I had an interesting visit to the vet today. It was time to start Mr. Blue, my Catahoula dog, on his annual round of flea and heartworm prevention. I also wanted to ask about a few lumps I'd noticed...in particular, some larger ones on his back about where you would assume the kidneys are.
Bracing myself for the worst, I was shocked when the vet said, "the lumps are fat pockets. Reduce his food by a third and fill it back in with fresh vegetables."
Veggies?? You aren't going to try to sell me some special prescription diet? No pricey pill? No scheduling another appointment in two weeks? Great!
I had been wanting to get Mr. Blue on a healthier and more natural diet, anyway. I did some quick research and headed to the store for frozen veggie mix consisting of broccoli, green beans, carrots, corn and peas (never feed dogs onions, raisins, or grapes). I steamed them in the microwave, replaced half his dry food with the veggies, mixed in his canned, and he chomped it up like there was no difference (although I am now bracing myself for some possible interesting smells coming from his direction tonight).
This wonderful vet works at Pet Guards Shelter in Cuyahoga Falls. Pet Guards is a private, non-profit clinic and shelter that gets no government funding and has relied solely on donations for over 20 years. I have taken all my pets there over the past decade to get spayed and neutered with their low-cost program. In order to keep their prices low, Pet Guards does things a little differently. They are staffed largely by volunteers, do not schedule appointments (except for spays and neuters), and no one answers the phone. You can drop in at any time...you will have a wait, but the wooded location is gorgeous and there are tons of beautiful pets to admire.
Pet Guards is also expanding and is looking for volunteer help and donations to get a new building ready for business. In addition to items like signage, flooring, and heating and cooling units, they are hoping to find some licensed HVAC installers, electricians, and other contractors to donate their time for a tax deduction. Please visit the Pet Guards Fundraising site for more information on helping this wonderful organization.
Leigh is the owner of GoFetchGifts.com,
an online shop for dogs, cats and pet lovers.
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