Dear Fellow Pet Lovers,
Have you ever really thought about how long dog and man have worked together as partners?
Thousands of years, no doubt.
And did you ever wonder why dogs, maybe more than most other species, vary so widely in size and shape even when considering “normal” animals? It is true, a “normal” toy breed dog could naturally weigh 3 lbs, while a “normal” giant breed one may be upwards of 250. (The Spanish Mastiff is the largest breed of dog at about 225 lbs on average.)
And why are some dogs thin and svelte while others are thick and stocky?
The answer to all of this is because we as man have bred dogs to have traits that we consider desirable for whatever mission the dog is to have with us. For example, if you wanted the fastest dog, you would want one thin and with strong leg muscles (the Greyhound,) if you wanted one to guard your sheep, you would need a strong, smart, loyal type (the Collie,) and if you wanted one to sit on your lap and maybe not shed, you might breed dogs that begin to look like a Poodle.
This is all fine at least at first, but then people begin to go for certain types that have the “cool” factor but that may not exactly suit that dog’s mission. It is here where we may see a Great Dane in an apartment or a toy Maltese running free outside.
Some other examples of popular dogs that are maybe not so practical include many Bulldog breeds. Goofy, happy, and friendly, bulldogs are a joy. But many bulldogs also are cursed with severe difficulty breathing and overall poor health.
So, considering that I do not have a dog in this hunt, and in no way being “catty,” here are my tips for tis week….
-Look hard at the type of breed you will get and try to select rationally based on practical matters as much as you can.
-Select a breed that is a size that works for you and that is as healthy as possible.
-Ask lots of people, mentally place the dog into your life, and see if it will work out before you get the pet.
-If you just must have a higher-maintenance breed, consider getting pet health insurance or self insure by setting money aside every month towards health care.
-Team up with your DVM for best data on feeding, care, and overall health.
-And come the Pet Emergency Clinic anytime your pet has even a small problem out of hours.
See? Something CAN be done about preventing pet illness.
That is all.
Dr. John Emerson, Pet Emergency Clinic