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Get Medical Advice From Vets - NOT Random People You Meet

I knew someone whose puppies became very sick because he took advice on when to vaccinate them from an employee at a petshop.

Do I Really Have To Say It?

Getting veterinary advice for your dog from someone who works in a petshop is like getting medical advice for your children from someone who works in a pharmacy.

People who work in petshops and pharmacies do important jobs but, like any profession, their knowledge is restricted to their area. You should no more get veterinary advice from a petshop employee than you should get architectural advice from a lawyer or financial advice from a plumber.

No Disrespect Intended

Please note that my intention is not to disrespect people who work in petshops.

They obviously know a lot about the products they sell, and often know quite a lot about animals…but the fact is that they're not veterinary professionals and, as such, they're definitely not the people to get veterinary advice from. At the risk of stating the obvious, veterinary advice should come from a vet.

But Vets Aren't Perfect Either (No One Is!)

Having said that, I’m well aware that vets are (like any other human being) not perfect.

Like the rest of us, they don’t know everything and are capable of making mistakes. So I’m not suggesting that you blindly follow everything a vet says simply because she's a vet: always ask questions, do your own research and - in the case of very complex medical issues - seek second opinions.

A Happy Ending For The Puppies? Please?

I’m sure you’re wondering what happened to the poor little puppies I mentioned at the beginning of this Dog Blog.

Well, they were on death’s door and almost didn’t make it but, amazingly, they recovered. No thanks to their guardian (should I even call him that?) who, to this day, outright refuses to admit that he was foolish to get medical advice from a petshop employee. So it was ultimately a happy ending - but only just.

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Adopt a homeless animal instead - they all deserve a second chance

It's estimated that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are killed every year in Australia because there are not enough homes for them all. And the global numbers amount to millions upon millions every single year.

Puppy mills are a major contributor to the terrible problem of overpopulation. Puppy mills are essentially 'dog factories' where dogs are forced to churn out litter after litter, with no thought for the welfare of the dogs and all thought for profit. The dogs live in appallingly dirty, cramped conditions all their lives, and when they no longer serve their purpose they're killed, dumped or sold to vivisection laboratories.

Petshops fit into the picture because puppy mills are generally where petshops get their animals from. Furthermore, having animals in shop windows encourages impulse purchases, and adding an animal to your family should be a conscious, careful decision - NOT one to be made while shoe shopping.

Breeders contribute enormously to the tragic statistics above too. And it doesn't matter whether they're professional breeders or backyard breeders, and whether they breed for profit or not, because while there are homeless animals sitting on death row in shelters, any and all animal breeding is utterly irresponsible.

Now, here's where you come in. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can either buy animals from puppy mills, petshops or breeders and be part of the problem. Or you can adopt from a shelter or rescue organisation and be part of the solution.

If I haven't convinced you, visit your local shelter to see the homeless animals. Let their innocent faces convince you that adopting is the only responsible choice to make.

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