As a family gal, I am always concerned about keeping my family healthy. I make sure we visit the doctor for our physical and are getting our teeth checked at the dentist, I try to keep the meals I make as healthy as possible and get the family out for fresh air. One of the biggest considerations in getting a Bernese Mountain Dog was to have an excuse to go for a walk every day and having a pal for my daughter to run around the yard with. Being in health care, (shout out to all my Respiratory Therapy colleagues!), I am amazed at how many people neglect to visit their docs (insert mommy finger wag here). Even though I see this time and again, I was surprised to learn that pet owners don’t necessarily have a dedicated vet. It’s important to realize that as a member of your family, your pet needs regular check ups to make sure everything is nice and healthy. It is just as important to catch unpleasant surprises early on so that they don’t become large physical and emotional expenses later on.
Got a Pet? Get a Vet!
Gotapetgetavet.ca is a website supported by SPCAs, OVMA (Ontario Veterinary Medical Association) and Humane Societies across Canada and they are encouraging pet owners everywhere that if you’ve ‘Got a Pet? Get a Vet!™’. At the heart of their campaign is education for all pet owners. Knowledge is power and vets everywhere want to empower you to keep your pet healthy. Not only can bringing your pet to regular checkups keep them healthy, but they can offer advice from addressing behavioural concerns to a wide variety of health prevention measures. Many folks may think that having a pet is as easy as pie; bathe it, walk it, feed it – period. But if your pet gets sick, and you weren’t prepared for the aftermath, you may be bringing your pet to a shelter. Interesting fact: 50-60% of pet owners who go to spay/neuter clinics don’t’ have a primary care vet. That’s like not having a GP and only using walk in clinics every time you get sick. (Don’t make me pull out my mommy finger again!!) Granted finding a GP can be challenging as can be a vet, so if you are having difficulty finding one, Gotapetgetavet.ca has a directory of veterinarians all across Canada. The point here folks is to be aware and do your research – get on the information highway and find out what having a pet is all about. It’s not always fun – sometimes we have to eat our vegetables and drink the Buckley’s – but we do it because we want to stay healthy.
Vote for your Vet
This is the third year ‘Got a Pet? Get a Vet!™’ is helping
to promote such a great initiative. They are holding an online contest between April 24th and May 21st 2017 where you can nominate your favourite veterinarian anywhere in Canada! By nominating your best friend’s health advocate, others can bring in their pets on your recommendation.
A Small Price to Pay
I know what your thinking and I hate it too… it’s not so much the vet as it is the vet bill 🙁 I hear you. I’ve paid my fair share. As a matter of fact, I think the next big thing should be OHIP for dogs. But until that golden day comes, I just remind myself that when I picked up that big ball of fur for the first time I made a him promise to keep him as healthy as possible so that we could spend as long as we could together and make memories.
It’s everyone’s responsibility to look after their own bodies, and, as guardians of children and fur babies, we have taken on a responsibility to keep their bodies healthy too! And why wouldn’t you? Isn’t dog G-O-D spelled backwards? Who’s a good boy?! Trust me, they’ll thank you 🙂 Be good to yourselves and your pets!
We want to thank the Ontario SPCA for taking the time to speak with us and sharing their insight on this great campaign.