Bringing home an animal is a huge responsibility. After all, you're committing to caring for another life. And while it's impossible to know everything, some undertake this challenge without any qualification.

To find out what are some of these shortcomings, Reddit user u/mrktx21 uploaded a question to r/AskReddit: "Veterinarians of Reddit: What is one thing you wish people would know/understand about their pet?"

The post immediately went viral and already has over 31,000 upvotes and nearly 7,000 comments, many of which provide useful information to pet owners, giving them a better understanding of their companion!

#1

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets Cats. Can’t. Be. Vegan.

[SHUT UP] with your “well I’m vegan and I want my pet to be vegan too!!”

THEN GET A [FREAKING] RABBIT

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Ember
Community Member
4 months ago

This is so true and makes my blood boil when I hear of the stupidity of some pet owners

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With Valentine's Day just around the corner, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is eager to share tips with pet owners to keep their furry companions happy and healthy, including which toxins to avoid and fun DIY treats for pets so they can safely join in on Valentine's fun.

Turns out, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center saw a 30% increase in calls during the week of Valentine's Day last year when compared to other weeks. Many of them involved chocolate, xylitol, and even indoor plants. Below you will find a list of the top toxins pet owners should watch out for to ensure their pet's Valentine's Day is just as special as theirs.

#2

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets I am a vet. Do not get a cat and then expect me to amputate its toes because you don't want it scratching the furniture. I refuse to perform declaws on cats because most of the time it is a mutilation for the cosmetics of a couch. There is no medical benefit to the animal.

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Ember
Community Member
4 months ago

This horrific practice should be illegal everywhere

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First, xylitol. "Many types of gums, candies, and even peanut butter listed as 'sugar-free' can contain the sugar substitute xylitol, an ingredient that can cause hypoglycemia in dogs and lead to other severe conditions such as liver damage and even death," ASPCA told Bored Panda in a statement.

Next, chocolate. "Make sure to keep pets away from the chocolate - light, and dark. Methylxanthines are caffeine-like stimulants that affect gastrointestinal, neurologic, and cardiac function—they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures and an abnormally elevated heart rate."

#3

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets Dogs prefer their ears and tails intact.

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Tantalum_Radium
Community Member
4 months ago

They have evolved to have ear flaps to keep debris out of their ears and tails to communicate... only a monster would hack them off.

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Then, something that contributes to a lot of humans too. Alcohol. "Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended and clean up spills before your pets get to them first. Because animals are smaller than humans, a little bit of alcohol can do a lot of harm, causing serious, life-threatening issues."

It's a good idea to think of pet-safe bouquets as well—not all flower varieties are safe for cats and dogs. Consider checking out ASPCA's extensive list of toxic and non-toxic plants before you send a floral arrangement to your special someone.

#4

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets From my former vet tech girlfriend, don’t leave your pets to be euthanized without you. It’s hard to be there and it’s hard to watch, but if you leave them they will die scared and looking for you. She had to try and comfort pets whose owner’s couldn’t bring themselves to stay and it’s one of the few things that makes her cry.

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Azure Adams
Community Member
4 months ago

It will hurt more in the long run to not be there than to be there for your animal friend - from a grief therapist

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#5

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets About their pet, the best one I know is one I heard a while ago: You have your life, your job, your friends, your family to provide your social interaction per day. Your dog only has YOU. Interact with your dog for more than five minutes per day and maybe your dog will not go out barking every five seconds.

schrodingerscatty , G. Weston Report

Ember
Community Member
4 months ago

Pets are not accessories, they are living beings

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#6

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets Your dog doesn't "want to be a mom" or experience the "joys of motherhood"

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Ember
Community Member
4 months ago

Neutering your pets is the responsible thing to do. There are enough unwanted pets in shelters and roaming the streets without bringing more into the world.

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#7

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets Don't buy a dog only because you like the way it looks. Huskies and most sorts of shepherds are working dogs. They need lots of activities to be happy and they often turn aggressive, if they do not get enough of it!

S-Markt , Vegansoldier Report

Periwinkle
Community Member
4 months ago

Preach. They are massive dogs, LOOK AT THEM! they obviously need lots of space and walks to make sure their mind is cleared and they can function happily.

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Apple Cheesecake. You'll need: graham crackers, applesauce, and low-fat cream cheese.

Step 1: Place one spoonful of cream cheese into the puzzle toy. Holding it upright, tap the bottom against the countertop until cream cheese drops to the bottom;

Step 2: Break ½ of one sheet of graham crackers into chunks and place them into the toy. Then place one spoonful of applesauce into the toy and let it fall on top of the graham cracker chunks;

Step 3: Top with 1-2 spoonfuls of cream cheese.

#8

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets Don't complain about your dog not having boundaries when you're literally feeding them scraps off your plate at dinner time! That's 100% on you.

