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Dr. Zeltzman: 10 Things I Wish Every Dog Parent Would Do

Reviewed by Dr. Celeste Clements, DVM, DACVIM on Friday, August 7, 2015
Posted September 03, 2015 in A Vet's Life

AJ Debiasse, a technician in Stroudsburg, PA, contributed to this article.

We know you love your dog, and we know you want what’s best for your dog. But many guardians are laboring under dangerous misunderstandings that concern me as a veterinarian, and AJ as my wonderful technician. Speaking candidly, here are 10 things we do our best to tell every client, but many clients still may not understand. I hope that these points will help more guardians better understand their dog and their veterinarian.

1. Recognize pain and suffering

Most dogs are extraordinarily stoic. It can be extremely difficult, but is very important to recognize when dogs are suffering. If they are limping, they hurt. If they are vomiting, something is wrong. If they have difficulty breathing, they may be, in fact, suffocating, and it's terrifying for them. Seek help immediately. Procrastination is heartbreaking for us.

[Check out the top 10 signs your dog may be sick]

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Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a board-certified veterinary surgeon and author. His traveling practice takes him all over Eastern Pennsylvania and Western New Jersey. You can visit his website at, and follow him at

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