here, take these pills

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if you walked up to me telling me "you weren't feeling well" and i opened my palm and offered you these pills and told you to take them...do you take them? chances are you would probably say "whooooaaaa! wait a second...i don't even know what they are, what they do, or what the side effects are! is it even the right pill!?" but, maybe if you trust me enough, you take a leap of faith and just eat 'em!

but, why is it when our non-english speaking dog "has something wrong" we just take whatever food and pills are sold to us and do not even think twice about what it is? oh yes, i remember, we always trust our professionals to make the right choices for us. there is no doubt our dogs depend on us to advocate for them 100% of the time when it comes to their health. we know them best. this is why i am so persistent in encouraging pet owners to educate themselves as much as possible. ask questions. explore alternatives. know what goes into your dog's body.

there are plenty of times where i am not feeling 100%. i can tell the difference between just not feeling well, and something being abnormally wrong. i also invest enough time and energy into my dogs and their well-being to generally know if they just aren't feeling well or if something is abnormally wrong. in fact, all of the dogs i have watched in the past six years i have absolutely been able to pinpoint a dog experiencing normal levels of stress vs. something being seriously wrong and very out of character. there are three occasions that come to mind. the major indicators in all three cases; dogs that normally ate their food immediately, stopped showing interest and would not eat. all three dogs ended up having some major internal problems that needed veterinary care immediately. of course there were some other abnormal indicators which were also reg flags to me (such as gum color) which i have learned over time.

your feeling of desperation may convince you to "just take those pills" (or give them) despite having any idea what they actually are, or what the exact problem is. instead of asking questions and trying to get all your options laid out for you, you decide ah, what the heck. sometimes we will have inconclusive results or a lack of a diagnosis...and maybe we do need to take a leap of faith. HOWEVER, if you have not heard of something called Google, let me assure you it is very easy to look up information on medications and ingredients in food. and, even better you can ask whoever is giving it to you for information on the WHY. if you are happy with their answer, then great. if not, do more research. do not believe everything you hear (or read). 

i have been in florida for about ten years now. in the ten years i have been here i have been to five or six different vets. in fact, depending on my needs may determine where i end up going. within the last couple of years i have found a vet i am extremely happy with. my vet knows me. he knows my dogs. he knows "how i am" and what my view points are. information is relayed very clearly to me, with options and alternatives. i never feel pressured or forced to do anything but am always appreciative of the expertise and opinions i receive. and, when i go to the vet, i know who i am seeing. i dont get a different vet every single time. 

at the end of the day you should be confident where you take your dog. you should feel comfortable in what information you receive and you should understand why. if you are unsure...ask! if you still are unsure, do some research. 

so, before you just decide to give something to your dog because you were told to do so, make sure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision for the sake of your dog.

Nicole