SquilliamFancySon95 , Extra Zebra Report

Ember
Community Member
4 months ago

Very true...and not just dogs either

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#9

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets I am a vet. I wish people just even had a BASIC understanding of dog or cat body language. Ffs. The number of videos posted on reddit of animals in distress and its tagged as "oh my little fluffster is so cute when he plays!" Or whatever makes my blood boil. That kind of moronic ignorance is what gets children bit by the pet dog or the cat who is now dying because the owner had no idea of the signs 4 months ago.

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Monty Is Fiennes
Community Member
4 months ago

Stopped watching YouTube animal vids because so many freak me out. Why do people treat their pets like that.....

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Nutty Monkey. You'll need: frozen bananas, peanut butter (without Xylitol, of course!), and plain yogurt.

Step 1: Place one spoonful of peanut butter into the puzzle toy. Holding it upright, tap the bottom against the countertop until the peanut butter drops to the bottom;

Step 2: Place a frozen banana chunk into the toy; push and force if needed. Then place one more spoonful of peanut butter and tap again until it drops further in;

Step 3: Top with 1-2 spoonfuls of plain yogurt, then 1 last spoonful of peanut butter.

Caring for a pet is something we learn all our lives. But we need to know the fundamentals. For comprehensive pet grooming guides, nutrition information, safety tips, and more, visit ASPCA.

#10

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets Having a pet is a luxury, not a right. If you can't afford unforeseen medical problems or pet insurance, please don't get a pet!

Normal-Sort4287 , John Donges Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

I get this and agree for the most part but sometimes the unforeseen medical problems cost so much that you literally need to get a loan for it. Our dog needs surgery that is going to cost us $7000. We have literally just spent over a thousand dollars already on consults, x-rays, pain meds, antibiotics etc. $7000 is a LOT of money and the majority of pet owners wouldn’t just have that kind of money lying around. And pet insurance is a load of crap. Even CHOICE Australia doesn’t recommend it, and that is saying something. Maybe if vets did payment plans then it wouldn’t be a huge issue but they don’t. The vets are part of the problem with their high costs and lack of financial help such as payment plans.

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#11

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets My wife is a vet. She says that a lot of people tell her they want their dog to experience child birth at least once. It’s a horrible and traumatic experience for dogs because they not only have to go through pregnancy and labor, but they have to give up their babies.

Spay and neuter your pets.

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Ember
Community Member
4 months ago

I can’t stress enough how important it is the have your pet neutered/spayed

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#12

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets KNOW YOUR BREED!!! Don't complain about your dog being too energetic or destructive when you keep them cooped up in a cage for 12 hours a day!! A Labrador is a working dog - he needs a job to do!! A husky is a snow dog - don't own one in Florida!! German Shepherds shed ALOT - don't complain about the hairballs!! DO YOUR RESEARCH 1st!!

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Ember
Community Member
4 months ago

Research and educating yourself should be mandatory before owning any pet

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#13

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets If you see a stray cat with a cleanly clipped ear tip do not take it to a shelter. Either take it home to live with you or leave it on the street.

Clipped ears mean they were caught, neutered/spayed by the city/county, and released. This is a way to control cat populations and, over time, protect wildlife. They compete for resources with fertile cats without adding to the population.

In many cities, stray cats are more likely to be adopted from the street than in the shelter. If the cat is taken to a shelter they cannot legally release it because it is now abandoning the animal. That cat will be euthanized, or at best absorbs resources until it finds a home.

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graye b
Community Member
4 months ago

TNR ear tips do not look like this, they are much smaller and only clip off a quarter of an inch

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#14

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets They rely solely on you for care. For everything. You are their everything. Don’t f**k it up.

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Chelle Jones
Community Member
4 months ago

The kindest thing you can do is lovingly give up an animal you can not care for. Adoption is hard but sometimes that's the most loving resource available.

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#15

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets RVT here. There are sooo many.

1. It is not cute or sweet to have an obese pet. It can cause joint issues and heart disease among many things. Stop showing love through over feeding (especially human junk food).

2. Dogs are living creatures who need preventative medical care just like you do. And sometimes they get sick like you do. If you can’t contribute the bare minimum to take care of them, maybe you should think again about owning one.

3. GET YOUR PUPPY ITS DAMN DISTEMPER/PARVO VACCINES.

Mayg14 , Tripp Report

Ember
Community Member
4 months ago

...and get your pet neutered! Unless you’re a breeder, there’s NO NEED to bring more unwanted puppies/kittens into the world.

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#16

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets Not a vet, but my mom was a vet tech for years and I've been an animal profession for awhile now.

