Whole Dog Journal's Blog December 6, 2011

Make a Gift of Your Dog-Friendly Recommendations

Posted at 08:52AM - Comments: (7)

I’ve mentioned before that my husband and I are hosting (indefinitely) a Chihuahua who belongs to his post-graduate niece; she’s looking for a job that will pay for a dog-friendly apartment in San Francisco. I was in her shoes 24 years ago; I ended up sending my dog back to my parents’ home. The landlords who do accept dogs in San Francisco are so few that they can charge outrageous rents for sub-par homes – and they have long waiting lists of potential renters.  Anyway, so Peanut – or “Tito” as my husband calls the dog – will probably be with us for a while.

Peanut/Tito (I often end up calling him “Potato”) is only four years old, but he has some obvious (to me) structural/mechanical problems. The action – or should I say, the inaction – of his knees suggest he’s got the knee issues that are so common in Chihuahuas.  He sometimes winces or screams if you pick him up – or if he even thinks you are going to pick him up. He’s very tense and guarded about being petted -– especially on his right shoulder, but pretty much everywhere except for the itchy patch on his back in front of his tail and his tummy.  I haven’t yet had time, but I really want to get him seen and treated by a qualified veterinary chiropractor. The thing is, the closest one I know is a three-hour drive away.

So I’m putting out the word to all the dog people I know: Does anyone know a good veterinary chiropractor up here in the north Sacramento Valley?

I was scanning a list of my email contacts for people to send my query to, when I came up with an idea. What if all of my dog-loving friends and relatives sent each other a “gift” of a list of beloved and trusted dog professionals with whom they’ve had personal experience? If someone sent me such a list, you can bet I’d post it on the wall near my computer, just in case I needed a referral for a good emergency clinic, rehabilitation practitioner, acupuncturist, nutrition expert, cardiologist – whatever! My friends contain a wealth of information; why not mine them for that information before I even need it (like now)?

I’m going to give it a try. To all the people I know who have or love dogs and cats in my area, I’m going to send them a list of all the dog-related professionals or services that I recommend in this area, and I’m going to ask that they do the same for me. My list will contain the best (in my personal experience) local business or provider of each of the following:

-Pet supply stores for good foods and training tools

-Emergency veterinary practice

-Progressive/educated veterinarian


-Boarding facility

-Daycare facility


Health food store with wide variety of superior-quality herbs and supplements

And while I’m at it, I’ll ask for specific recommendations for a few providers that I still need, such as a good local dog-walker, pet sitter, veterinary acupuncturist, and, of course, a veterinary chiropractor.

And if I’m looking for actual gift ideas, what about gift certificates to one of these local businesses that I know my friends could use?

What do you think? Would you send your friends a list of every professional who has competently helped you care for your dog?

Comments (7)

An online data base could be a great idea. But how would you keep people/businesses who would not make the list from bulking it up with their own (hidden) self-promotion?

Posted by: hg | December 12, 2013 10:30 AM    Report this comment

Before getting chiropractic care, shouldn't you find out exactly what is wrong? Perhaps it's luxating patellas or even something else. If this is the case, and depending on the severity, chiropractic may or may not be a good resolution.
Why not a good vet first? Nothing against chiropractors, but if my dog were this sensitive, the vet would be the first stop. Also, I like to use "pick you up?" as a question to warn the dog, to give him or her the opportunity to know it's coming so the dog has time to prepare, whether physically, mentally or emotionally.

Posted by: Barbara E | December 10, 2013 11:51 AM    Report this comment

are you still looking for a chiropractic vet in north Sacramento Valley???? Have you tried www.avcadoctors.com ???? It has several listed in the '530' phone area code. I'm not sure exactly where you live, but there is a good list at that web site.Hope this helps..... Merry Xmas !!! Diane

Posted by: Unknown | December 24, 2011 6:06 PM    Report this comment

I would definitely be willing to pass along referrals to good dog-related service providers to anyone I knew who would like to know who I recommend. Another source of reviews and recommendations for these services in specific areas of the country is Angie's List (angieslist.com). I've been a member of Angie's List for several years now and I always consult the ratings for local home improvement contractors anytime I need work done on my home. In recent years A.L. has expanded into rating human and animal health care providers as well as other animal-related services(i.e. petsitters, groomers, boarding, etc.), so this could be another good source for cautions as well as recommendations. You do have to be a member to access this information, however, and there is an annual fee, but since I use A.L. all the time for other services too, I feel that the cost is worth it. Just another idea... (D.S. in Maryland)

Posted by: Diana in Md | December 6, 2011 11:33 AM    Report this comment

I don't know how specialized they get for the types of things you've requested and it depends on how new they are in your area for the number of reviews for any particular practice/service, but I've looked for dog sitters, groomers, and emergency vet clinic reviews on Angie's list for my area. I've found a couple to call for more information, but they still need more subscribers to get a better number of reviews here. I have no idea how it would work for traveling since the subscription service is for the area you live. Bet you could call and ask though.

I've also found a few reviews for various businesses through google searches or online yellow pages listing.

I've also asked the local rescue if they can recommend or at least point me in the direction for various services.

Posted by: ANN S | December 6, 2011 11:16 AM    Report this comment

What a great idea. To take it a step farther, what if it could be adapted to an online database? I'm thinking, what if we are traveling and need a good vet, an emergency clinic, a couple hours of doggy day care when dogs aren't allowed in places we'd like to visit ... Would also be valuable for people moving to a new city, to be able to target those competent businesses right off the bat.

Posted by: Carolyn M | December 6, 2011 9:30 AM    Report this comment

Love it! No better resource than other critter-lovin' friends! Thank you for the idea.

Posted by: DIXIE B | December 6, 2011 9:01 AM    Report this comment

New to Whole Dog Journal? Register for Free!

Already Registered?
Log In