What do you really need for your animal to be healthy?

In my 12 years of rural, mixed animal practice, I have heard something like the following many times: “When we were growing up, we did not give our animals any vaccines, they just ate our leftover’s,… AND THEY LIVED TO BE 20 YEARS OLD!”

On one hand, I have not checked the validity of these statements and in contrast, modern pet care offers many benefits, including immunizations and the convenience of bagged pet food.

On the other hand, there are so many vaccines offered now, that can be given at excessively high rates, that one can get lost. In addition, large corporations produce most of the pet foods. Their job is to satisfy shareholders by maximizing profit, not to get lost in their passion for animal health.

So, where is the balance? Well, it depends on your personal philosophy, resources, your pet’s history and lifestyle, and more.

In summary, always ask questions to try to understand what is best for your pet (or you for that matter.) It is hard today to gather all the information on everything we are exposed to. For example, any single commercial pet food may have greater than 50 ingredients in it. There is too much information to sort through all of it. However, there are specialists that can help sort through the data. In this time of information overload, employ the help of an expert to help you decide what is right for you and your pet. Never opt in blindly or because you “should” do something. (See my last blog article, “I Should”)

If you want a good laugh about this topic, also watch the video in my blog article, “The Completely Honest Veterinarian”.