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Compliance vs. Choice: Why Education Matters. The Trick to Making Informed Decisions!

Updated: Mar 5


I don't always want people to believe what I post.


I want people to research what I post.



Do you feel like you have a choice when it comes to your pet's care?


Or do you sometimes feel like you're being backed into a corner?


It's important for pet owners to feel empowered, heard, and supported when it comes to their pet's healthcare.


But I know very well that it's not always that simple.


My top piece of advice as a new pet owner:


Research everything.

Ask questions.

Trust your gut.

Always.


To feel empowered, you must first be educated and informed.


Easier said than done?



 

Compliance vs. Choice


Most pet owners wonder what the best products and recommendations are for their individual dog or cat.


But many pet owners have been reluctant to believe what their veterinary team is telling them in regards to these recommendations... and rightfully so! Do you think there's a 'hidden' interest?!


Example # 1:


Careful with the wording...


One article I found recently is titled:

"Compliance is Key: strategies to prevent fleas & Ticks."


To the average pet owner, this article headline may confuse you... But stay with me on this one.


This was a post by Clinician's Brief, an organization/ website that provides continuing education and medical related articles to veterinary professionals.


I really do love a lot of the content they present/ provide. But this one just rubbed me the wrong way.


"Compliance is Key." 


How does this sound to you?! 


*I should note that at the end of the article, it had a disclaimer saying it was a sponsored post by a large and very well-known pharmaceutical company. Go figure, right?


A few more of their article headlines are as follows:


"Top 5 Ways to Promote Client Compliance."


"Compliance" in veterinary medicine is defined as, "The pet receives the care you believe is best for the pet."


What about the care the OWNER preceives as best? Don't they get a choic


"How Increased Compliance Leads to Better Business."



Example # 2:


Sponsored by...


AAHA recently announced the launching of a new course for veterinary professionals, titled:

'Companion Animal Weight and Nutrition Management Guideline Champion.'


They call it a "Foundational course that helps veterinary teams create and communicate to clients evidence-guided, ​individual nutrition management plans for dogs and cats."





Within the description it states, and I quote:

"It’s also critical to (empathetically) convince sometimes reluctant pet owners to comply with your team’s recommendations.

Convince reluctant pet owners to comply? Really?


However... it clearly contains a major conflict of interest:


Further down the page it says:


"This certificate is generously supported by a grant from ​Purina Pro Plan."


And people wonder why veterinarians recommend certain brands of product to their clients? Because those brands are LITERALLY funding the education to teach them how to coerce pet owners into compliance.


Written plain as day.


*Please also read this post on how veterinary professionals are practically paid to recommend certain brands.


👉 My take on it:


Education is key.

Compliance is a choice.


And choices should be based off of educated decisions.


People need to know that conventional methods are NOT the only way to do things.


This is where I find VetMed so manipulative...


Using fear-mongering from big corporations to teach professionals how to gain compliance from pet owners by creating a fearful and uninformed mindset. 👎


🐾 If only pet owners (and professionals) knew the real truth about commercial pet food and the dangers of flea/ tick meds...


As veterinary professionals, it should not be our main goal to simply gain compliance to whatever recommendation we make.


This does not establish trust, nor does it make for a confident and empowered pet owner (you).


It should be about teaching and educating.


I can't even begin to tell you how many people have come to me over the years completely heart broken that they were not told the truth, nor were they provided informed consent.


It can be tough to not be completely overwhelmed, but it's up to you to take it one thing at a time and ask questions.


 

Unpopular Opinion:


Consumer beware! Even the holistic pet/ vet community is getting just as in tune with the fear-mongering as the mainstream corporate BS.



😒 While that might be hard to believe, think of how many times you've seen posts such as:


  • Bashing of kibble and those who feed it (because some brands are very low-quality and it's generally just considered to be processed food). Not everyone can feed raw food diets, and not every pet does well on raw anyways.

  • Saying that peanut butter is toxic to dogs (because of some additives that certain brands may contain).

  • Infographics about certain fish products being poisonous and unhealthy (yes, some fish can contain heavy metals and other pollutants).

  • Shaming & banning of Prong/ E-Collars (instead of providing education on proper use and techniques for safety).


🚫 This is NOT helping pet owners to:

▪️Be confident

▪️Provide better

▪️Maintain their pet's well-being


This mindset trend also does not support and assist dedicated pet owners in making informed decisions.


