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Guest Post: Are You Being Marketed To Without Knowing It?

Updated: Jun 11, 2019

This Month's Guest Blog Post is the first of many showcasing a great collaboration between Southern Animal Health and Bayside Dog Owners Group.


Southern Animal Health (SAH) came into existence in 2009 via Dr Marcus Hayes and Dr Karin Davids wanting to practice a very simple philosophy since graduating, but had found difficulty in doing so due to the constant progression of both pet stores and veterinary clinics to up sell clients products and services in the name of making a profit. This simple philosophy was to recommend to clients exactly what they would do themselves for their own pets, both with regards to routine health as well as illness. That's it really!

The SAH philosophy is as simple as recommending whatever it is that we would do for our own pets. It's interesting that when new associates come into our practice, especially if they have come from one of the many corporate stock exchange listed practices that are now being taken over in ever increasing numbers, that we need to spend some months re-educating them to stop selling unnecessary products.

The following list is a brief example of some of our recommendations when it comes to Less is Healthier. In our future articles we will look more closely at each of these and explain exactly why these are our recommendations

Do not use expensive monthly All in One Products:

This is probably the single most important message we give all our new clients. Are you wasting money on the multitude of monthly products that have various combinations of preventative medicines that we are unconvinced are helping our pets in any meaningful way? These unnecessary products often drain pet owners of funds that could otherwise be directed towards having your pets insured so that you do not need to pay large bills when illness or accidents occur. If you currently use a monthly All in One product of any description please feel free to contact us for a discussion with one of our veterinarians.

Worm adult dogs less:

Our vets do not worm our adult pets every 3 months and we have rarely met a vet who does! Generally speaking we recommend worm adult dogs once or maximum twice yearly. Just make sure you use a quality worming tablet.


Only treat for fleas if there is a suspicion of them (or on rare occasions that chronic allergies necessitate consideration for routine treatment). Again, it is very rare for vets to routinely treat monthly for fleas. Our vets certainly don't, believing it is not only far cheaper to treat as required, buy potentially far healthier.

Vaccinate less:

Blanket yearly vaccinations have not been needed for dogs for over 10 years now (and recently 3 yearly vaccinations for panleukopenia have also become available for cats). So to any canines out there with feline companions, stop blanket vaccinating your cats annually from now on!

Routine annual blood checks in young healthy animals:

A recent marketing tool, gaining traction, is to recommend annual blood checks not only in geriatric patients (which may be warranted on some occasions), but also in young to middle aged healthy pets. Our belief is that with young healthy pets with a normal clinical examination, the chance of finding something meaningful in an annual blood check is almost zero. We feel if a pet owner cannot afford yearly insurance, then most definitely do not waste money on such blood tests. Redirect funds into something that is infinitely more likely to one day keep your pet healthy!

Annual wellness programs/Vet Clinic Insurance:

We are seeing an increasing number of pet owners being up-sold annual wellness programs that incorporate so called free consults (say four per year for example), routine health such as vaccinations, worming, flea treatments (often unnecessary in our opinion), some money back if needing dental work (which should not be needed if given the correct advice from the start!) etc. We feel these are horrendously expensive, very rarely giving back any real value for money, and most importantly do NOT pay anything back when serious illness comes along that could cost thousands of dollars. If any pet owner is on one of these yearly retail wellness programs, please call us for advice. We really are quite angry about the rise of these products, and the way they are sold.

Feed more of the correct table scraps and home cooking:

Although this requires a brief explanation from one of our vets, our belief is that this is far healthier than all commercial food - the super-premium brands included. Visit our website for an in-depth explanation.

Dental Hygiene:

Unfortunately, we have not yet found a reliable dental product cleaner for our pets that has a high chance of preventing costly ongoing repeat dental work. Hence we advise pet owners to seek the correct advice about the right raw bones to lessen the chance of severe illness due to rotten teeth, and repeat anaesthesias needed in old age for dental cleaning. We have many clients seek our advice for second opinions regarding dental work needed. Our first piece of advice is that if your pet needs dental work, unless you change what you are doing after it, most pets need repeat work every 2-3 years ongoing. Get the correct advice and minimise the chance of needing repeat work done from the start. Feel free to call us to speak to one of our veterinarians.

Our aim at SAH is to get local pet owners to start a conversation about what really is and what is not needed, or indeed healthy, for our pets, in an age of increasing retail marketing and up selling. It's an ongoing conversation that SAH wishes to help guide all pet owners through, with both dogs and cats, for the journey of their entire lives.

In the meantime, all from the Bayside Dog Owners Group are free to ask any medical or surgical questions to one of our vets by calling 9584 6100 or sending us an email.

#Vet #practice #SAH #Less #Vaccinations #Cheltenham #Bones #Dental #Teeth

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