Cats DO NOT do things because they are mad at you. Your cat did not poop on your boyfriend's pillow as revenge for being yelled at, and they certainly did not pee on your clothes because they're mad you didn't feed them on time. Cats are creatures of habit and prefer routine to feel safe, so when you have drastic changes in behavior (such as eliminating outside the box), it's typically due to one of two reasons: environmental changes or a medical issues. If you cannot think of anything in your home environment that's changed, then you need to get them checked at the vet.

Neither milk nor tuna from a can are good treats for you cat, despite the stereotype.

Unless it's for a legitimate medical reason, declawing cats is cruel. If you don't want cats clawing your furniture, but can't be bothered to do the bare minimum of just researching how you can prevent it, then don't get a cat. Don't have a completely unnecessary medical procedure done on your cat simply because you don't want to be inconvenienced.

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troufaki13
Community Member
4 months ago

Some people see their pets as accessories and can't be bothered to spend some time with them. I bet it's the same people who see their children as accessories also. :(

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#17

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets If your cat or dog was hit by a car and is whining and limping, when you bring them in and get asked when the accident happened, the damn answer best not be ‘oh, 4-5 days ago, but I haven’t had time to bring him in’

Source = wife is a surgical vet nurse

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Ember
Community Member
4 months ago

Are people really that stupid? If it were a child hit by a car, would they wait a few days before seeking treatment?

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#18

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets Your rabbit is not a f**king hamster.

It needs actual space to run around, and not a single cage sold at a commercial pet store has even close to enough space. They need runs, and access to the house if you can.

They are incredibly social animals, so don't come to me and say you got one. They are lonely, and need a buddy. If they don't have one, be prepared to spend 6+ hours a day hanging out and socializing with them because they need the interaction.

They do not just eat pellets, 80-90% of their diet is should be hay and I'm tired of people coming in with morbidly obese rabbits as a result of the rabbit being fed nothing but calorie dense pellets and carrots.

And stop buying pugs from breeders. Bringing more of those poor suffering creatures into this world is inhumane.

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Ceredwyn Ealanta
Community Member
4 months ago

Bunnies in a cage in the back garden are not happy bunnies. The House Rabbit society has excellent information on litter training and socialising a rabbit. Rabbits do need to be spayed or neutered, and will live vastly longer if this is done - otherwise they are subject to reproductive cancers. Happy rabbits dance, proink up and shake themselves about, and otherwise are very active. Bored rabbits in cages are numb and mentally broken.

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#19

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets Vet here.

Your dog does not need to eat grain free food with massive amounts of protein because they are “basically a wolf.” No. They’re not. They’re a dog. And not only does the actual science not support the need for these trend diets, now there’s concern they’re actually doing harm, causing dilated cardiomyopathy in certain animals.

In a similar vein, we do not get any money from diet companies. Do you think I would be wallowing in my 325K of debt (no this is not an exaggeration in the slightest), driving a 15 year old broken down car, and renting without a hope of buying a house, if I were getting kickbacks? I would not. If we make a diet recommendation it’s because current science says it may help your pet.

We agonize over cases, work longer hours than we should, spend time away from our families and friends to figure out difficult cases and help the really sick pets. Taking out your anger and grief on me and my staff does nothing but tear us apart and contribute to the high suicide rate that vets and vet techs have. We are helpers at heart and it hurts when we can’t help - please be kind and don’t make us feel worse.

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Neva Nevičica
Community Member
4 months ago

Some of us do know that and appreciate your time and work :)

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#20

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets There is no such thing as Alpha. The whole concept was based of a flawed methodology where even the researchers who wrote the book in the first place disavowed it. Simply use force free training and you and your pet will be happier for it

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Konpat
Community Member
4 months ago

Also, know your breed! They have such different personality and need different training

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#21

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets Not a vet but my mom is.

One thing that really frustrates her is the myth that neutering a cat will make them fat and lazy.

It reduces the amount of calories they need which means they need less food and/or more exercise to maintain the same weight. Cats generally get less energetic as they get older regardless, but most will still perk up if you make the effort to wave a toy in their face every so often.

mylifeisathrowaway10 , John Donges Report

Periwinkle
Community Member
4 months ago

Neuter the cat unless you want to become sasha from the math books. They will multiply I promise you.

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#22

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets Vet Nurse for 10+years....

90% of your pets behavioural issues are your fault. If you're not willing to train your pet (mostly dogs here, cats just dgaf) basic commands and getting them used to being handled then you can bet we will restrain and muzzle if need be or we will charge extra for sedation. My colleagues and I are not in the business of fluffing around whilst trying to treat your pet and or getting bitten.

What you think is cute in your large breed puppy (growling, resource guarding, biting) is not cute when it is a 30+kg uncontrollable beast.

Retractable leashes are the worst invention ever and should be banned. You have no control over your pet.

Stop letting your pet wander up to any other pet in the waiting room. Not all dogs are friendly and cats are stressed enough.

Overfeeding your pet is the same animal abuse as underfeeding.

