or even strangers you run into on the street.
As to rewards, I have never hidden the fact that every project, every effort needs to be sustainable. I do appreciate every single one of you who trusts our all-natural products to achieve our five-star rating for pretty much all our products. I have a better life than I ever imagined because I have a great job and good life.
The stars on your reviews and the success of the product line are the “fuel" to help more dogs and prevent unnecessary suffering. In my mind, the stars also belong to you and everyone in our community because you made it possible by sharing and helping our common cause.
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM