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What would your dog tell you if they could? As a veterinarian and advocate for dogs, I think they would have a lot to say about how we treat them and take care of them.
Here are some things your dog might say to you if they could to help them stay healthy and happy.
Things your dog won’t tell you but wants you to know:
- Don’t rush me when I go to the bathroom. I hate that!
- Don’t expose me to other dogs if you aren’t sure whether they will be friendly to me.
- I don’t really like wearing that hat or sweater, no matter how cute it is.
I know you don’t like road kill and other gross things – but they smell so good I can’t help myself.
- I love to mark my scent with a little bit of urine everywhere. It makes me feel safe and in control.
- I love fresh water and I get thirsty even when I don’t ask for more.
- Wash my bowl at least weekly, a dirty bowl tastes really bad.
- I like to eat and drink out of stainless steel and love it when you run it through the dishwasher periodically.
- Don’t board me if possible. It’s very stressful on me and I’d feel better if you got a house sitter.
- If you do have to board me, take my medication and food with me. I don’t like to get diarrhea from a food change while I’m not home.
- When you give me pills, try to hide them in something good so I can’t taste it. I might like peanut butter, cheese, lunchmeat, cream cheese or pill pockets.
- Watch me after you give me a pill to make sure I swallow it sometimes I like to spit it out. Products like little pill “guns” can help make it easier to give it to me. If my vet wants me to take it I probably really need it.
- Don’t give me any medications without my vet’s OK. Some things are very toxic to me.
- I age quicker than you think. Take me to the vet for a check-up every year even if I don’t like it or I look healthy
- Microchip me just in case I get out – I want to come home to you!
- I love it when you play with me; I know you are busy, but please spend time with me every day. After all, you decided to get me.
- Watch me around the door – I can’t help myself and want to explore even if it’s dangerous.
- Keep me updated on my vaccines. Even though I might not go out much or interact with very many other dogs, I could get sick from or bitten by another animal that could threaten my life.
- Heartworm disease is deadly-really. Please protect me and keep me on preventatives.
- Old dogs CAN learn new tricks! Please give me a chance to do something new and make you proud.
- I can feel really bad when I am scolded, so please do not overreact.
I get on the bed when you’re not home…sorry
- I love good treats. I may not always NEED them but they taste so good
If you think I’m getting fat, I need your help to change. You feed me and I rely on you to control all of my food.
- Take me for walks and don’t let me gain too much weight – even if I beg for treats. I am happier and more playful when I’m fit!
- Antifreeze is sweet and tastes good but can make my kidneys stop working and kill me. Please keep it away from me.
- I might like my vet even if I don’t show it. Their office is just very scary to me. If I’m scared, it’s okay to take me for the occasional happy visit. Take me in and let people pet me and see how pretty I am and give me a treat then leave.
- I hear you even though I may act like I don’t.
- Teach me to come back to you when called. It is one command that can save my life.
- Even though I don’t like the flea control medication, I do appreciate it. I can deal with that way better than getting fleas. How would you feel if little insects were constantly crawling on you day and night?
- I also hate tick bites and tapeworms; they make me feel sick. Check with my vet for ways to protect me.
- I love it when you pet me in my favorite spots.
- If you think I’m sick, please take me to the vet. I’m very good at hiding it when I don’t feel well but by the time I show you how I feel it could be even worse.
- If you top off my water bowl, add ice cubes, or add more bowls around the house I will drink more. I also like canned food with a high water content.
- I do like those fountains that have fresh flowing water. If you get one, don’t forget to change the filter.
- There are some dogs I like more than others, just like most people don’t like every other person out there.
- For me, cat poop is like a Tootsie Roll-a really gross one.
- Grapes and raisins are toxic to me. In fact, it is probably safest not to feed me any human foods.
- Bones can sometimes get stuck in the roof of my mouth, bottom jaw or in my esophagus depending on how I chew and eat them. I may like them but sometimes I can have problems with them. It might be best just to keep them from me.
- If you load a fishhook with a worm, you can’t expect me to know it’s not a treat! Even after the worm s gone it smells good. Hooks can get caught in my skin, mouth or even swallowed to please keep them away from me.
- Don’t get mad at me when I roll in yucky stuff. It’s just in my nature.
- I love to smell other dogs’ butts. It’s a dog thing.
- Toys that make me try to figure out how to get the treats help keep me from getting bored.
- I can get heat stroke easily, especially in the spring. Be careful if you take me for a walk or a run when I haven’t had much exercise or water. Many cases of heat stroke are in the April – May time frame before I’m used to the heat.
- Don’t put up with me nipping or biting. I want to be a nice dog; help me learn how.
- I love to eat stuff I shouldn’t and get into open trashcans with disgusting things such as tampons, meat wrappers, and underwear just to name a few. Keep trashcans covered and things picked up.
- If you wouldn’t eat it yourself, don’t feed it to me. Old or spoiled food can make me sick too.
- If I keep licking in one spot, check it. There is probably a problem. Either I have a wound or parasites or something hurts.
- I love praise. Never underestimate the power of praise!
- My nose being wet or dry, hot or cold doesn’t indicate my body temperature. The only accurate way to know my temperature is to use a rectal thermometer.
- If you take me in the car, make me wear a seat belt. After all, would you let your kids run around in the car and stick their heads out the window? If you are hit by another car I could die.
- Don’t put me in the back of your pick-up truck. I may love it but if you are in an accident it is likely that I’ll die.
- Buy me a good quality food. As my vet for a good recommendation.
- Don’t change my food just because something is on sale. Some foods don’t agree with me and a sudden change can cause me to have vomiting and or diarrhea.
I’m safest if you keep me on a leash for walks.
- If I’m in a fenced-in yard, please check the yard and fence periodically for problems. Loose boards, broken wires or nails sticking out can all be dangerous to me. Look for trash or things that may have blown in to the yard that can hurt me.
- Don’t put me outside to go to the bathroom on my own just because the weather is bad. A lot of dogs are hit by cars when they are allowed to wander.
- The occasional bath is good for me, even if I hate it.
- If I swim or take a bath, make sure you dry my ears-especially if they are cute and floppy. If you don’t dry my ears they can grow lots of bacteria and develop an ear infection.
- Brushing me really helps me feel and look good. It stimulates blood supply to my skin and makes it healthier.
- Trim my nails. It really hurts to walk when my nails are too long. You can help me get used to nail trims when I’m a puppy by playing with my feet.
- Brush my teeth. I can really help prevent dental disease. If you can’t brush my teeth, talk to my vet about Periosupport or other products that help prevent the tartar from sticking to my teeth.
- If I scoot my bottom across the floor, something is wrong. Either I have something stuck to my fur or skin, I have tape worms, or my anal glands are impacted. Take me to the vet.
- If I start vomiting, read Home Care for the Vomiting Dog.
- If I have diarrhea, read Home Care for the Dog with Diarrhea.
Monitor me every day for changes in my food intake, energy, behavior, urination, and bowel movements. Remember, I’m very good at trying to please you and try not to show you when I’m sick.
- If I eat feces, it doesn’t mean something is wrong with me…although you might want to stop me because it’s gross.
- It can be quite expensive when I get sick. I know you want to do the best for me so please consider pet insurance.
- I’m too good of a friend to you to let me suffer. If I’m sick and can’t get better, please consider humane euthanasia to stop my pain.
- Even if I can’t talk, please know that I love you more than anything.