We love our pets and we would not put a price on their health and happiness. The hard facts are that the cost of owning a dog is an extremely important consideration for a number of often overlooked reasons. The first concerns the purchase price of the dog. Many people balk at paying $500 to $1000 for a dog. They rationalize that they simply can not afford it and settle for a poorly bred $150 puppy instead. What a huge mistake. The cost of a guaranteed healthy, well-bred $1000 puppy is a fraction of what it will cost to own that dog for 12 years. A poorly bred dog with bad hips, allergies, and a not so bright disposition will end up costing you thousands more in medical bills not to mention hours of frustration and disappointment. At the same time, if you are not going to pay for a high quality purebred, then do the animal kingdom a favor and go to the shelter and get a mixed breed puppy that will be healthier and smarter than a poorly bred ‘purebred.’
The second reason that the cost of owning a dog is important is that it is a big investment. This dog is going to cost you a lot of money, not to mention a tremendous amount of time. If you are not fully prepared to pay for a dog’s needs and willing to spend a significant portion of your free time with the animal, then by all means do not get a dog. There are thousands of dogs put to sleep every year because the owners no longer want them or can not afford them. On top of this, there are hundreds of thousands of dogs that live miserable lives devoid of exercise, interaction, socialization, and basic housing needs because people do not realize the time, commitment, or expense involved in owning and properly caring for a dog.
The third important reason to understand what owning a dog costs is that when you realize what owning a dog costs, you will take the ownership and your responsibility much more seriously. We would not dream in investing $10,000 on a car that we know nothing about, had no warranty, we had not driven, and was completely unsuitable for our use. Yet people do this more everyday and they get a puppy without researching its breed characteristics, medical history, and parental history. And worse yet are the people that get a dog on a whim or for a child without any concept of the dog’s needs and requirements, let alone the financial costs that are going to be incurred.
The following description lists the basic cost of owning a dog in several different scenarios. They include the absolute least amount it will cost for the first year, the upper level of what it could cost for the first year, and what it will cost each year for the rest of the dog’s life both low and high end. It also includes what it would actually cost a tight fisted miser like me, that hates to spend money and grew up a farm, to purchase and own a 50 pound dog that lived to be 14 years old. Realize that these are basic costs and I live in the rural Midwest. If you live in a large metropolitan area you may need to double the cost and if you live in one of the top five metropolitan areas you may need to triple the cost. In addition, there is no consideration given to many other extras that come up or any consideration to your time and the monetary amount placed on the value of your time. These are rough estimates, but do not kid yourself, they are real world prices.
|Product/Service||Cost 1st Year||Yearly Cost|
|Low Cost||My Cost||High Cost||Low Cost||My Cost||High Cost|
|Total over the life of a 14 year old dog||Low Cost||My Cost||High Cost|
These totals are pretty shocking aren’t they? And remember, this is the cost for a 50-pound dog that lives in the Midwest. It is not uncommon to see some of these numbers double or triple in places like New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Dallas. Now granted most people do not end up spending $40,000 on their dog, but some spend a whole lot more. A dog with hip dysplasia or severe allergies can have significantly higher veterinary expenses and I routinely see people who spend over $2,000 on a single veterinary problem. Chances are your costs will be similar to those I incur, but even with the minimum required care, it is still over $13,000.00.
What do we learn from all this? Well on the positive side we Americans love our dogs and are not afraid to spend money on them. But on the more important practical side we realize that there is no such thing as a ‘free’ puppy. With this huge investment it only makes sense that we are very careful about choosing a puppy. While I appreciate the benefits of a purebred breed, this highlights the importance of doing your research and getting a puppy that has parents with excellent hips, eyes, legs, disposition, and no history of skin allergies. Research the breeds and choose a breed that matches your lifestyle. Spending a $1000 on a puppy may be a shock at first but if it is healthy, intelligent and guaranteed free of defects, then it is worth every penny. Puppies that are bred for appearance and not structural soundness, intelligence, health, and disposition are a dime a dozen and will often end up costing you much more than the purchase price of a good puppy in health problems and often develop serious behavioral and disposition problems as well. Remember that hard to find breeds can cost $1000 and still be a medical nightmare. When I talk about a $1000 puppy it includes one that is free of all inherited problems including hips, eyes, skin, and legs. The parents and grandparents should be free of all medical problems and the breeder must show proof. The disposition and intelligence of both parents should also be excellent and they should be well trained. To get this kind of guarantee you are going to have to spend a lot of money and time, and in rare breeds, it will even be more, but it can be well worth it. You can pick up any Sunday paper and find a basket full of purebred puppies for $75 to $300 each. It would be very unlikely that these puppies’ parents have certified hips, eyes, and elbows, or are free of allergies. The parents are often not well trained and usually the owners have never even seen the grandparents. I see these ‘registered’ dogs every day in my clinic and they often have hip dysplasia, skin allergies, bone problems, behavior problems, and eye problems. When you see what it costs to own a dog you will see the importance and reason why good dogs cost a lot more. Once in a while an intelligent, healthy dog emerges from the $100 section of the paper, but as a rule, you get what you pay for and ignorance is expensive.
