Barking Blondes: The health of your dog

Joanne Good and Anna Webb

barking blondes healthy dog 300x225 Barking Blondes: The health of your dogIf a well known vet becomes ‘the face’ of a product such as a pharmaceutical or a campaign, are you more likely to trust that product?

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?


Tagged in: , , , ,
  • marcbletchley

    afternoon jo and anna
    seems we’ve come a long way since flea powder and pills the size of gob stoppers.
    im not sure about yoga for dogs at a chiropractor but interesting reading.

    woof woof from bletchley towers

  • madgooner1

    My dentist advertises mouthwash on TV, is that unprofessional?

  • Ziggydog

    Bet Madgooner’s dentist is earning a lot endorsing the mouthwash, I steer away from these ‘marketed’ products sourcing ones that are natural for myself….so obviously for my dog as well. A Vet endorsement doesn’t do it for me! It makes it the reason not to buy it at any cost.

  • Peter Egan

    Hi Jo’, Anna, Matilda and Molly,
    What I would say is don’t be lazy, don’t have your mind made up by a celebrity endorsement for anything important. Whether it’s a vet, a hairdresser, an ISA! Research the pro and cons and make an informed choice. With the internet, it’s easier to do this now, more than ever before. Don’t be lazy about anything, it costs you money and makes it for someone else.

    Love to all. Peter (-:)

  • theUKnaturalvet

    I’m sure most people would deny that they are influenced by celebrity endorsements – but money talks, and advertisers would not waste their money on paying celebrities if there wasn’t a payback in increased sales. It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that vets, like dentists, get in on the act. Speaking personally, I wouldn’t endorse a product that I didn’t believe was really safe, healthy and effective for pets, but whether all vets would feel the same I couldn’t be sure. I have actually endorsed some natural medicines and supplements but so far haven’t been paid oodles of money for doing so – must be going wrong somewhere!

  • 5brian5

    Good Monday Morning To You Ladies; Any time I see a celebrity endorse anything, I run to another product. Years ago in the early sixties, my uncle, who was a doctor, gave me a pocket pencil. He acquired it through one of the pharmaceutical reps. It was the kind you have to refill with lead. It was a truly unique writing implement. Something to take care of, like your first posh fountain pen. It had a marble look to half of it, and a clear perspex cylindrical top which was oil filled, and contained a brass flat-head screw. Yes, even fifty years ago, pharmaceuticals were big business. I haven’t noticed many “drug purchase incentives” in my doctors offices as of late, however, I know the pens, golf balls & tees, clocks, fancy letter openers, and tickets to concerts and sporting events are around somewhere. Vets are doctors, and I’m sure they’re not exempt from such bribes. Some of the rubbish products I see advertised on our television here, begs me to ask the question: “is there any governmental oversight at all”? It seems to me, that if it makes millions, some doctors and vets would sell you a box of “magic rocks” to heal you or your pet. I try to always get multiple opinions from people I personally know, or research it “online” if all else fails. I find my best source of pet knowledge is this really great programme on BBC London 94.9, on Thursday @ three o clock BST called “THE BARKING HOUR”. Those two women and their beloved dogs, really know their stuff! They also have very informative guests! I try not to miss it! Great Blog Ladies! Take Care of Each Other! Brian (Detroit) xxxx

  • Ivana Nohel

    Celebrity endorsement is nonsense – the only endorsement I would value would be from someone who is knowledgable/expert in the field they are endorsing and also has proven themselves to have integrity.

  • Ivana Nohel

    … so Anna… I would trust anything you endorsed for my pet… is the footnote of my comment!

  • Gizwiz

    I agree with Ivana, celebrity endorsement is nonsense. Most of us are smart enough to know that they’re usually only endorsing the product because they’re being paid for it. But what about doctors who ‘endorse’ certain drugs (ie statins) because pharmaceutical companies offer them incentives?

Most viewed



Property search
Browse by area

Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter