5 Things to Consider Before Getting a Pet

Heartworm antigen test

So your child has been begging you for a dog for years and the time has finally come where you are even considering it. Her little face would be just adorable on Christmas morning when she opens the lid to that box and out pops a puppy. However, you do need to think past Christmas morning when it comes to taking care of a pet. As much as we love to see our children light up with joy, there’s a real responsibility that is required when taking care of pets; dogs in particular. If you are getting an animal to help teach your child responsibility and how to care for someone, then that’s great but you should know it’s going to be a lot of work. From veterinary diagnostics to food safety and vet visits, there’s a lot than goes in to this. Here are a few things to consider before getting your new pet.

Pet Insurance
This is one of those things that you’ll have to research. Some of it is a scam, yes but some is very legitimate. You should add up how much it would cost you, over the next ten years to get your dogs vaccines, regular annual check ups to the dentist, keep up on equine infectious anemia virus antibody tests, any necessary medications, grooming, housing and boarding when you go out of town, etc. Then break that up into a monthly cost. Now, you know what you are looking at for an insurance payment. If you can find an insurance that will cover all or most of that for less per month than what your totals worked out to, then get it. While you may not need to pay for your dog for something every single month, those big episodes will be so much easier to handle if they are broken down into monthly payments. Also, this way, if something big happens unexpectedly, then you won’t have to pay out of pocket for surgery or treatment.

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It’s important to make sure that your pet gets all the vaccines necessary. When they do get sick, the vet will likely want to preform veterinary diagnostics tests to rule out what they have not been immunized for. Veterinary diagnostics are important for finding out what is wrong with your pet but getting immunizations done and having that on their record can cut down on the unknown period of time where it’s hard to tell what exactly is going on.

Previous Owners
This plays an important part in how your pet responds to people. When there are previous owners involved, it’s difficult to be able to tell if the animal has been abused, is on edge or what its triggers are. If you have children you should probably stick with getting a puppy so that you can be the sole owners. Also, when a puppy grows up with the children, it tends to be a lot more protective of them than on the offense, depending on the breed.

Specific Breeds
Different breeds of dogs do different things and you have to understand that it’s genetic. For example, labs chew, German shepherds shed and chihuahuas are hyper.

One of the most heart breaking things is for your pet to get sick and when the veterinary diagnostics are done, find out that there is not much that you can do for the little guy. You have to be prepared for the fact that animals do not like as long as animals and one day you are going to have to help your children through the gut wrenching period of time after their dog passes away. However, with the proper care and love, dogs can live a very long time, depending on the breed. Research the type of dog that you want compared to their typical characteristics and see if this will fit your lifestyle and home properly. You may need to change the type of dog that you get depending on what you want, otherwise you’ll have to adjust your expectations depending on the type of dog that you decide to get. Just remember, you can only train a dog in behaviors, not characteristics.