On the flip side of the thousand-dollar puppy is the puppy that ends up in the shelter and needs a home or ‘else.’ There are some real diamonds in the ‘ruff’ to be found at the local animal shelter. But here again, there are some disasters waiting to happen. Be smart when you choose a puppy. Remember that mixed breeds often have fewer health problems than purebreds. Choosing a mix that is a cross between two breeds you like is a great way to go. Make sure you have the dog checked by a veterinarian first thing, and do your research on the breeds before you start looking. Taking a puppy from a shelter is a great way to go, but remember that you have to really want the dog for all the right reasons, not because you feel sorry for him. All three of my current pets were rescued from ‘death row’ and they are all unique and have made great pets.
Remember we own dogs because we love dogs. The money should not ever stop us from caring for or taking in a puppy that needs a home, but we have to be aware of the cost and our commitment to the animal. The animal’s needs have to come first! This is so important I am going to say it again, The animal’s needs have to come first! Lack of funds is no excuse for not providing adequate care for an animal. If we can not meet the needs of the animal or we are not fully committed to providing the time, energy, and finances that our dog needs then we should not bring that animal into our home, period, no excuses. It just is not fair to them.
source : http://www.peteducation.com/
Veterinary fees can be daunting. For example Saga Pet Insurance says it sees claims for an animal’s hernia operation costing up to £2,000. The same insurer cites arthritis, tumour, cardiac problems, diabetes and hyperthyroidism as the most common conditions it pays out for.
Readers often write to me regarding the high cost of pet insurance, in return I have compiled seven factors to bear in mind when buying pet cover.
Know the differences in insurance cover when it comes to chronic conditions
There are different types of cover for veterinary fees. Typically the cheaper versions will pay out for a condition within a set period with a cap on the overall amount. The next up will pay a capped amount on a condition per year. Better than these will be lifetime cover, as long, of course, as premiums are kept up.
Some breeds are known to be prone to specific health traits and malformations so actuaries factor these into premiums. For instance, with the Saga Saver cover, this insurer’s most popular policy, the cost of insuring a Chow Chow dog can cost four times as much as cover for a mongrel of the same age, location and sex.
It may be worth asking a breeder’s association if they recommend an insurer for a given breed.
An excess is the part of the claim the claimant pays themself. Check how these are applied. Excesses tend to be pitched differently depending on the type of pet. As with any insurance the excess you choose, where there is such an option, will affect the premium.
Where you live
Where you live in terms of postcode and area can affect premiums largely because of the costs of veterinary treatment. LV= says for instance a vet in Wales is likely to charge a much lower fee than one in London. In addition assuming that quality of life plays a part in health some insurers take this into consideration too. In a rural area for instance it may be perceived that the pet is likely to get more exercise and that it will be of a better quality.
As a pet gets older the cost of insurance quickly escalates. For example, LV= quotes a yearly premium of £134.25 on its Essential policy for a small two year old mongrel dog living in Bournemouth, where its headquarters is. Based on the same criteria the cost for a ten year old mongrel would be £305. For a two year old Irish Wolfhound on this policy it quotes £576.06. If it were ten years old the annual cos of insuring it on the same spec would be £1,723.
Chronic kidney conditions, diabetes and arthritis. You name them and these conditions can strike animals just as they can humans. Make sure you know what a policy will do if the animal in question is afflicted.
Mainly for dogs. This may well come under household or indeed farm insurance or any pet insurance. Otherwise it can be acquired with the Dogs Trust membership which costs £25 a year, or when the owner is over 60, £12.50
When people buy animals from breeders and pet stores instead of adopting from animal shelters, they deny a needy animal a chance at a good home. As long as people support a market that treats dogs and cats as profit-generating commodities, we will struggle with the overpopulation crisis.
So why do so many people still buy animals from pet stores and breeders? Here are some of the myths that keep those dog and cat profits rolling in.
Myth #1: “My family needs a young puppy or kitten, not an old, ‘secondhand’ animal.”
