Acquiring a New Pet

There is nothing more exciting than the idea of bringing home that adorable and cuddly new puppy or kitten. Before embarking upon this thrilling and rewarding venture, it is important to bear in mind that it is a long-term commitment, a commitment lasting anywhere between 6 and 18 years plus. It is for this reason that it becomes imperative for people to do their research prior to selecting a pet as well as carefully considering the associated costs.
Ask yourself what your reasons are for having a pet. Is it for exercise, a lap companion, to have a dog who loves the cottage life, for income, to assist in a service area, or is it to rescue an animal? Once you have established your list of priorities you will be able to narrow down the type of pet you are looking for.
Here are a few things to consider:
Step 1: Know your breed`s needs. Ensure that you are familiar with the temperament, size, and energy requirements of the breed you are thinking of acquiring. Consider any health issues that this breed may be particularly susceptible to. Pets do not adapt to their owner`s needs but rather it is the owner that must be able to adapt to their pet’s needs. For example a dog whose needs are not being met can create chaos by chewing, barking, eliminating inappropriately and more. Remember a properly exercised and stimulated pet is a happy pet.
Step 2: Routine care. Discuss with your veterinarian what type of routine care is required to help keep your potential pet healthy.
Some common preventative requirements to consider will include routine spay or neuter surgery, physical examinations, vaccinations, dental care, fecal testing, parasitic prevention; such as intestinal parasites, heartworm, and flea prevention.
Oral health care is an integral part of an animal`s healthy upkeep. Brushing your pet’s teeth regularly will make an immense difference in prolonging the longevity and quality of your pet’s life. Feeding a reputable dental diet can also help make a difference in your pet`s oral care regime.
Dietary requirements should be discussed with your veterinarian as feeding your pet a high quality diet plays an important role in its life.
Step 3: Know the costs. Investigate potential costs of care that this pet may require as previously mentioned. At Golf Glen Veterinary Clinic, our veterinarian or veterinary technician will be pleased to discuss this with you.
Additional costs that should be accounted for may include training or obedience classes as well as grooming necessities.
Hair coat is also an important consideration as shedding can be a large factor depending on the breed of animal selected. Some breeds require monthly grooming in order to prevent health problems such as intense matting leading to infection and skin conditions. In addition, the nails of both cats and dogs will need to be trimmed once monthly.
Pet licences for both cats and dogs can be purchased through your town or city office. Microchipping is a permanent identification that is approximately the size of a grain of rice and is implanted underneath the skin in-between the animal`s shoulder blades. This device helps to reunite your pet should it go missing. This can be implanted when your animal is awake but is more conveniently placed at the time of a required anaesthetic such as a teeth cleaning, spay or neuter surgery.
Pet Insurance is another important point to ponder as vet bills can be expensive especially when faced with an unanticipated accident or illness. It is important to investigate the insurance options available and decide if there is a plan suitable to your needs. Committing to a plan when your pet is young will keep your monthly rate more manageable.
Having a pet is a meaningful experience unique to each person and in many instances the bond shared is inexpressible in words. The above are merely meant to be guidelines to help ensure that you are ready and well informed in order to be the best pet owner that you can possibly be.
By: Sarah Carnegie, RVT
Credible Resources:
Dogs in Canada: http://www.dogsincanada.com/
Veterinary Information Network: http://www.vin.com/
Choosing a dog: http://www.ovma.org/pet_owners/dogs/welcome_dog.html
Selecting a cat: http://www.ovma.org/pet_owners/cats/selecting_cat.html
Cost of owning a cat/dog 2011: http://www.ovma.org/pdf/fifi_fido_finances11.pdf
Heartworm: http://www.ovma.org/pet_owners/dogs/heartworm.html
Dog training: http://www.ovma.org/pet_owners/dogs/heartworm.html
Top 10 hazards: http://www.ovma.org/pet_owners/pet_care/top_hazards.html

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