Tips for new pet owner [puppy]

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doon
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Tips for new pet owner [puppy]

Post by doon » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:25 am

We are getting a puppy in couple of weeks and even though I am very happy for the new addition I cant help but be a little concerned about doctor and medical cost and other cost of new puppy. So wanted a few tips in that regard:

- How much should I expect to pay for a doctor visit on an average?
- Is this a good list to follow when looking at vaccine schedule? Based on your experience which vaccines have you skipped from the optional ones?
https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/healt ... ete-guide/
- Is it better to go to small clinic or a big hospital with multiple doctors?
- Should I buy dog insurance? Is it wort it?
- Any dog trainings etc.
- Food? Is Costco good or should I opt of fancy gourmet type of options which I am sure will be more expensive.

In case it matters the breed is Havanese. Any other suggestions would be most welcome
"Goal - Win the game before the need to retire"

onourway
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by onourway » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:33 am

Have owned multiple dogs over the past 20 years since I left college. None of them have ever cost us anything significant enough out of pocket to even make them noticeable in our budget, even when our income was quite low. You can spend as much or as little as you like. We have had vets that seem to suggest every single test every time you visit. We are happier now since we found a smaller practice that seems more focused on care of the animals than the bottom line. They are very up-front with us about what they think really needs to be done and what is optional and what things will cost.

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JMacDonald
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by JMacDonald » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:33 am

I don't have a dog, but have cats. I can't answer all your questions; however, I take my cats to an animal hospital. This hospital has several vets, and they can do most of the care my cats need. I also like the fact that these vets have wide experience in treating animals. Be prepared to spend some money on your pet for routine care, and big bucks for other issues that might come up. Enjoy your puppy.
Best Wishes, | Joe

JGoneRiding
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by JGoneRiding » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:34 am

I am a vet. My dogs eat Costco and I am very happy with their maintenance. There have been some recent issues with "fancy" boutique expensive foods so cost doesn't nessisitate quality.

Vaccine depend a lot on your area and exposure risk. Basic vaccine do not. Expect about $100 for the first visit and a little less for the next 2. I believe national average exam is around $60. If you live in heart worm area realize dogs have. Very high maintenance requirements.

I recommend insurance more and more, especially for high activity breeds, cost of care is going up a lot. If you would pay $300 a month to treat diabetes or heart condition or if you would pay $2k to save their life after xyz you should buy insurance.

alex_686
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by alex_686 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:46 am

These questions are better answered by your breeder. Are you going with a quality one? Under 4 bitches, registration papers are in order, litters spaced 2 to 3 years apart, only 2 to 4 litters per bitch. If the dog is "limited registered", ask why.

Don't skip on vaccines when they are young!

I don't think the size of the clinic matter much. I would be careful going with a chain. Some are focused on a low cost high volume approach which I feel is penny wise but pound foolish.

Puppy classes and obedience classes are supper important. Spend lots of time with them for the first few weeks. This is when they are going to be adsorbing "how to dog" in your family so now is the time to figure that out and teach them correctly the first time. Correcting behaviors latter will be longer and harder.

You want high quality puppy food. Dry is fine. Don't go with 100% meat diet or raw diet. Wolves need 100% meat. Dogs have been bread differently.

For context, my wife is a vet and we have multiple dogs. Most were shelter dogs but we just got a pure breed Caviler King Charles with limited registration. The breed has known heart issues and breeders have been working on that. This is the primary reason we went with a breeder instead of a rescue. He is limited registered because his color is a off for the standard, which is not a issue because he is a family pet, not a show dog or a stud.

fru-gal
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by fru-gal » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:03 am

I have taken my cats to local vets. The one big animal hospital I am familiar with is an emotionally cold place that makes it tougher on both the animals and owners emotionally. Of course, at some point you may need a specialist, but even there I have been able to find non-hospital practices.

Mostly my cats have not been expensive, but I have had a couple with chronic serious illnesses that got into five figures over the course of years.

A good vet will be able to tell you about vaccination schedules, what the state law requires in that regard, which the vet thinks are not necessary, etc. I think almost everywhere requires a rabies vaccination kept current. If your animal is not current and happens to bite someone, you have a problem. At best it would result in a quarantine long enough to see if the animal does have rabies.

RollTide31457
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by RollTide31457 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:09 am

A dog should never be more than 2 feet away from owner and on a leash when being walked in a public space. Nothing worse than dealing with people who allow their animals to roam away from them.

WillRetire
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by WillRetire » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:14 am

OP:

Feed quality food as recommended by breeder and the vet. As with humans, healthy & high quality food makes a difference in the health of an animal.

Clean their teeth regularly, too, which will avoid costly dental cleaning procedures that require anesthesia.

