Making the best choices for your dog isn’t as clear-cut as we’d like. Opinions abound, and expertise is easy to find these days. You don’t even have to type a question – if you have a “smart speaker” you can just ask and the pundits’ answers float through the air. It’s almost magical.
But is it right? It’s one thing if you’re asking for the date of an historical event. That’s a fact not up for debate. But what if you’re looking for advice – like what’s the best dog food? or whether you should neuter your dog?
Trying to get it right
Being a responsible adult means choosing everything in your life. For yourself and for all the lives you care about, including your dog. One of the hardest parts is not knowing which is the “right” choice – we all do the best we can with the information we have.
It’s easy to get bogged down with “research” – asking Google, social groups, friends, etc. about their experiences and outcomes. Whatever question you have, there’s volumes of material to consider, on all sides of the question.
Pulling the plug
At some point, you just have to make a choice. Sometimes it’s a matter of holding your nose while you do it – none of the options are ideal. And remember that no choice is engraved in stone. If results aren’t good, you can change your approach. That’s part of “adulting,” too.
This week in the shop a couple of customers, both with Yorkies, were comparing their experiences with dog food. One’s dog is thriving on a vet-recommended brand. The other, advised to use the same food, didn’t have the same experience. She went through several different brands, recommended by various sources, until she found one that worked for her dog.
Trust, but verify
Social media groups are great sources for some things. We saw a great discussion this week asking for ideas helping dogs not slip on hardwood stairs. Lots of people chimed in with all kinds of links to different kinds of carpet runners, temporary carpeting stair treads, even transparent non-slip treads. That’s social media at its finest, giving people options and sharing experience.
But another discussion was more troubling. (Different group, different people.) One person posted a cute picture of his dogs lazing on a Sunday. The picture showed that his dogs were still intact. One of the very first, judgmental comments was “Why aren’t your dogs neutered?” Perhaps wisely, the original poster just said words to the effect of “I have my reasons. Thank you for your concern.”
Choose what’s best for you
That’s all anyone can ask. We’ve always been advocates of the adage “When you know better, you do better.” Make the best choices you can for your dog. And, based on that option and your experience, you can always modify, adapt, and change.