Ask The Hairy Dogfathers: Expert Advice Leads to Explosive Reaction

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Dear Hairy Dogfathers,

My recently rescued dog had a skin condition, so I followed the advice of the “dog guru” I adopted her from. Let’s just say the advice didn’t go so well. She recommended that I top off her food with some supplements from my kitchen cupboard. Seemed like sage advice, so I did it. To, umm, explosive results. My dog had a bout of diarrhea that lasted for eight days! I brought her to the vet, who cleared up the skin issue and helped us resolve the diarrhea as well. Now my problem is this what do I tell the woman who gave me this advice?

Signed, Not Pleased

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Of course you aren’t pleased; no one likes dealing with diarrhea, especially the explosive kind. Just like people, some dogs have sensitive stomachs, so toying around with diets without can lead to some not so fun times for you and your pooch. I doubt this guru of yours meant any harm, but if she continues propagating this advice, your community may soon have an explosive epidemic. My advice here is simple: be straight up with this person, tell that following her advice lead to a week from hell with a vet bill to boot, and since you’re a nice person you’re simply telling her. If someone else has the same experience they may be tempted to share their pain… and they may not be as polite as you!

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When it comes to medical advice, ask a medical professional. Sure, a trip to the vet is going to cost you some money, but less money than treating whatever treatment you made up with the free advice in the first place. You adopted this dog, and with that, you promised to care for her. Next time, step up and consult with your vet. Your dog is lucky that the problems have not had more serious, longer term side effects.

Now, as far as dealing with this guru, it sounds like she was trying to help. I would send them a note telling them that the dog is fine now, but that they didn’t react well to free-advice treatment. Keep the tone happy and not accusatory. After all, it was your fault that you listened to the free advice in the first place. But they do need to be notified in a gentle way, so they don’t continue with their “helpful” advice giving.