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Deciding on a Dog

27 October 2019
Dog, Choice

When we decide that we want to add a puppy or adult dog to our family do we really consider all that it involved with that decision? 

It got me thinking the other day when I had to take one of my dogs to a specialist vet. My boy had some soreness in his back right leg and after initial investigations we came up empty handed on what the cause might be. After a few more weeks I was back again, as he seemed unsettled and uncomfortable in his back legs. Once again, after a thorough clinical examination there was nothing definitive and no clear course to take.  

During the time I spent waiting to see the specialist vet I overheard two owners, both had the same breed of dog, talking about their situations. One had a young gorgeous 10mth old and she had just been given the news that her girl needed quite a lot of surgery, not exactly sure but sounded like elbow and hip related issues. She was quite shocked and taken aback and more so at the cost it would involve to do all that was necessary. She told the other owner that she was looking at $30,000!!! The other owner had a gorgeous girl, only about 2yrs old and she had a malignant tumour. The two talked a little and the owner with the 2yo said she had had 3 other dogs, all the same breed, and all had had cancer and not many lived past 6 or so years old.    

This was shocking to overhear and really made me realise that we often do not consider these things when deciding on what type of dog (breed) we will bring home to be part of our families.   

Often when we decide to add a dog to our family it is done in various ways. More than not, it is bringing home a puppy. However, do we consider more than just what we like the look of? Many owners say they grew up with a certain breed and that is why they wanted one, or we knew someone who had a certain breed and fell in love with it or, we might have been recommended a certain breed by friends and family. This is all pretty normal however do we do enough to fully understand the breed?   

Many times owners never fully take the time to understand the breed of dog that they wish to bring home to be part of their family unit.  It could be we like the look of the breed but what about looking further into things. Do you know how long the breed usually lives? Does the breed require regularly grooming? Do they tend to have certain health issues? What was the breed originally used for? Often these questions are never considered in us choosing the dog we bring home. The biggest one, I feel, is the cost involved to look after the dog for their lifetime.     

Certain breeds have a predisposition to certain issues with regards to their health.   After being at the vets the other day it really made me thing more about this.   We often don’t consider the costs involved to look after our dogs.  We have the initial cost of purchasing the puppy, the crate, food, vaccinations, various toys and dog classes but do we really consider all the ongoing costs that we might encounter.    

These days we have pet insurance available to us however perhaps not everyone thinks that it is necessary or feels it is too expensive. If we haven’t taken the time to research the certain breed of dog we wish to own it could come as a big shock when one day you may need to see a specialist vet and be confronted with the decision of a very expensive surgery.   

The other ongoing cost can be regular professional grooms. These days this is more prolific due to the Ooodles. These types of breeds do require regular clipping to keep their coats in a manageable state. Another cost is that of taking the time to train the puppy – classes etc.  

Along with the cost of veterinary care for our dogs is also really understanding the type of breed you are bringing home. Liking the look of a certain breed is good but what about the type of temperament a particular breed tends to have. Often new owners overlook what is entailed to keep their dog happy and entertained and what is involved to raise a nice well mannered dog. If you don’t understand what your breed of dog did before it became a ‘family pet’ it might be a surprise as to what they will get up to, especially without the necessary training.  

In summary, deciding on a dog to bring into your family isn’t as simple as liking the ‘look’ of a particular breed. Do some research on the breed, what that particular breed needs to be fulfilled to be happy and content but also what are the necessary ongoing costs involved. Does the breed you like seem to have a lot of health issues and prone to certain illnesses etc and do you feel that you will be able to cover the costs involved if something were to arise? Do you have the time to groom and pay for the necessary professional grooms that certain breeds require regularly? Will you have the time to take your dog to classes to better understand your dog and learn how to raise a happy well balanced dog?  




Dog, Choice


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