Fact: Most pet stores get their “stock” from puppy mills and other sources that raise animals in unspeakably cruel conditions, and each purchase motivates these places to breed more. If your heart is set on a puppy or kitten, animal shelters have plenty of healthy and happy young animals to choose from. And consider this: For many people, the best choice for a new animal companion is actually an adult dog or cat. Adult animals are calmer and less destructive, and you can see exactly what you’re signing up for in terms of personality, size, and energy level. Animal shelters are a great place to find that perfect match.
Myth #2: “But isn’t it a good thing to rescue that puppy from the pet store?”
Fact: It’s a simple matter of supply and demand. As you take your new puppy home, the empty cage at the store will be filled with another puppy from the same puppy mill. Only when customers stop buying will the suffering end.
Myth #3: “The animal shelter is so depressing compared to the pet store-I just can’t go there.”
Fact: If you think it’s depressing, imagine what it’s like for the animals who have been abandoned there. When you adopt an animal from an animal shelter, you have the satisfaction of saving a life–nothing depressing about that! The pet store is actually an awful place if you think about where those cute animals came from. That puppy’s mother is probably living without any human contact in a barren wire cage and most likely has extensive health problems from constant breeding and stress.
Myth #4: “It’s fine to get a dog from a responsible breeder.”
Fact: There is nothing responsible about bringing more animals into a world where there are already too many. Just as with pet stores, each time breeders sell a litter, they’ll be motivated to breed and sell another one. There are only so many homes available for dogs each year, and for every slot filled by a dog from a breeder, there’s one home fewer available to a dog in a shelter.
Myth #5: “With purebred dogs, you can predict their temperament and behavior.”
Fact: Pet stores and breeders aren’t the only source of purebred dogs. Rescue groups exist for every breed of dog, and up to 25 percent of dogs in shelters are purebred. But if temperament and behavior traits are paramount, your best bet is an adult dog from an animal shelter. You could buy a Labrador puppy in hopes of having a dog who is gentle and good with children, but that puppy could grow up to be nervous and short-tempered–there are no guarantees. And many purebred dogs have been bred over the years for working behaviors that in this day and age are just not applicable anymore, like aggression, chasing, and digging. By selecting an adult shelter dog, you can get exactly the companion you’re looking for.
Myth #6: “Purebred dogs are healthier and longer-lived than mutts.”
Fact: On the contrary, purebred dogs are increasingly suffering from limited gene pools and have many breed-specific health issues. Cancer, respiratory issues, joint problems, heart disorders, and epilepsy are all seen frequently in purebreds. The BBC suspended television coverage of the prestigious Crufts dog show (the equivalent of the Westminster show in the U.S.) because of concerns about genetic illness in pedigree dogs in the U.K.
When you choose to share your home with an animal, support the lifesaving work of an animal shelter or rescue group by giving it your business. Animal shelters currently provide only 10 to 20 percent of the animals people take into their homes. By making animal shelters the first choice for finding an animal companion, we could dramatically reduce dog and cat overpopulation and save countless lives.
source : http://www.peta.org
Function of vitamins
Vitamins are necessary for literally tens of thousands of different chemical reactions in the body. They often work in conjunction with minerals and enzymes to assure normal digestion, reproduction, muscle and bone growth and function, healthy skin and hair, clotting of blood, and the use of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates by the body.
Classes of vitamins
Vitamins are generally classified into two groups based on how or if they are stored in the body. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver and fatty tissue. Water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are stored in only very small amounts by the body. They need to be taken in daily, and any excesses are excreted by the body each day.
Fat-soluble vitamins include:
Water-soluble vitamins include:
Vitamin B1 (thiamin)
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Vitamin B3 (niacin)
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) and Folic Acid
There is always some controversy regarding vitamin supplementation. Many people feel supplements are very necessary. They feel that even when feeding a high quality food, some of the vitamins may have been destroyed by the processing or storage. Pet owners feeding a homemade diet or a diet high in table scraps should give their pet a high quality vitamin/mineral supplement. Ill or recovering pets who may have a poor appetite should also be given a good vitamin/mineral supplement since they are not receiving their daily requirements through the food they eat.
The possibility of vitamin toxicity with the fat-soluble vitamins, especially Vitamin A and D, which are stored in the body, is of concern to some researchers and veterinarians. In reality, the amount of Vitamin A and D needed to develop a toxicity is many times higher than what is contained in a high-quality balanced vitamin/mineral supplement. Toxicities do not occur when you give your pet the recommended amount of high-quality, commercially prepared vitamin/mineral supplements. This is not to say over-supplementation can not occur. Supplements must be chosen with care and large numbers of different supplements should not be used together unless prescribed by a veterinarian.
