What personality traits will help you keep your dog healthy
Before I decided to go to vet school, my dad had a wish for me to become an architect, but I was determined to become a vet.
Their ability to love unconditionally has earned them the status of best friends. Through dedication to their humans, they are the most successful species because they have managed to get another species to look after them. How brilliant!
But the veterinary practice brought me another great but less obvious gift -- learning about life through the stories of my patients' people, the dog lovers. In fact, I would bet there are not many other better places that provide a better ‘platform’ for learning about real, unadulterated life.
Especially in the Western society, where people are usually private and have their guard up in most interactions with others except with close friends. But when they come to a vet clinic with their animals, they are much more likely to open up to sharing their feelings and life story.
Because of this, I have been able to witness thousands of life stories of people and their dogs. They are inspiring, sad, happy, and heartbreaking - just as life is.
Thirty years is also time enough to see what decisions and behaviors lead to people being happy or less happy in their life story, and to learn that bad luck can happen to anyone no matter what attitude and approach to life a person adopts.
There are definitely patterns. People who rescue and help others often desire to be supported and sometimes rescued. I have learned that true generosity more often leads to abundance and happiness. I have discovered that when it comes to caring about animals, most people would do anything necessary and sacrifice their own needs for the sake of saving their best friend.
Vets in practice see it all: love, heartbreak, sadness, tears, laughter and happiness. Working as a vet gave me insight into the human soul and that both men and women cry and that our connection with dogs is very special.
In order to help dogs, a vet has to be an excellent communicator and an even better listener because understanding the human guardian’s needs will result in more trust and greater ability to help the patient - the dog.
When it comes to dog lover personalities, they can be divided into three basic archetypes:
- The child
- The teenager
- The mature person
Now, let me clarify that these three groups have nothing to do with the dog lovers’ age. They are based on how people approach suggestions from their veterinarian.
The child type believes everything, which puts the dog in danger by doing more than necessary. This type of person often lets overvaccination or overmedication happen because “if a vet says so, it must be true.” Unfortunately, the commercialization of medicine has led to overprescribing and over-recommending unnecessary drugs and procedures.
The teenager type opposes everything that a vet suggests, which puts the dog at risk of not receiving necessary care. I sometimes see this teenager-like resistance putting dogs at risk. Luckily, most teenager-like dog lovers grow up and become mindful, caring, and mature.
If you guessed that the mature dog lover is the ideal one, you guessed right. Such a person asks questions, collects information and chooses treatments and suggestions that make sense. Learning is the key, and the material that will help you make an informed decision is right here at your fingertips. It will also help you choose the right vet.
This mature group is also the least likely to procrastinate with care. They understand that prevention is the key to keeping your dog healthy and long-living.
Watch the video here.
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM