Reflections from the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show 2013

AMC boothEvery year when the Westminster Kennel Club (WKC) dog show comes to New York City, The AMC goes to the dogs. The Animal Medical Center sets up a vendor booth in the middle of the benching area, which was held this year at Pier 92/94 overlooking the Hudson River, instead of the usual location in the outer ring basement of Madison Square Garden. The new space was so much more spacious than the old space and everyone I talked to hope this new location would be the start of a new tradition.

Only a few cat questions

Not surprisingly, the majority of veterinary questions were asked about dogs. A few slightly embarrassed people walked up to the booth and sheepishly asked permission to have a cat question answered. This reluctance of cat owners to ask cat health questions mirrors one of the current feline healthcare issues: cat owners are providing less healthcare for their cats than dog owners provide for their dogs.

Food, food, food

One of the most frequent topics discussed with pet owners at The AMC booth was pet food which has also been a common topic here at Fur the Love of Pets.

At the dog show, several pet owners asked, Which is better, dry or canned food?” Some cat owners had heard the myth: dry food is bad for your cat and others heard dogs should have a mixture of dry and canned food. Both of these are pet food mythsIf you have a healthy dog, cat, puppy or kitten, my guidelines for choosing a pet food include:

  • Food that carries the AAFCO nutritional adequacy label
  • Matching your pets life-stage and species, (i.e. puppy food for a puppy)
  • Food that is easy for you to obtain
  • Food that your pet likes

The choice between canned and dry belongs to you and your pet; however, dogs and cats with medical conditions may benefit from a particular type of food.

Intersection of animal and human health

One of the visitors at our booth was a physician. We chatted a bit about the similarities between veterinary and human medicine. This too has been a common theme in my blogs. Pets and their people share infections like Salmonellaget similar cancers, such as melanomaand everyone gets sick with the flu. The physician was surprised to find out The AMC staff consists of 92 veterinarians, 30 who are board certified specialists and five who hold two certifications.

Thanks

Possibly the best part of staffing The AMC booth was talking with the grateful pet owners who came to say thank you to The AMC. Those kind words and smiling faces are what makes my job, and the job of every veterinarian worthwhile – every day.

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