Family & Pets

5 secrets your vet won’t tell you

5 secrets your vet won’t tell you

Pet tips and cautionary tales. We reveal advise and opinions from animal experts, ie vets, that may just save time, trouble and trauma for the whole family.

1. The dogs that scare vets the most are the little Chihuahuas

“People always ask, ‘How do you handle pit bulls and rottweilers and big German shepherds?’ The truth is, the dogs that scare me most are the little Chihuahuas. They’re much more likely to bite.” — Mark Howes, veterinarian, owner and medical director of an animal hospital.

2. Please respect that we’re trying to work

“If you’re visiting your pet in the hospital, and we say something along the lines of ‘OK, it’s time to let Fluffy sleep now,’ often what we really mean is that you’re in our way, and we’re trying to treat other patients.” — Jessica Stout-Harris

3. We don’t want your pets to be in pain

“A lot of veterinarians have told me matter-of-factly that they still don’t use painkillers for procedures that we know are painful. They think that dogs and cats don’t need it or that feeling pain after surgery is good because it keeps them from moving around too much. But research has shown that pets who are in less pain heal faster, sleep better, and don’t move around as much.” — Dennis Leon, veterinarian

4. Every time we help a pet, we help a person

“The classic example is the 80-year-old grandma who has nothing in life but her cat. She’s a widow with very limited social contact, and the cat is what connects her to life. So when we help her cat, she’s really the one we’re helping.” — Phil Zeltzman, veterinarian

5. I hate retractable leashes

“The stopping mechanism pops open so easily, and suddenly the pet is flying to the end of it, and maybe it’s into the street or into the jaws of another dog. I’ve had people bring in a pet who got hit by a car because they were using a retractable leash and the stopping mechanism broke.” — Bernadine Cruz, veterinarian

Written by Michelle Crouch. This article first appeared in Reader’s Digest. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription offer.