These Are the Experts Every Dog Owner Needs

Here’s whom you should have on your support team and how you can find them.

Veterinary team: The relationship you build with your veterinary team should be comprised of trust and information. If you don’t believe your current veterinarian is a good fit for you and your pup, it’s OK to look elsewhere. Check out the listings on aaha.org; these providers have sought advanced accreditation.

Related: These Vets Make House Calls

Specialists: Sometimes a specific health issue warrants a need to work with a specialist. A listing of specialists can be found here: avma.org/education/veterinary-specialists.

Trainers and behaviorists: Not all trainers are created equal. The Association of Professional Dog Trainers provides a list of trainers who use Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive Training. See apdt.com, or find a Victoria Stilwell positive dog trainer at positively.com.

Service providers: Service providers can step in to give you a break and help you with your dog and his issues. For example, do you have a senior dog who can’t go to the groomer anymore? Call a mobile pet groomer that specializes in seniors.

There’s a strong chance your town or region has a Facebook page where you can post and ask about local groomers, doggie day cares, pet sitters, dog walkers, dog massage therapists, low-cost veterinary clinics, etc. Folks are vocal about what’s worked and what hasn’t worked for them. Referrals may also give you and the referrer a discount for services.

Strength in numbers: Facebook groups for rescue dogs, specific breeds or specific subjects like training can be found using a simple search on Facebook. Review group rules before joining to know the purpose and content of each group. Maddie’s Pet Forum is an online community for shelters, rescues, volunteers, fosters and adopters to share expertise, resources and information. See maddiesfund.org.

More reading: livehappy.com is curated by the Director of the Resilience & Positive Psychology program at the University of Pennsylvania, where Carin Zinter attended. New York Times bestseller Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth, shares information about a blend of passion and persistence. Magazines like Dogster and its online offering dogster.com continually update resources and tools for pet parents.

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