Not every animal needs the same supplement. A puppy, a pregnant animal, an ill animal, or a ‘senior’ pet all have different nutritional needs and supplements should be chosen accordingly.
If you have any questions about choosing the right supplement(s) for your pet(s), talk to your veterinarian or a qualified pet nutritionist.
Source : http://www.peteducation.com
When you are considering animal adoption for kids you need to be aware that it is a very serious matter. You are taking an animal out of the shelter to provide a stable home and lots of love to that animal, and it is important that your kids have time for their new pet.
Read on to find out what will be expected of you when you approach the pet shelter or rescue group to adopt a pet.
The shelter or rescue agency will ask you several questions to ensure that you can provide a long term, stable home for the animal, and to ensure the right match between pet and adopted family. You will in all probability be required to fill out an application form and provide information that includes, complete contact information; type of housing you inhabit, rental or ownership; number and ages of children in your family; number and type of existing pets if any; previous experience with pets and lifestyle and expectations from the pet. Be prepared to answer all of the questions asked in a frank manner because every agency has its own rules and regulations.
When planning on animal adoption for kids it is well worth the time you invest in considering your family size and the home size; facilities for housing a pet; the kind of pet you would like to home – big or small, hyper active or regular level of activity; what sort of pet – dog, cat, rabbit, etc. It is a good idea for the entire family to sit down and discuss the adoption process; you can always get a wealth of information of the internet. As a family decide on the type of pet and the handling of responsibilities of looking after the animal. You children need to clearly understand that you are adopting a pet for them and looking after the animal will be their responsibility.
Do not hesitate to ask questions, the usual tendency is to go with the cute factor and adopt a puppy; now bear in mind that a puppy will need to be house trained and can be very chewy indeed. Furthermore, you will need to consider your preparedness in terms of handling an overgrown mutt when the cute puppy grows.
The above is just an example but it is well worth the effort of doing your research throughly when considering animal adoption for kids.
Many animal species, from birds, bees and lizards to elephants and chimpanzees, have turned to nature as their own personal kind of pharmacy. They self-medicate using the environment’s own ingredients to prevent disease, kill parasites, bacteria and viruses, or to simply aid in digestion.
For instance, seeing a dog munch on grass is nothing you haven’t seen before, and an owner’s first instinct may be to snatch away these greens to prevent their dog from getting sick. But according to Shurkin, that’s exactly the point. Supposedly domestic dogs, and even cats, seek out the plant in order to relieve a stomach ache and expel whatever it is that’s bothering them.
“Dogs do not have the means to digest grass, as they lack the enzymes needed to break down the fibers,” Vancouver-based vet Dr. Michael Goldberg explained in the magazine Modern Dog. “Thus, there is little nutritional value in it for them. One reason for eating grass may be due to a feeling of nausea.”
Elsewhere, chimpanzees have been observed swallowing leaves whole, using their rough sandpaper-like texture to remove parasites. More than 200 species of birds have also been seen rubbing themselves with ants to kill feather lice, a behavior known as anting. Ants that spray formic acid can kill off feather lice and protect the birds from infection.
Additionally, female capuchins have been known to rub sugary syrups on wounds, while North American brown bears treat insect bites using a paste of Osha roots and saliva.
But perhaps most astonishing are reports from back in October 2013, the Daily Mail notes, of mountain goats scaling a brick wall in the Gran Paradiso National Park in Northern Italy. It is thought that the animals were partaking in mineral licks, which is the licking of stones for their nutritious salts and minerals when food supply is low.
Medicine vs. Food
But how do you tell the difference between self-medication and just plain bizarre behavior?
For example, researcher Holly Dublin while observing a group of elephants in Kenya spotted a pregnant female eating the plant boraginaceae, which was not part of her regular diet. The expectant mother ate the entire plant and then returned to her normal feeding routine, suggesting that she perhaps just had a momentary lapse in judgment.
However, four days later she gave birth. This same plant is used by women in the region to induce labor, and so Dublin believes the elephant wanted the same effect.
In general, do you have a nuisance dog and want to keep him from barking too much and constantly? You are in luck as today, you are able to find a number of anti bark devices for dogs, which could allow you to reduce your dog’s irritating barking in a short period of time. They include:
The first device is ultrasonic bark collars. This device is also called sound-emitting collars. Have you ever been bothered by the dog next door that barks all day long? If you have, this kind of collars is for you. These bark control devices use sensors in order to set off the annoying tone of your dog, whenever he starts barking above a certain decibel. The good thing is that the tones generating from the collar are too high for human’s ears to listen to. Only dog can hear the sounds. That means you can use this kind of collars in order to stop not only your dog, but also the dogs of your neighbors.
