Barking Blondes: The health of your dog
In a celebrity driven society, it seems that some of our vets, having enjoyed their 15 minutes of TV fame, are then enticed into the world of celebrity endorsement.
Is this acceptable? Is the decision to put your name to certain drugs, products and processed food, in the interest of the animal? Surely the profession is there first and foremost for the well being of our pets.
Whilst becoming familiar with hairdressers to the rich and famous, promoting hair straighteners and shampoo or a beautiful starlet endorsing wrinkle creams, there are some professions expected to be exempt from such bold branding.
We rarely see doctors associated directly with the latest anti-inflammatory sports gel or wart remover. Neither are we confronted by the local practice’s waiting room packed with displays of easy to cook TV dinners.
Is this because medics are banned from product placement and remain cautious in our litigious society? (A society where dogs are considered as ‘chattel’ or possession) The question is, would we have more confidence in a product championed by our GP?
As with human welfare, there is a trend in the pet world, to label each week with another cautionary message. For example Flea Awareness week…Or, coming up soon, National Pet Smile Month, when most likely, the smile flashing out at us will be owned by a celebrity vet!
All of these campaigns, quite rightly, explain the possible dangers to dogs. Our only concern, is that many pet owners, influenced by a well-known veterinary, may not be making their own informed decisions over choice of medication or not!
Ironically one of the first vets to be recognised globally was the wonderful James Herriot. His life became a legend when popularised by the hit TV show All Creatures Great and Small. Aired in the 1970s the series brought to life his work as a practicing vet in the 1930’s and 1940’s. This was a time when anti-biotics had only just been introduced for animal consumption. In his day processed foods and supermarket chains weren’t even a blot on the commercial landscape. Even so, can you imagine him heading a poster campaign for udder cream?
National Pet Month is just around the corner, itself a campaign to highlight key sponsors’ role in animal welfare. It’s important to view this event as a chance to celebrate your dog, absorb information, but make your own opinions. It’s a cliché, but we believe with the health of your dog, information is power and therefore remember that you and your dog are individuals with the ability to make your own informed decisions.
On a lighter note we took our bull breeds, Molly and Matilda to their Chiropractor this week. Like us, they suffer from bad backs and, unable to practice yoga, they opt for manipulation. Interestingly, complementary therapies are rarely included in high profile campaigns. Is it that these practitioners don’t seek celebrity, or is it that without the promotion of pharmaceuticals or processed food – there is no celebrity for any vet?
THE BARKING HOUR THURSDAYS 3-4pm BBC LONDON 94.9fm www.barkingblondes.netTagged in: barking blondes, bbc, dogs, pets, vets
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