This creates divide, paranoia, and impulsive decision making based on fear and anxiety.


🧐 Guess what?!

There are better options for organic, safe & sustainable foods, supplements and other products... and we all know:

Moderation and education is key with anything!


🥰 Do your research, choose to give certain foods and treats on occasion, opt for natural and organic when possible.



 


Education is Key!


One main thing I strive for as a Veterinary Technician, consultant and educator is to spark curiosity... for readers to be encouraged to ask questions.


Why? Because not everything we are told is true! Not everything our pets are prescribed is safe!


It's truly a jungle of misinformation out there!




A huge pet peeve of mine is to read posts from others whether that be via blogs or social media posts... that provide ZERO evidence to back up what they are saying/ writing about.


I also see this a lot in veterinary practice. A veterinary professional simply makes a recommendation, suggestion, or writes a prescription... and no second guesses are made. No discussions are had.


How can pet owners look further, ask questions, do their own research (let alone believe you) or be informed when you aren't providing information for them?!


With that, I ALWAYS provide links to articles, videos, scientific studies.. And so-on...

You will see this A LOT throughout my website and other social media sites.

Especially in my heavily researched blog topics such as:


When we (veterinary professionals) educate & inform you, you can make a proper decision based off of the knowledge we give.


Will you always choose to agree with us and follow what we say?


❌ Nope.

And that's okay! 👍


Health care is NOT a one-size-fits-all.


🤔 Don't want to give toxic pesticides to your pet? Cool!

Want to feed grain-inclusive or raw diets? Wonderful!


That's your choice.


It is OUR duty (as veterinary professionals) to inform you of the risks on that side as well (such as perhaps getting Lyme).

***Which is possible with or without 'preventatives.'


....and to give you ALTERNATIVES.


🤷‍♀️ What if your veterinary team doesn't know of any alternatives to conventional pesticide products?


Then it's time to do some research!!

  • Essential oils

  • Proper diet for healthy immune system

  • Homeopathy

  • Pest repelling plants in the yard

(I LOVE Lemon Verbena 🌱)


......and SO MUCH MORE!


 

On the Other Hand:

Is everything backed by science?!

❌ Heck to the no!


But there's often plenty of anecdotal evidence for you to dive deeper into and form a conclusion on the topic at hand.


Homeopathy, for instance, doesn't have much (if any) actually scientific evidence supporting its safety and benefits.... But 200+ years of use that has been seen and experienced by millions of people (and their pets) proves it works. Same with a variety of herbs and supplements. We cannot possibly have a double-blind scientific study for EVERYTHING.


When it comes to certain supplements... Let's ask:

"If they (FDA) say it's a placebo, and doesn't work, why are they trying so hard to ban it?!


It can be so frustrating!


 

When Should I Ask Questions?


You may not feel comfortable asking questions.


You may not have a lot of time to do your own research.


Maybe you feel intimidated by all the conflicting information out there.


  • Have you felt pressured by a veterinarian in the past?

  • Were you told that something you were asking about it false?

  • What evidence did they provide proving that?

  • Were you discouraged to ask questions?

  • Did you feel ridiculed?

  • Maybe even backed into a corner?


I have.


Maybe you simply wanted to learn more and didn't feel as though that was okay.


I understand you don't have 18 hours a day to browse the endless soup of information online.


Or to spend hours at the vet's office getting all the information you desire.


My whole-hearted promise to you: To provide plenty of evidence and information to what I say so YOU can make informed decisions!


 

HTP is a Space to be Heard.


Here, you're understood without judgment. I'm here to educate and support you.


To help you navigate difficult waters within the veterinary/ pet industry. 


To provide you with unbiased care and resources. 


📚 Veterinarians (and Technicians) need to educate themselves, so they can educate YOU! 🤗


THAT is what I strive for.


Unfortunately, for others, it's not that simple.


Truthfully, it may seem that I knock down conventional veterinary care so hard... But this is why.


I've spoken with too many pet owners that have been coerced, lied to, and manipulated into healthcare decisions and medical procedures. Heck, it's even happened to me before I became a CVT.


What's more unfortunate, is that I'm sure most veterinarians don't know any different either... Because they trust the big corporate companies selling & teaching then about their  products.


My motto:

"When you know better, you can do better."


But to know better, you must first have an open mind and willingness to learn new things, think critically, and do loads of your own research. 


If you're looking for one-on-one support for all your pet care needs, you've come to the right place! 


 

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