Doing research prior to buying a new pet is very important, whether you are considering a dog, a cat, a bearded dragon, a rabbit, or even a tarantula.
One factor to consider is what you are paying for the pet. For example, two people pay $2,000 for a purebred breed like the Golden Retriever. Breeder one had health checks performed on the puppy’s parents for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, heart disease, and eye abnormalities. The same breeder had the puppies vet checked and vaccinated, as well, and spent hundreds of dollars on these procedures. Breeder one gladly provides you with copies of the puppy’s health history; any conditions and abnormalities are shared with the buyer for transparency.
Breeder two charges you the same amount but has few or no health checks performed on either the parents or the puppy, and bases the sales price on online prices for a puppy of the same breed. If you purchase a puppy from breeder two, be sure to talk with your veterinarian to be well informed before the puppy joins the family, because let’s face it, most of us fall in love with our pets right away and don’t want to make a “return.” The American Kennel Club (AKC) website provides a list of medical issues to which each breed is predisposed.
Some other considerations when adding a pet to your family: your lifestyle, what you want in the pet, and what the pet wants from you. For instance, do you travel often? A cat or reptile might be better options for you, as a dog usually requires more time, energy, and attention. Your dog’s activity level is something you should factor into your decision. If you spend a good amount of time at home and are less active, a border collie is probably not your best choice, as it requires regular exercise and activity.
While most people have a basic understanding of taking care of a dog or a cat, many don’t realize the care requirements for reptiles and other non-traditional pets. Pet supplies may include: special lighting, water filter systems, places to hide, and specials diets, among other things. Providing proper care for non-traditional pets can increase their lifespans.
The internet offers an abundance of pet care information, but recognize that some of it is misinformation. You should always consider the source of information. If you research three or four websites and all of them provide the same information on a topic, you can feel more confident that the data is solid. In addition, books can provide reliable information; you can review the author’s credentials. When in doubt, always reach out to your veterinarian.
Last but not least: think about the cost of lifetime care for the pet. Annual checkups, vaccinations, spay/neuter procedures, crates, toys…the list goes on and on. Adding a pet to your life and then being unable to provide for its needs is not fair to the animal.
If you are in the market for a new furry or scaly friend, feel free to contact Dr. Paul at Harwood Veterinary Clinic at 414-828-9863. He is happy to answer questions, offer advice, and provide information that will help you choose the best pet for you.