Most companion animal veterinarians and owners have essentially the same goal: optimize a pet’s well-being given the constraints (e.g., finances, time, points of view, etc.) of a particular situation. Why is it then, that veterinarians and owners sometimes seem to be working, if not at cross purposes, then at least not in concert with one another?

In my opinion, one reason for this is that veterinarians sometimes forget about the frustrations involved with being a “regular” pet owner. Sure, most of us are pet owners ourselves, but we’ve got it pretty easy. When my dog vomits before I leave for work, I can give him a quick once over, and if I find nothing worrisome, leave the house without being too concerned about his well-being. You, on the other hand, have lots of decisions to make:

Should you call the vet? If they say to bring him in, you’ll have to take time off from work. Maybe you should just wait and see if he’s better this evening. But what if he’s worse? Then you’ll miss your kid’s baseball game and have to go to the emergency clinic … to say nothing about feeling bad for not bringing him in at the first sign of a problem.

I don’t envy you.

I’m interested in learning what you find most frustrating about being a "regular" pet owner. Feel free to comment here if something immediately comes to mind, but I’ve also put together a short (six question) survey on Google that will lead you through some basic topics. The survey does not collect any personal information.

I hope to take the information gathered here and through the survey to better address the common concerns of pet owners. Thanks in advance for your time!

Dr. Jennifer Coates

Image: bitt24 / via Shutterstock