Originally from Puerto Rico, Dr. Carlos Varela received his Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science at Louisiana State University. After graduating Dr. Varela attended the School of Veterinary Medicine at Tuskegee University. With an interest in small animal surgery and exotic animal medicine he recently joined the Camino Al Norte team as Hospital Manager.
He volunteers time working with several rescues in the Las Vegas Valley, including All Fur Love, Italian Greyhound Rescue and a local Sugar Glider rescue. Dr. Varela also works side by side with the Silverton Hotel and Casino Aquarium Department maintaining the health and happiness of their stingrays, sharks and several other exotic species.
In his spare time, Dr. Varela spends time with his family including Bear his Black Lab, Betty his Bull Dog/ Pit Bull, and Duke the Miniture Schnauzer.
Is a Bully Breed Right for You and Your Family?
Matching a bully breed to your lifestyle is crucial when trying to choose a breed to enter your family. Our nine breeds share traits to consider, but they all fit into to families somehow.
Spend time learning about the breeds you are interested in, either online or books. You need to know EVERYTHING from costs, health insurance, medical maintenance, food & medicines and possible emergency services throughout the bully's life.
Breeder vs. Adoption:
If you go with a breeder, make sure they are certified through the AKC network. You can check this listing on their website easily. "Backyard Breeders" or Unlicensed Breeders aren't always breeding to bloodline qualities. For example, if a bully has had severe allergies, pallet issues or hip issues that bully shouldn't be bred. Great breeders will breed to the highest standards to keep the breed at its best.
Adoption is always a great direction to go:
You can locate adoptable bully's through groups, usually through the AKC or Rescue organizations. There are many reasons why our bully breeds may be available for adoption. The original owner didn't have any idea what it took to take care of them, over breeding by backyard breeders. An issue in the home with other pack members due to no professional training and the list goes on. The best thing animal supporters can hope for is these people DO get the dog to a rescue and not dump them to die or leave them at a kill shelter. Great rescues have a process to adopt. You should expect? Applications, Home Visits and Adoption Fees. Do your research online, by phone, visit one of their adoption events and make sure you get word of mouth as all rescues are NOT created equally!
Worst things you can do choosing your breed!
Look of the dog
Our bully breeds are the most wanted by the public due to they look "cool" or the price to purchase a bully makes humans think they want one. DON'T... you need to love the breed and be prepared for the lifelong commitment. You must be prepared financially and have the time it will take to have a healthy family member.
If you can't afford the cost of living for you or your family, DON'T add a bully breed or any other pet to your family. They require money to feed and care for medically to stay alive plus the costs of medicines, accessories, training and so on. If you can't afford the cost of adding a bully or any pet to your family, just love them through friends, online & media until you can afford to add one to your family.
Vaccinations are a MUST for Preventative Medicine. Bullies have many issues that can end up costing thousands of dollars more because you DIDN'T stay on top of shots.
If you work or play all the time, you are NOT ideal to own a bully breed or any other dog. They need training, rules, clean water and to be a member of the family as much as possible. Bullies are NOT outside dogs, they should live with you INSIDE your temperature controlled home to keep them safe, happy and healthy!
The "Bad Ass" mentality - STOP!
Choosing a bully to intimidate, mistreat or neglect is NOT the right direction. Bullies are VERY special. Lovers and "almost human" traits are what they are naturally with good ownership. You?re better off getting a tattoo!
Best way to become a Great Bully Parent:
Research and take your methodical time to choose which breed fits your lifestyle and your financial situation.
Bully Bank Account
Yes, believe it! Start a fund at your bank to save money for the care of your bully. This is vital as unexpected medical issues come up all the time: hit by a car, dog fight, disease, emergency services on top of regular preventative care can break the bank. SO BE PREPARED!
Pet Health Insurance
Beware, they are NOT created equally. As a Vet, I've seen it all! Some companies have a grace period before coverage begins. I've seen broken bones or emergency services needed but the client's insurance doesn't kick in until the NEXT day! Others have limits or pre-existing disclosures and even breed specific health issues are NOT covered. I've worked with most; I suggest you check out as many as possible to find the right one for you.
Healthcare and Wellness Plans
Some companies offer healthcare or wellness plans and many people customers believe this is pet insurance. It isn't. Normally it's a monthly fee for each pet to receive vaccinations and preventative care (all inclusive but with stipulations).
Bullies can or will have issues throughout their life but feeding them quality food is preventative and expensive! Some bullies never get major health issues, some do, but be smart and ask your Vet their recommendations and WHY! This is another way to save money in the long run.
Holistic & Raw Diet
I'm a fan of anything that keeps your bully healthy and happy. Holistic medicine with modern medicine has worked well for my clients. Raw Diets like fresh or steamed vegetables, fresh fruits and organic meats also save money as high quality kibble is expensive. My clients mix their quality kibble with holistic medicine, modern medicine and raw. It's hard to lose on this point. (See foods NOT to give your dog)
Pet First Aid and CPR
We hosted Bo & DeeMo's CPR class and it was GREAT! It's different than humans obviously, but most pet owners haven?t been taught these skills. his is another way to stay on top of your bully's and your other pet's health. Check out American Red Cross website (www.redcross.org/) to find your local office.
They get a bad rap, but many clients have great things to say about Animal Control. Get your dogs licensed, get any permits you need for multi pets in the home. Have a positive relationship with Animal Police. They are under appreciated to say the least.
Important and inexpensive period! This will save you stress when your bully bolts from the house when you open the door, on vacation and some holidays where fireworks are going off. Many Vet offices have specials with microchip companies, so just ask to see what's available.
Getting your pet chipped is the first step, but MILLIONS of people never register the chip! It's better now, as most companies only require a small one-time fee to put on the national registry. They stopped the annual renewal finally. Remember natural disasters across the world resulted in many animals lost. Most reunited stories are due to the pets having registered chips! Put this in your Bully Budget!
Once you have everything set up... Love your new bully breed and welcome them as a part of your family as a lifelong commitment!
Carlos Varela DVM and Staff
Camino Al Norte Animal Hospital