I read a lot of dog media, ranging from the traditional to the way-out-hippy-dippy. It seems like everybody is always prognosticating some terrible thing that is inevitably going to happen to my dog if I make the wrong decisions.
You know what? I’ve got real problems. I don’t need to borrow trouble.
So, here’s my list of things that make me roll my eyes:
1) Dog sunburn. Silas has no hair. He is white. We live in an extremely hot, UV-heavy climate. If he wants to sunbathe on the patio at 1:30 in the afternoon, I let him. I figure he has sense enough to know when he’s getting uncomfortable. I would never compel him to stay outside in the sun longer than that, because it’s a zillion degrees out there and I don’t want him to get overheated. (Dog heat stroke being a thing I do care about.) I don’t plan long outings midday, because it’s gross out there. I have never seen a single indication that he’s gotten a sunburn.
2) Vaccine paranoia. Silas gets a full series of regular vaccines, and will continue to do so until I see the first hint that he’s reacting badly to them. (My vet does use a three-year protocol.) That’s a choice that makes me happy. Make the choice that makes you happy. Stop trying to convince me that a tiny, tiny dose of rabies vaccine every three years is poisoning my dog.
3) Excessive vigilance about dog food. Yes, I’m saying it. Silas has serious food issues, and I have had to do a lot of work with his diet. But that doesn’t mean every dog needs you to micromanage every ingredient. Micromanaging every ingredient is exactly zero fun. Pick a food you and your budget are comfortable with. Feed it to your dog. Maybe rotate through all the flavors of that food, so that your dog gets some variety. Is your dog healthy? Woohoo! You have done your job. Stop worrying.
4) Babying healthy joints. I have a friend who was horrified that I let Silas jump up and down off our bed. “He’ll ruin his knees!” I kept it to myself that Silas’s favorite game is a zoomies circuit that includes jumping off the bed, running at full speed down the stairs, skidding across the sofa, and then executing a tight turn and doing it in reverse. I’m not going to critique his every motion to prevent hypothetical damage. Life is too short. Your dog or breed has a predisposition to bad joints? Then be more careful than I am. Over here? We’re playing the zoomies game.
5) Natural heartworm prevention. Ivermectin is extremely safe. (Arguably even for breeds with Ivermectin sensitivity, although there are some good alternatives on the market now.) Heartworm is extremely dangerous and extremely prevalent in our area. I am not fooling around. Your herbs work great for your dog? Good for you! Can we change the subject now?
How about you? What boogiemen do you refuse to be afraid of?