Pets can be expensive. Between food & vet bills, assume several hundred $ per year at a minimum. And you'll want to splurge on toys and fun activities/classes. Also, when you travel, the pet needs to stay with someone or be boarded which is an expense.

Routine vet bills aren't too expensive. However, ailments can be expensive during diagnosis; Might take 2-3 office visits & meds to resolve problems. And as the pet gets older, care gets more expensive. Sure, you can turn down some things, but you won't want to turn down all of the tests & treatments.

If the household budget is already tight, wait until it isn't before getting a pet.

This advice is based on 30+ years owning dogs, all of whom lived past the life expectancy range for their breed.

A440
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by A440 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:18 am

onourway wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:33 am
Have owned multiple dogs over the past 20 years since I left college. None of them have ever cost us anything significant enough out of pocket to even make them noticeable in our budget, even when our income was quite low. You can spend as much or as little as you like. We have had vets that seem to suggest every single test every time you visit. We are happier now since we found a smaller practice that seems more focused on care of the animals than the bottom line. They are very up-front with us about what they think really needs to be done and what is optional and what things will cost.
+1 I went to Dr. Charge Alot for several years, until I found another one that didn't push all the shots and tests. The dog didn't seem to mind and lived a long healthy life.
I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds my future.

cadreamer2015
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by cadreamer2015 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:19 am

We have had multiple dogs and a cat for the past 35+ years. We have never gotten pet insurance. A couple of caveats and a story:

Caveats:

Spent ~$10,000 on 5 year old dog with bone cancer, unfortunately not successfully and had to euthanize him. This was about 5 years ago.
Spent ~3,500 on a 2 year old dog with an idiopathic neurological condition that ended up causing us to euthanize her 5 weeks ago.

We have lived in HCOL areas, which probably influences costs. Fortunately I have still been working with these two major dog vet expenses, so we could afford it with the attitude of I'll just have to work another month or two or three before retiring...

The story: our son adopted a dog 9 months ago from a local shelter in Northern Arizona. The dog is great. With the adoption came 2 free months of pet insurance. My son intended to cancel the pet insurance once the free period had expired, but forgot about it. Fast forward to a week or so ago. Our son went on a camping trip and left the dog with a dog sitter. While the dog sitter was out, the dog jumped up on a table and ate a bowl full of Cadbury chocolate eggs. Chocolate can be toxic for dogs, so the dog sitter did the responsible thing and took the dog to the vet. The vet gave the dog an emetic and kept her overnight of observation. Total bill: $880. But after the pet insurance net bill $250. So the $45/month for pet insurance my son had been paying unintentionally saved him $630.

My conclusion: if a several thousand dollar vet bill would not be an undue hardship, or you would just euthanize the dog faced with that choice, then pet insurance isn't necessary. But if you think you'd want to spend several thousand dollars on your sick pet and that would be a real hardship, you should consider pet insurance. On average you might budget ~$500 per year for vet bills in addition to immunizations and heartworm, flea & tick medication. Most year's you'll spend less. Some years you'll spend more.
De gustibus non est disputandum

WillRetire
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by WillRetire » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:20 am

Another point: Dogs eat stuff they shouldn't. Sometimes it leads to problems. Can be expensive to treat, and sometimes the treatment is necessary to save their lives.

WillRetire
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by WillRetire » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:23 am

A440 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:18 am
onourway wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:33 am
Have owned multiple dogs over the past 20 years since I left college. None of them have ever cost us anything significant enough out of pocket to even make them noticeable in our budget, even when our income was quite low. You can spend as much or as little as you like. We have had vets that seem to suggest every single test every time you visit. We are happier now since we found a smaller practice that seems more focused on care of the animals than the bottom line. They are very up-front with us about what they think really needs to be done and what is optional and what things will cost.
+1 I went to Dr. Charge Alot for several years, until I found another one that didn't push all the shots and tests. The dog didn't seem to mind and lived a long healthy life.
My experience in HCOL and MCOL: Routine vet visits & shots aren't the things that impact the budget. It's treatment for ailments & test & diagnoses when the dog is sick.

Nowizard
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by Nowizard » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:25 am

You might consider having hip X-rays before purchasing a dog or adopting one from a shelter. Unless you are more pragmatic than many, once the dog becomes part of the family, it can be very difficult to make tough decisions. We, for example, had two dogs from the same litter that were inseparable from the day we got them. One developed a significant hip problem at about age 1 1/2 and could hardly walk. Do you put the dog down or get a hip replacement? I can tell you they cost $7,200 more than a decade ago, but the dogs lived together for ten more years before they died a few months apart. Other than that, basic costs were somewhat higher than some have posted. Vet costs for medications were considerably higher than on-line costs, though it is difficult to use a vet and not his/her medication, particularly if it is a prescription med.

