Dogs. They are furry family members and play a very important role in our lives. They have a huge positive impact on us. Having a canine companion can provide psychological and physical health benefits. They get us outside for walks, teach children the importance of responsibility and show us their unconditional love each and every day. The following is information to help guide you in choosing and providing the best care for your new best friend.
A dog can be a 15 year or longer commitment both financially and emotionally. A dog should never be brought into the family on impulse and everyone in the house hold (including current pets) should agree to the newest member. Another big commitment that comes with dogs is having the time. It is important to ask yourself if you have time to walk a dog 2-3 times a day, take him/her to vet appointments, groomers and obedience classes. The time to train a puppy is estimated at 20-30 minutes a day of practicing skills, plus one hour a week at class. The time you spend in the first year is the best investment that you can make. More time will also be spent socializing your puppy, cleaning the house, and let’s not forget picking up the poop.
The annual average cost of owning a puppy in the first year is around $3000 according to the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association. Budgeting for examinations, tick and flea preventative, food, toys, etc. is doable but consider how much it could cost if your puppy needs emergency medical care. Emergency medical care (eats something he shouldn’t, etc.) or genetic health problems (hip dysplasia, etc.) can be thousands of dollars. Pet insurance can help protect your beloved dog and bank account from the unexpected. At Lynwood Animal Hospital we recommend getting pet insurance and this website, www.petinsurancereview.com, can be a great resource to help you choose the one that best suits your needs.
Consider the type of life style you live and your house size. Do you travel a lot, enjoy camping and hiking? Do you live in an urban setting with lots of neighbours or in the country with a large back yard? Dogs come in many shapes and sizes, all with their own quirks and specific needs. Some have very high energy and need a lot of space. Some are working dogs and need to keep busy with training and enrichment. Finding the best breed to fit your lifestyle is important in picking a dog.
Lastly consider where you are going to get your puppy from. Certified breeders (resource: https://www.ckc.ca/en), animal shelters or dog rescues are the best option. Getting a dog from a certified source supports those who are passionate and care for the wellbeing of dogs. Always research where you are getting your dog and make sure you are allowed to see where the puppies live and see at least one of the parents.
Puppies become a part of the family with their loyalty, love and kind demeanour. It is no question at all why we put so much effort, time and money into our furry companions because they are worth every second and penny. At Lynwood Animal Hospital we have three different Puppy Kits that outline and guide you on this new journey. These kits are given during your first few visits and a Veterinarian or Technician goes over them in detail with you. We do this to help you care for and bond with your new addition, as well as leaving you with a great resource and helpful information.