7 Things Your Vet Wants You to Stop Doing

Yes, you’ve made sure your pets are regularly vaccinated and constantly showered with love (and even the occasional bath). But chances are you might be going overdoing it (or even ignoring issues) in some areas. Here, seven things your vet would really (really) like you to stop doing.

So, What’s the Deal with Therapy Dogs?


1. Getting Medical Advice From Breeders And Groomers

Breeders and groomers “can have useful information,” says Dr. Katja Lang (aka Dr. Kibble), a licensed and practicing vet in New York City. “But, they do not know what is best for your pet when it comes to matters like parasite control and vaccinations.” Even if a breeder is knowledgeable about general labradoodle behavior, it’s unlikely they’re trained in treating or diagnosing any medical issues. Stick to licensed veterinarians when it comes to getting the 411 on your pet’s health.

2. Replacing Your Vet With Google

The same thing goes for what Dr. Lang calls Dr. Google. “Dr. Google has a nice ring to it,” she admits. However, only an in-person visit to the vet can determine what’s wrong with Wrigley, especially since your vet has Wrigley’s entire medical history on file. If you’ve ever used WebMD to casually search the word “headache,” you know it only causes panic and answers nothing.


3. Following Food Fads

Trends in the pet food industry are easy to get sucked into, especially when they align with human food fads. According to Dr. Lang, pet food companies appeal to pet owners with phrases like “gluten-free,” “grain-free,” “organic” and more. These buzzwords are much less important than the digestibility of the ingredients and each animal’s nutritional requirements. “A fad that is popular with humans is not what is best for our furry friends,” says Dr. Lang.

4. Following Food Bag Instructions

Rather than basing your pet’s portions on the instructions listed on pet food packaging, check in with your vet about how much to feed Fido. Serving sizes listed don’t account for how active your pets are or whether they’ve been neutered or spayed—and yes, this does matter. “Spayed and neutered animals will have a significantly lower metabolic rate,” Dr. Lang says. This means that following what a bag of food says about portion control could lead to overfeeding and weight gain.

5. Going Overboard With Treats

What better way to show some love than doling out treats, right? Actually, exercise and playtime are better, way better. Fit dogs with healthy weights tend to outlive overweight dogs by two years. So reach for the leash instead of the MilkBones.


6. Waiting It Out If Your Pet Is Sick

Catching a serious medical issue early is often the key to successful treatment. Dr. Lang encourages pet owners to visit the vet as soon as any troubling behavior presents itself. This includes repeated vomiting, avoiding food for more than one day, having diarrhea for more than two days or displaying signs of an allergic reaction. This is not a complete list, so any strange behavior should be reported to your vet ASAP.

7. Turning Down Pet Insurance

“Medical care is expensive and becoming costlier with the advanced options we now have,” warns Dr. Lang. Investing in pet insurance today can save you tons of money in the future, especially if your pet is getting up there in years. Plus, insurance doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. So, waiting to get coverage until after receiving a diagnosis or scheduling a surgical procedure won’t pay (literally).

5 Popular Dog Breeds This Vet Wants You to Think Twice About

Sarah Ashley

Freelance Writer

Sarah Ashley is a Chicago-based freelance journalist. She has covered pets for PureWow for six years and tackles everything from dog training tips to the best litter boxes. Her...
read full bio

Why You Should Trust Us

PureWow's editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series (where we rank items on a 100-point scale) to our painstakingly curated lists of fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family picks, you can trust that our recommendations have been thoroughly vetted for function, aesthetics and innovation. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.