Does Every Dog Need Medication?

Today I brought home a new dog and am extremely excited. He’s a perfectly adorable Cocker Spaniel named Zeus. Of course, before buying Zeus I looked up all of the relevant state dog laws. It was no shock that rabies vaccinations are legally required in this state. It makes sense–rabies can easily spread to the human population, and it’s simply being a good community member and neighbor to get your dog vaccinated. But after I wrote down the legal requirements I had to take care of for my new dog, I started researching some other dog care basics, including what other dog meds I’d have to get him.

I truly hate the idea of having to give my dog medications. I try to live a very natural lifestyle myself. I never take medication unless it’s really an absolute emergency. I don’t even keep ibuprofen or cough medicine in the house. Humans have been around on the Earth for a long time without needing much medicine. And frankly, it seems like most people overmedicate themselves, taking eight ibuprofen or running to the ER every time they have the smallest complaint. So now that I am a pet owner, I’m shy of having a different set of rules for my pet than I have for myself. It’s only recently and only in extremely developed/wealthy countries that dog prescriptions have come into their own. Dogs have lived healthy, happy lives without them for centuries. So why all of a sudden does a large proportion of a pet owner’s money have to go to prescriptions for their dog?

Like I said, I had no problem with getting Zeus his vaccinations. They are obviously necessary on both a medical and cultural basis. I’m not a religious zealot or anything. If my appendix goes bad or I have a super high fever, I’ll go to the medical professionals and take all the help I can. But giving my dog regular prescription medicine from day one, with no sign of a problem, seems going beyond this. The two medications that I know everyone recommends are some type of heartworm medication, like this one, and Frontline Plus or another flea medicine. So far it looks like pretty much everyone and their mother says you should get heartworm medication, since the condition is so widespread and deadly. Fleas, on the other hand, don’t seem to be as much of a menace. I’m continuing to look into the situation, but that’s what I’m thinking so far.

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