Veterinarians Explain Which Things Pet Owners Neglect The Most
Photo by Chewy on Unsplash

For the most part, our pets get treated extremely well. They are fed, bathed, played with, cooed over, and are treated like part of the family.

Some pets get even more comforts awarded to them, such as luxurious beds, copious amounts of toys, and amazing food. My best friend rents a three-bedroom apartment just so her dog and cat can have their own rooms!

However, sometimes we're not always the best caretakers. Most of us don't intend to neglect our pets or any part of their care. However, a combination of unfounded internet advice, our pet's favorable reactions, and sometimes even plain old hubris, lead us to make decisions that aren't in the best interest of our furry friends.

Luckily, veterinarians are here to tell us the proper way to care for our pets.

This is all thanks to Redditor Feeling2Leafy who asked:

"Veterinarians of Reddit, what do pet owners ignore the most?"

Feed Them Right

"Husbandry advice, but dietary advice in general. I see a lot of animals being fed inappropriate diets, which owners will refuse to stop feeding because "the animal likes it.""

– Moctor_Drignall

"My neighbours used to feed their dogs bread with butter and meat. Over the past 15 years they killed 3 dogs like that and dont want to admit that their way of feeding is the problem"

– MaxRptz

"Yup this annoys me especially since even Google will tell them what they are feeding them is wrong or just plan bad."

– Valuable-Currency-36

Start Young, Start Early

"I believe that the finest thing you can do for your new pet, particularly a puppy or kitten, is to handle it frequently when it is young. Getting them used to having their feet handled, nails trimmed, mouths opened (even more benefit if you get them used to brushing their teeth daily - gold standard for at-home dental care), ears touched (especially breeds prone to ear infections - huge benefit in the future if you have to administer topical ear medication)... Restraint is also crucial. I constantly advise my clients to train their animals to be restrained. Because it hasn't learned to be okay with restraint, that wriggly puppy that is cute when it nips when you hold it grows up to be a massive dog that can't be properly examined."

– Relevant_Home_810

"Thank you for mentioning restraint. Restraint's very important in making sure pets can coincide with their environments!"

– Feeling2Leafy

And Don't End At Old

"Teeth and quality of life in older senior animals."

– Campfire77

"I can definitely agree that senior animals need more care than some people realize."

– Feeling2Leafy

Dogs Are Not Accessories

""People who carry their toy breeds everywhere and feed them human food instead of dog food... they are killing their pets slowly.""

"My vet said this to me as we were as we were walking our dogs on the beach. Apparently lots of small breeds get very little exercise and are extremely overweight."

– Nobody_Wins_13

Of Course It Hurts!

"Obesity and sadly, pain. I have met many owners who have had lame dogs for weeks and didn’t think the animal was in pain. Sometimes we have even discovered after X-rays that the animal has a fracture."

– Safe_Ad4328

"My favourite is when clients come in to get the stitches removed from their dogs spey and hand back the pain meds (that they paid for???) for us to dispose of because “I didn’t need to give any, she wasn’t in any pain”"

"Like I’m sure having your guts cut open and an organ ripped out is just a walk in the park for you, but I think fluffy would have appreciated some pain relief"

– Elliespaghetti669

Greens Aren't Always Good

"Look up what plants are toxic to your pet! You'd be surprised what common house plants are incredibly deadly to your fuzzball."

"An example is lilies for cats, getting some pollen on their fur and licking it up or drinking water out of the vase is enough to cause deadly kidney failure in a few days. Check the plants you have and deal with the toxic ones. I got rid of my peace lilies before I got my cat. You could also place them somewhere your pet can't get at them (off limits room, behind glass, hang it out of reach, etc.) Though that carries a risk of accidents."

– raininmywindow

Sometimes The Best Thing Is The Hardest Thing

"This might not be the most ignored, but it’s the one that if ignored cause the most suffering.

"Deciding the time to put your pet to sleep. Some people tell us that “they aren’t ready”, which is sad, and I know it’s going to be the hardest choice you’ll ever need to make regarding your little one."

"But the hard truth is, it’s not about you."

"If your pet is crying all night, not eating without you force feeding one bit at a time, and can’t even walk on it’s own, it’s time. Most of the time our animals tell us when they’re ready, and they trust that you’ll do what’s best for them."

"We have an amazing opportunity with animals, which is to let them go when their quality of life just isn’t there anymore, and selfish owners that refuse just because they “can’t handle it yet” is half the reason why working in the industry will not be long term for me."

– Elliespaghetti669

Be Willing To Do The Work

"The top one for me (and I’m sure it’s been mentioned somewhere) is a rabbits general needs. Dietary, husbandry, and housing. Rabbits have so many needs that need to be met- they are not easy animals! They have burrowing needs, hay and straw are necessary, so many vegetables they cannot be fed or shouldn’t be in high amounts that people ignore, and the majority of hutches they are kept in do not meet their needs!"

"My friend specialises in rabbits and the stories I’ve heard from her are just terrible. Please do genuine research into rabbits before you buy them or ask a vet advice."

– h0n3yst

Vaccinate, Vaccinate, Vaccinate

"Not a vet, but worked at a clinic. vaccine schedules. You want to go as soon as your pet is due, don't wait a few months or even a few weeks. We had a clients dog die of lepto because they were behind in the vaccine. Preventatives are another. You need them year round, bc fleas and ticks still come out and heart worm is not something to f**k with"

– roccotheraccoon

Rehome, Don't Dump And Run

"Please give your unwanted pets up for adoption, or at least put a little effort into giving your pets a future home. Summer is season for abandoning pets in the wild, even though many wont survive in nature, let alone the cold climate in some countries."

"You have responsibilities ffs... Just because the poor pet suddenly doesn't fit into your lives, it doesn't mean it has to suffer."

– MrPundick

"It's one of the few things that I just cannot empathize with is dumping a pet. Needing to rehome a pet, absolutely, we all end up in situations that we couldn't have foreseen and my heart breaks for anyone faced with that decision, but then take it to a rescue. There is NEVER an excuse to dump an animal in the wild for any reason."

– KaleidoscopeInside

Okay, so those people are deliberately evil, and we don't need a vet to tell us not to abandon a pet.

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