The second device is shock collars (also known as beeping collars). This type of collars will generate a beep before releasing a shock to the dog. You need to be careful when utilizing these collars since if you do not use them properly, you might hurt the dog in a bad manner.
And the last device you should know is citronella bark collars. These collars will spray a stream of citronella oil to the dog’s snout once they sense the continuous barking generated by the dog. The oil is harmless to the dog. It also does not affect human. That’s the reason it is recommended by a number of people.
If you do not know which collars you should choose for your lovely pet, we recommend you should give a citronella bark collar a try. It is used by a lot of people, and it gives the good result.
Many common feline ailments can be prevented through vaccination. Initial vaccinations against feline diseases as well as annual checkups and booster vaccinations should be part of your pet’s annual health care routine.
Rabies. This is one of the most dreaded animal diseases. It attacks the nervous system and travels to the brain. Frequently fatal, rabies is transmitted through the saliva of infected animals. A vaccination is available to prevent this disease and should be given to both dogs and cats. Most cities have laws requiring that any animal over 6 months of age must be vaccinated against rabies. Any person bit by an animal with rabies must see his physician immediately and report the bite to the local animal control or public health departments.
Panleukopenia (feline distemper). This highly transmittable disease travels from one cat to another through contact with infected saliva, urine or feces. Clinical signs can vary and may include depression, fever, weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, loss of appetite, swollen lymph nodes, anemia, or persistent chronic infection. If the animal does not receive prompt supportive care, he can die within days. Initial vaccinations and annual boosters are available to prevent this disease.
Feline leukemia (FeLV). This is an immuno-suppressant disease and is recognized as a contagious virus responsible for certain cancers, the two most common being lymphosarcoma and leukemia. The virus is also responsible for several other diseases known as FeLV-related diseases. Noncancerous diseases associated with FeLV infection include anemia, reproductive problems, and secondary infectious diseases.
Feline leukemia is spread in moist secretions, such as saliva, urine, blood, and placental fluids. Behaviors such as grooming/licking, biting, sharing litterboxes, and sharing feeding bowls can allow for transmission of the disease. The best method of diagnosing FeLV is by having a blood test performed by your pet’s veterinarian. A positive test means that a cat is infected with FeLV and thus contagious to other cats; however, presence of the virus is not a disease in itself, rather a disease-causing agent. A negative test means that no virus was detected in the blood at the time the sample was collected; however, the cat could be in the early stage of infection when no virus is detectable. A negative test in no way suggests that a cat is immune to the virus.
If your cat’s test is positive, he must be kept away from other cats so that he cannot infect them.
If your cat’s test is negative, he is to be kept strictly isolated from strange cats and vaccinated annually against FeLV. (This vaccination will not help a cat already infected with FeLV.)
The Michigan Humane Society does not condone the practice of letting or keeping cats outdoors. They will be much safer if kept indoors.
Cats require an initial series of two FeLV vaccinations; then a yearly booster. Adult cats should be tested for feline leukemia before a vaccination schedule is begun. Your pet’s veterinarian will determine a proper schedule for vaccinations.
If you lose a cat to FeLV, it is recommended that you wait 1 – 3 months before admitting a new cat into the house. It is also recommended that you throw out any litterboxes, food bowls or toys that were used by the previous cat. All areas of the house should be cleaned with bleach, especially the areas where the previous cat spent the most time.
Treatment for FeLV is limited to supportive care as well as treatment of symptoms. The use of anti-cancer drugs, as a treatment, is being studied, but, as yet, there are no cures for feline leukemia.
Respiratory diseases. Cats can be affected by respiratory diseases ranging from upper respiratory disease (URI) to pneumonia. Infected pets may show signs of coughing, sneezing, eye or nose discharge, fever, depression and loss of appetite. Vaccines are available for some of the respiratory diseases.
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). This is a disease of the immune system. The method of transmission for FIV has not yet been determined. Because no vaccine is available, the best method of prevention is to keep your pet indoors and away from strange cats.
Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). Two types of this disease, which spreads through contact with an infected animal, have been identified. Wet FIP is characterized by chronic weight loss, fever, depression, an enlarged belly and labored breathing. Symptoms of dry FIP include weight loss, chronic and unresponsive fever, depression and inactivity, liver failure, renal insufficiency, pancreatic disease and eye lesions. This disease is usually fatal. No vaccine or cure has been discovered.
Toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan that lives inside the cells of many humans and animals. Toxoplasma infection is common. By age 19 approximately 30% of people have been exposed to toxoplasma, and as many as two
Source : http://support.michiganhumane.org