Just been to a very bizarre "puppy party" at the vets!!(40 Posts)
Got invited to a puppy party and thought we may as well go along. I was expecting it to be several puppies playing together, but there was me and one other couple with their puppy; we basically sat on chairs with the pups on leads and were lectured on feeding them. Apparently, my choice of Fish4Dogs puppy food, topped with NatureDiet isn't adequate, and I need to immediately switch my pup to Hills Science Diet, as this is the best available! I questioned this, as I know the first listed ingredient in Hills is maize, and this is not something I want to feed my dogs, but she continued parroting that it's what they recommend and all feed to their own dogs. She placed a handful of the wonderful puppy kibble in front of my little Bandit, who, bless him, turned him nose up at it
She then went on to try and sell us puppy toothpaste, puppy pads, flexi-leads and toys. So basically it was just a sales evening, a bit like being at a Tupperware party, or Ann Summers
except the toys weren't as good and I've come away feeling a bit disappointed that what I thought was going to be a nice sociable evening, was in fact an opportunity to try and get me to part with money. Very odd experience!
That sounds awful! I hope you managed to bat their food suggestions off- that Hills stuff sounds a bit rubbish.
I've just been to a puppy party at the vets too. Ours was nothing like yours, just total madness with puppies running everywhere and the poor nurse trying to be heard above the noise. It was brilliant.
I'm also surprised (and very disappointed) that they are selling/promoting flexi leads. They are the work of the devil, and are responsible for a huge number of accidents, both to dogs and humans.
EatTheRude that was what I was hoping for! It was a very odd evening, and an hour or so of my life I'm never going to get back!
Ours is just basically a chance for the nurses and receptionists to fawn over puppies and steal more cuddles than they do in regular surgery hours.
^^ what lonecat said. The odd bit of genuine socialisation advice and troubleshooting, sure, but mostly a big pile of puppies.
In all seriousness we have a massive backlit display of Hills sodding Science Diet looming in the waiting room but the only way in which I would ever promote it is to say it's better than Bakers, Pedigree et al and basically just encourage people to read ingredients labels and do a bit of research before settling on a commercial food. Not one of the nurses or admin staff feeds it to their own animals (couple of the vets do though).
Flexi leads are banned (spare leads are available to borrow) and puppy pads and toothpaste are only discussed if someone brings them up. The former is discouraged as they often prolong training, the latter encouraged in a 'if you're going to brush, start practicing now with a soft finger brush' type way. No flogging of anything, really, though the Kong stand often takes an incidental bashing. No sit/heel/come training either which seems to baffle everyone.
I think the main thing with puppy parties is for socialisation, so they shouldn't all be off lead together - two at a time with careful refereeing!
How sad that a practice takes so little interest on behavioural health that they use this great opportunity to try and sell stuff. As I'm sure you realise, most practices would not take that slant!
There is now a school of thought that a big room of puppies piling in together off leads has produced a generation of hooligans. It teaches the puppies nothing about about being sociable with other dogs, so a puppy party like this is almost as bad as the one you have described! As Afffantoosh says, two off a lead at a time is adequate, and the two should be matched' to each other.
At ours we try and teach all about health care, teeth brushing etc, some very basic training and also advice on feeding etc, but it is never a sales pitch.
I wouldn't go to a puppy party that had all/lots of pups all off-lead together. Pups learn best from well-socialised adult dogs that have good manners and a room full of rambunctious pups all piling in together is just too much for some pups and a chance to be the bully for others.
Far better to book puppy training classes, where your pup can meet other pups under controlled conditions and learn that, while other dogs are fun to be around, he still needs to focus on you.
To be honest, in most - not all - cases I would rather attend something run by an APDT registered professional than a veterinary surgery (of course some vets may have an APDT registered person to run their classes for them).
I did attend a veterinary puppy course a few years back that was run by their head vet nurse, who also happened to be a highly qualified dog trainer. Pups were on lead for the training, we were taught about socialisation, handling, health-care and body language and for part of the session, suitably matched pups were allowed off-lead to play two at a time. Those classes were just about perfect, imo and interestingly the dog I took turned out to be probably the best socialised, most well-mannered and best trained dog I've ever had.
Not wanting to hijack the thread, but what is the problem with flexileads? I don't use one myself, but have always thought they looked like a grand idea to give on lead dogs a bit more range.
When you have seen one finger nearly amputated by the flexi lead bing wound round the finger and then the dog pulling you realised quite how awful they are. That s just one of the problems.
A quick Google will reveal a litany of accidents, caused by flexi leads, both when they malfunction (which is often) and when they are "working". They are a lethal trip hazard for other walkers, especially children and the elderly, and the thin string can cause amputation of fingers and horrible leg injuries.
By and large, they are used by lazy dog owners who can't be arsed to train their dogs.
Loose lead walking and recall are both taught at training classes. If your dog is well trained you don't need one.
I sat in the vets with my mum the other day next to a big hills display. Both her dog and mine are fed Canagan but mum still won't have it that hills isn't the best food out there simply because it's for sale in the vets.
Every time we go in she tries to change the poor dog onto some specialist shih Tzu food just because it's sold there.
Hills science is awful, maybe better than bakers, but not by much. Vets get commission for selling it, which is why they do.
The best I found was Barking Heads, 100% natural ingredients, with a high meat content, would thoroughly recommend it, just a shame our boy isn't here to eat it any more
I only use Flexi leads when I have to, usually when I'm walking a bitch in season. The tape sort is far better than the string, it's more visible, stronger and easier to untangle.
Not that I sell Hills, but please can I dispel this myth about vets getting commission for selling Hills we do not.
Practices make profit on selling all food they get no greater profit on hills than other food and less profit than the pet superstores do.
I run all the financials in my practice so have all the details of profit schemes. Personally I suggest Arden Grange, but also discuss natural and raw feeding with my clients.
Tell me about it Lonecat, it drives me nuts. We hold small stocks of Hills and RCW prescription foods only, and make such tiny margins on them that it probably costs us money to stock them.
Why do Vets sell Hill then, if they make no money from it? My vet pushed Hills on our first appointment with them. The waiting room if full of Hills products and posters. It also costs twice the price of Burns puppy food. And it caused puppy to have a runny bottom!
Maybe they have the opinion that Hills is the best food?
The main reason vets stock Hills or Waltham/Royal Canin foods is that those companies produce prescription diets for treating specific ailments.
Puppy parties are generally shit.
Vets/vet nurses are generally shit at training/behaviour/nutritional advice.
Hills is shit.
Oh and parties where the puppies are just let loose to play together? They're shit too.
If they have the opinion that hills is the best food then they need to educate themselves a bit more.
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