Even if you’ve owned a bunch of dogs, cats, or other animals during your life, there’s always more to learn.
And we all want what’s best for our furry little friends because they’re part of the family, no doubt about that.
So pay attention to what you’re about to read, okay?
Vets talked about what they wish all pet owners knew about their pets on AskReddit. Let’s take a look.
1. This is good.
“Anthropomorphizing your pets will probably kill them.
Your snake is not lonely in its habitat and does not want to be pulled from it to hang out. Your salamander is not hiding 24/7 because it’s shy. Your cat is not p*ssing on your bed because it’s mad at you, and your rabbit does not chew cords because it likes the chewy plastic coating. Do not apply human emotions to your pets like that – they are not human and they do not experience the world like we do.
Your snake is a solitary animal (look don’t touch) that wants to be left alone in its warm habitat. Your salamander is probably hiding because you didn’t put enough enrichment (caves, other hiding places, plants) in its tank. Your cat is probably p*ssing on your bed because it’s sick and definitely needs to go to the vet.
And your rabbit chews cords because that’s what rabbits do so hide the d*mn things when you let it run around.”
2. Body language.
“I am a vet.
I wish people just even had a BASIC understanding of dog or cat body language. The number of videos posted on reddit of animals in distress and its tagged as “oh my little fluffster is so cute when he plays!” Or whatever makes my blood boil.
That kind of moronic ignorance is what gets children bit by the pet dog or the cat who is now dying because the owner had no idea of the signs 4 months ago.”
3. Handle with care.
“I wished that they undersood that they have a live creature that need all type of care.
Not just medical but environmental enrichment, a correct and healthy diet and even emotional care.
But the average pet owner thinks they just have a teddy bear or something.”
4. Pay attention.
“If you see a stray cat with a cleanly clipped ear tip do not take it to a shelter. Either take it home to live with you or leave it on the street.
Clipped ears mean they were caught, neutered/spayed by the city/county, and released. This is a way to control cat populations and, over time, protect wildlife. They compete for resources with fertile cats without adding to the population.
In many cities, stray cats are more likely to be adopted from the street than in the shelter. If the cat is taken to a shelter they cannot legally release it because it is now abandoning the animal. That cat will be euthanized, or at best absorbs resources until it finds a home.”
5. Don’t do it.
“Ripping your cat’s claws out to preserve your furniture is absolutely disgusting and inhumane.
Don’t justify it by saying that at least you’re giving him/her a good home.
You’re depriving the animal of one of the core essence of being a cat!”
6. Take care of those teeth.
“Dental disease is WAY more serious than you think. Get the scale and polish.
If we have to extract teeth (and believe me, we would prefer not to), they will still be able to eat.”
7. It’s for the best.
“Get your pet a series of cartrophen (or zydax, or pentosan polysulfate) injections when they turn 8.
They help slow down the progression of arthritis and are safe and cost-effective.”
8. A pro tip.
“If your cat is stressed at the vet, take home some gabapentin to put on her food before their next visit.
They will be safe, happy, and calm, and the vet will be able to examine her more thoroughly.”
9. They love them all.
“We love your pet.
Even when they hate us, we honestly try to make them feel safe and comfortable. But what we have to do is scary and sometimes hurts.
We don’t think less of you as an owner when your pet is upset or gets aggressive.”
10. Not cute.
“Fat pets are not cute. They are unhealthy.
One of my saying is “if this pet was as skinny as it is fat, we would call animal control.””
11. This is a big one.
“Don’t leave your pets to be euthanized without you.
It’s hard to be there and it’s hard to watch, but if you leave them they will die scared and looking for you.”
12. All good to know.
“The internet is not a place for you to self diagnose and treat your pet.
I saw way too many things happen to pets that didn’t need to. Like putting oregano or oil in your dog’s ear to treat an ear infection. Or water. Or letting your other dog lick its ears clean.
Giant dogs and little dogs are both expensive. But giant breeds require more quantities of meds if needed. Be aware of common ailments for your breed. No, you don’t need your pet to produce a litter once. They don’t care if they have one or not.
For the love of all that is holy, stop using chain and extending leashes. Please. Don’t let your dog loose into the clinic either. Or your children. We aren’t baby sitters.
We cry with you when you lose your pet. We take every loss with us. If you aren’t there during the procedure, we are still holding them close, petting them and talking to them the whole time.
If you’re dog is super stressed or can be nippy, let us know before we begin the exam. A muzzle is safer for everyone involved if it is needed.
If you get a puppy, touch them everywhere all of the time. Lightly restrain, lift up and down onto different surfaces, get them used to noises. It will make the vet a better experience for them.
The best time to get pet insurance is when they are young, before anything has happened. If you do, READ your policy. If you don’t understand something, ask questions. There will be a waiting period before your pet’s coverage starts, so you cannot get pet insurance the day of and have it be covered.
Vets don’t get a bonus or reward for selling prescription dog food. They have them so they can aid in the treatment of whatever your pet is dealing with. Those are the companies doing the research to create specialized diets and until more holistic brands do, this is what’s out there.
Be nice to vets and their staff. Vets have one of the highest suicide rates of any profession. Techs don’t do it for the money, they usually aren’t paid well enough and the average time a person stays in that career is only 5 years.
Oh yeah, please don’t bring your cat in a bag of dog food. If you don’t have a carrier, the vet can probably lend you one or bring the cat in a pillowcase.”
Do you have any animal tips or advice to share?
If so, please do it in the comments.
Thanks a lot!