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Is the "system" taking advantage of Pet-lovers?
05-06-2014, 02:05 AM,
#1
outdoorgal Offline
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Is the "system" taking advantage of Pet-lovers?
I got to wondering about this because I cannot afford to have a dog right now, not with the cost of the dog, and all the veterinary services that are required, plus license etc.

I love dogs, and am a good, pet-owner, but I am on a fixed-income, and the biggest problem for me, is the worry of "extra" bills if my pet needs something more for any reason. For example, I cannot handle my dog having one, single flea. I can't stand the thought of it biting them. I've seen pets so neglected that I will not have a pet unless I am positive I can take care of every need.

But is it a need? I mean the shots, special foods, everything a veterinarian provides, advertises, sends us mail telling us it's a "must have".

I may get beat up here, but I wanted to ask. How can "I" know what my dog needs, and what they might not needSad By the same token, if ALL these things are necessary, then I think there must be a lot of neglected animals out there that "do" have homes, but the owners cannot afford the high cost of those shots that are due regularly, the food costs, and I also always had my dog groomed in the Summer months as it was so hot here.

Thanks for any feedback, I know everything is high nowadays, I guess pet-costs go along with the flowSad How do folks out there that have animals (wow, what do you do if you have more then one).
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05-07-2014, 01:21 PM,
#2
TreeClimber Offline
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RE: Is the "system" taking advantage of Pet-lovers?
I believe there is a certain level of responsibility that you take on when you get a dog. I don't really believe the system is taking advantage of us, though I think some people have difficulty separating what is necessary for the dog's emotional and physical health and stuff that we buy or do that are really for our enjoyment not the dog's.

For instance, one of things you mentioned, shots, I feel are a necessity. They are for the protection of your dog and the protection of the people and other dogs around you. The rabies shot is required by law for good reason. Where I live there are low cost vaccination clinics at local shelters and veterinarians often have one day a week with reduced prices. Seniors usually can discounts as well. So, there are ways to save on these necessary things.

You should also get your dog veterinary exams routinely. Is it necessary every year? Probably not. But, if you note problems, it's your responsibility to take your dog to the veterinarian. After all, the dog could be in pain or suffering.

When it comes to food, I think you should attempt to buy the best quality food within your means. Do I think every dog needs to be on a wheat free diet? No, I don't. Do I think every dog needs food with all these supplements added? No, I don't think that is required. But, if your dog has an issue, then a special food might be the best thing for him/her.

I do think that veterinarians sometimes push things that your dog doesn't necessarily need. However, if you have a good relationship with your veterinarian they will know your economic means and they will also allow you to make decisions rather than pushing tests or medications on you. They will, also, try to work things out, to find more affordable options when available. I think if that once you feel your veterinarian is pushing services on you because they can, then it is time to find a new one.

There are things that are necessary to the quality of life of my dog--and some things she doesn't need at all. She does not need a new toy every week and she doesn't really need clothing given the climate that we live in. I buy her two types of dog treats, but she doesn't need 20 different treats to choose from. She doesn't need a $100 dog bed but has a comfortable, cheap bed to sleep in.

So, I would say if you take on the responsibility of a dog, then you must be ready for certain costs that are inevitable. If you cannot afford to feed your dog or provide basic medical care like shots, then it probably isn't something you should do (I mean you in general).
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06-09-2014, 01:04 AM,
#3
Amesii Offline
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RE: Is the "system" taking advantage of Pet-lovers?
I do believe some veterinarians are money hungry, you need to find a vet that you trust. Try reading some reviews online before picking a practice. That can really help.
As far as shots, there are some that are required every year. That would be the rabies shot, as it's required by law. The distemper vaccine is another one I'd recommended for the first few years of life, it protects against a deadly virus. There are some vaccines that aren't absolutely required but it depends on where you take your dog. The kennel cough vaccine is not required unless your dog frequently goes to the dog park or daycare/boarding facilities. The Lyme vaccine is also not required unless you take your dog hunting in the woods frequently.
Flea, tick and heartworm medication is another thing I'd say is very important. You don't want fleas in your home and ticks can carry diseases, such as Lyme. Heartworm disease can be spread by mosquitos and they're everywhere so it's better to be protected.
As far as food I'd say as long as your dog likes it and it doesn't give him diarrhea or cause allergies it should be fine.
Let me know if you have any more questions, I'd be glad to help Smile
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