Tim

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DanMahowny
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by DanMahowny » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:42 am

I suggest that you feed your new pup raw food.

Get some dry kibble from Costco and mix in some raw hamburger. Toss in a raw egg, including the shell. MIx it all together.

Your dog will thrive with this diet. And won't get sick.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:52 am

Again a dog owner after a couple of decades without. Recently acquired a rescue (1 y/o) and a puppy, so have some advice based upon our recent experience. YMMV.

We found a vet (actually two in practice together) by asking local friends and DW's FB friends. Couldn't be happier with the two we found--so far one has treated one dog and the other has treated the other dog. In the puppy stage, quite a few shots will be necessary so the first 3-6 months will be heavier than later--unless the dog develops health issues. We do not have insurance. Having poured quite a bit into a previous dog with late-life health issues, I think I know approximately where I will draw the line if it comes down to that. Hopefully that will be a decision we won't have to make.

From reading advice on the web, we feed our dogs quality, but not gourmet, dog food. So far, so good. No table scraps or other "people" food. Buy a lot of chew toys--especially for a puppy. The idea is to give the puppy something to chew on (and they will chew!) besides furniture, clothes, shoes, etc.

Obedience/handling class will be very helpful if you have little or no experience with dogs. There is a vast amount of good reading material online to supplement that--or maybe replace it if your resources are very limited.

Give some thought to what you will do with the dog when you travel. If you plan to take him with you, check well in advance that you will have no issues with accommodations, etc. If you plan to board him or have a pet-sitter or petwalker, explore those options well in advance. We had a friend who was a professional petwalker/petsitter who suddenly left the business. We are now exploring alternatives and so far have not found a satisfactory option. We will, but this caught us totally by surprise and so far we are not happy with the choices we have found.

Be well prepared for crate training or whatever else you have planned. Being well prepared makes everything much easier with a new puppy. It seems that you are asking a lot of the "right" questions, so you should do well. Enjoy your puppy!

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FelixTheCat
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by FelixTheCat » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:58 am

If you are concerned about major medical for accidents and illness, you can always get pet insurance. I use https://www.healthypawspetinsurance.com/
Felix is a wonderful, wonderful cat.

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N1CKV
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by N1CKV » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:10 pm

doon wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:25 am
We are getting a puppy in couple of weeks and even though I am very happy for the new addition I cant help but be a little concerned about doctor and medical cost and other cost of new puppy. So wanted a few tips in that regard:

- How much should I expect to pay for a doctor visit on an average?
- Is this a good list to follow when looking at vaccine schedule? Based on your experience which vaccines have you skipped from the optional ones?
https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/healt ... ete-guide/
- Is it better to go to small clinic or a big hospital with multiple doctors?
- Should I buy dog insurance? Is it wort it?
- Any dog trainings etc.
- Food? Is Costco good or should I opt of fancy gourmet type of options which I am sure will be more expensive.

In case it matters the breed is Havanese. Any other suggestions would be most welcome
-Base Vet. Visit in my low to medium cost area at a small (2 Vet.) clinic is $40. After all is said and done expect no less than $100 depending on what you need.
-We let the Vet. decide vaccines.
-I have never been to a large/national chain pet hospital, we are very happy with our Vet that is in walking distance (in an area where there is nothing else really walk-able, not even a restaurant).
-Dog insurance is a waste of money. They do not cover hereditary ailments, which is most of your problems beyond accidents. Also note that Pure Bred dogs have much higher instances of these ailments. My pure bred Min-Pin had to have patella luxation corrected on both back knees that would not have been covered. His only "accident"/ non-routine visit was after he ate a bar of bath soap... that was under $200. On the other end of the spectrum my sister just moved in a new house, their ~5 year old mixed breed jumped off the new deck and tore her ACL (equivalent), it's an accident and would have been covered, but it's a risk I take.
-Obedience classes. We did the puppy class at our local PetSmart and were very happy with it. They train you more than the dog, but the results are worth the efforts.
-I feed my dogs Purina One. It is widely available and reasonably priced. The ingredients list is the best in it's price class last time I looked.

Bonus: Don't forget to add a pet liability rider to your homeowner's policy.