Start a savings account for your pet if pet insurance doesn't suit. If you never need it you have money you can spend on a holiday.

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Ember
Community Member
4 months ago

Fantastic advice

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#23

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets If your pet eats your weed stash, let the vet know. They are not going to call the police. They need to know everything they can to diagnose your pet.

D-Rock_502 , Kumweni Report

Premislaus de Colo
Community Member
4 months ago

Dogs and cats can't metabolize THC. It's not only that they eat your stash - don't smoke in company of your pet and FFS don't blow your smoke at your pet!

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#24

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets Ripping your cat's claws out to preserve your furniture is absolutely disgusting and inhumane.

Don't justify it by saying that at least you're giving him/her a good home. You're depriving the animal of one of the core essence of being a cat!

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Ember
Community Member
4 months ago

This barbaric practice should be illegal everywhere and in this day and age I’m surprised it isn’t.

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#25

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets Vaccines you get at the drug store on the corner or the feed and tack shop ARE NOT as good or the same as the ones you get at the vet.

Just because your dog is scratching its ears does not mean it has ear mites.

Your cat is not urinating outside the box because its a jerk ( it might be) it probably has an infection.

Not eating for 3 days while vomiting and having diarrhea is a huge deal! That 5lb chihuahua or even 80lb lab cant lose that many fluids without having any intake and be ok and neither would you.

misssnorlax , John Donges Report

Ember
Community Member
4 months ago

Educate yourself as a pet owner. Many minor problems can be treated easily at home without huge vet bills. There are many books on pet health, but make sure your pet sees a professional if you’re unsure.

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#26

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets That they are NOT human. Anthropomorphizising your pet often leads to behavioural issues ( small dogs being treated like babies makes them feel they're pack leaders, no your dog is not smiling, he's [fricking] stressed, no, your dog is not guilty, he's terrified of punishment). So for the love of all your deities... Love your pet as if it was your child and treat it how it deserves to be treated - through communication it understands!

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J. F.
Community Member
4 months ago

Took care of my sisters cat - her now ex-husband was kinda rough with the cat and it took me two month to gain her trust.

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#27

Woah, I rant about that so many times to my coworkers lol.
1. Having an obese pet is NOT cute.
2. Even if your pet is a darling at home, it still can bite me and you shouldn't judge me if I put on a muzzle (even more if it's a big, angry dog/cat).
3. Your pet has moods, just like a human.
4. Any change in behavior of your pet should be critically looked at. Why is it that your pet suddenly growls/bites when you touch it in a special place? Could it have pain there?
5. Argh dunno how many times I said that but most people bring in their pet when it's too late, I had so many cases where I had to use much more expensive treatment cause Karen was too lazy to come here with her cat who obviously had a tumor.
6. I wish people would understand a pet is not a toy for your children you buy and stuff away whenever you're done with it.
7. It's NOT cool to make your dog into a killer machine. Especially if I - the vet - have to give it a shot etc.

Yeah... sometimes I highly doubt some people should be allowed to even own stuffed toys...

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Walter
Community Member
4 months ago

this makes me a sad walter. people don't realize that pets are not just things you watch so you can pass time once and a while. no matter the pet, as soon as you adopt it, it becomes a member of your family, just like a child. it needs DAILY ATTENTION, not just some food, water, and a couple ball tosses. they're LIVING BEINGS, not an entertainer!!!!!!!!

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#28

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets The internet is not a place for you to self-diagnose and treat your pet. I saw way too many things happen to pets that didn't need to. Like putting oregano or oil in your dog's ear to treat an ear infection.

Holybull79 , jasminejennyjen Report

Periwinkle
Community Member
4 months ago

My dog has an ear infection and an eye infection, we consult vets and get the medicine. It's working and he is now turning 12 this year. On valentines day, actually.

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#29

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets It’s not cute to have a dog that obsessively protects you. It means they see you as a resource to guard. Nothing more than a toy or bone. They are supposed to belong to you, not the other way around.

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Chelle Jones
Community Member
4 months ago

It's not pleasant for your neighbors either.

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#30

Vets-Share-Things-About-Pets Veterinarian here.
Getting and relying on medical advice from breeders and groomers (with no medical background). I once saw a rat terrier with a fractured humerus, which typically requires surgical correction. As I stepped out of the room to check availability with a surgeon, the client called the dog’s breeder who said not to follow my advice and to “just put the dog in a sling” and that she’s “done on her own dog's plenty.”

Also, not exercising dogs enough. Many behavioral problems can be solved with ample exercise daily.

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Periwinkle
Community Member
4 months ago

I once saw an episode on an animal rescue program where a horse was bought from a horrible, deep scumbag who told the new owner the horse only had a small pain in their feet and could be treated easily. The rescue had to come because the horses hooves were curved in, I think. I also remember that the horse died or something else very tragic.

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