Monday 31st January 2011

I think today we should consider the policies of the PDDP when it comes to health care. Basic health care should be available to all dogs regardless of their ability to pay for it. Our vaccinations should be a matter of priority and not something a human can look at cutting costs on. If they have the opportunity  to be vaccinated against common conditions that affect their health then we should have the same basic right. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m very fond of our vet and compared with many places her charges are very reasonable, but if you look at the whole thing as a political issue why do our humans get their health care provided and we don’t?

Health care for dogs needs to go further than that. There needs to be more research done into a better way to give us our kennel cough vaccine than to stick a very unpleasant squirty thing up our nostril. I don’t know a single dog that doesn’t object strongly to this procedure. It’s inhumane.

I also would like to do something done about waiting rooms. Very often, so I am told, doctor’s waiting rooms have toys for the children to play with. Why aren’t there toys for us to play with in the vet’s waiting room? I grant a heated game of tug may become a little inconvenient and the cats might lost regularly, but I see the latter point as a bonus. Of course, in my experience cats rarely play fair and while you are busy tugging they have a nasty tendency to swipe you with their claws. In my book that’s cheating, but I guess that’s a cat for you.

The health care issue become particularly poignant when we approach the end of our natural lives and our owners are faced with difficult decisions about how much they can afford to put right the problems we face. Life or death decisions should never be a question of money. They should only ever be a question of what is best for the pet. I’ll come back to the question of compulsory euthanasia. I need to compose myself first. It’s a very emotive question for all of us.