Edit to add:
-We are in a heartworm region. It is pretty much mandatory to give preventative. There is a shot for this that can be given every 6 months that is cheaper and easier than pills.
-We did above shot for a few years, but we had neighbors recently move in and apparently their dog is a flea bag. Flea and tick preventative is expensive and previously not needed, do not get it unless you need it. We ended up moving the dogs off of the shot for heartworm and on to Trifexis for Heartworm and Flea preventative (monthly pill), the doctor prescribes and we buy it online. This fixed the flea problem almost instantly, unfortunately we are going to have to stick with it for the foreseeable future. My dogs do not go in to wooded areas, there is no flower beds in my backyard, etc. so I am not concerned about ticks, Trifexis does not cover ticks if that is a concern for you.
Last edited by N1CKV on Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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samsoes
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by samsoes » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:21 pm

No baby talk. :oops:

Let's break the cycle.
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ladycat
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by ladycat » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:30 pm

Finding a vet you trust and have a good with rapport is important, whether that be at a smaller private practice or a large animal hospital. Recommendations from the breeder, friends, & neighbors will be a good start. I travel 25 miles to my vet, despite having 50-100 to choose from within 10 miles. I literally trust him with my pet's life. The skill of the office staff and the way they physically handle your pet is also important. You'll pick up on these things as you observe them. Your pup needs to feel safe at the vet (not happy, but safe) and you need to trust your vet.

We don't have pet insurance but we are able to cover vet expenses on our own. Research the various plans if you think you need it.

Vaccines depend on your location (what diseases, parasites are around) and pet's need (exposure to other dogs, kenneling, going camping, etc) Ask your vet.

Food is always a debate. Find one that your pet thrives on.

Training - absolutely. There are lots of videos online for positive reinforcement training techniques. Google Dr. Sophia Yin for resources.

I can't recommend strongly enough trying to train your pup to let you brush its teeth. Dental health is very important and prevention of oral disease is $$$ priceless.

And enjoy your new puppy.

InvestorThom
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by InvestorThom » Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:55 pm

I'm always the cold-hearted anomaly in these conversations.

Growing up we had pets. Before each one my parents, who grew up on farms, told us they'd pay for normal vet visits. However, if the pet got really sick they would not pay for expensive treatment -- "It's a pet, an animal, not a human being" -- and would be put down.

I still maintain this POV today, mostly because I believe these costly decisions are made based on the emotions of the pet owner vs what is really best for the animal.

From a financial perspective, if you're a detailed budget keeper vs a ballparker, budget for food, vets, toys and any boarding costs you think you may incur if you travel.

Ask friends and neighbors about vets -- local experience is better than a national/global forum.

Ask a vet the questions you have about food and vaccinations.

Read up on the Havanese breed online for advice on training.

Enjoy your new puppy. They are a lot of work but a ton of fun!

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DanMahowny
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by DanMahowny » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:08 pm

InvestorThom wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:55 pm
I'm always the cold-hearted anomaly in these conversations.

Growing up we had pets. Before each one my parents, who grew up on farms, told us they'd pay for normal vet visits. However, if the pet got really sick they would not pay for expensive treatment -- "It's a pet, an animal, not a human being" -- and would be put down.

I still maintain this POV today, mostly because I believe these costly decisions are made based on the emotions of the pet owner vs what is really best for the animal.
You're not alone. I share your attitude.

I have 2 German Shepherds. Both 3 years old. Paid $6,000 for one, and $7,000 for the other. Also spent a ton of cash on high end training, not to mention the time investment, energy investment.

I would not hesitate to put either dog down if they experience a serious health issue. The money I spent is gone forever (sunk cost), and they're animals, not humans.
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MikeG62
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by MikeG62 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:10 pm

Two time dog owner - covering period of 23 years.

Expect pretty much every time you bring your dog to the vet it will cost you $200+.

Then there is the dog groomer. Ours ran $80 every four weeks.

We bought natural (organic) grain free dog food and snacks. A $25lb bag of dry food was over $50.

Add in the place that will watch your dog when you are out of town. By me that could run $80-$100 per night. My buddy has three dogs and told me he spent $7,000 in kenneling fees in 2018.

Long way of saying it’s expensive - much more so than you think going in.

I bought pet insurance for my second dog, but only once he was around 8 years old. Choose a high deductible ($1,000) and coverage was I think 80 cents on the dollar beyond that up to $15,000. He developed a malignant but not metastatic tumor at around 10. Cost of surgery was around $5,000. Was happy I had the insurance. We did not have insurance for our first pet and the cost to treat his cancer was not inconsequential. Bottom line is as far as my wife was concerned there was no amount of money that was too much of it could extend his life (quality of life). This is why I got the insurance the second time around.

Having said all this, I never regretted having a dog. We loved our like family. Only reason we don’t have one now is because we are early retired and we travel too much.

Good luck and enjoy him/her.
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BigMoneyNoWhammies
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by BigMoneyNoWhammies » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:14 pm

doon wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:25 am
We are getting a puppy in couple of weeks and even though I am very happy for the new addition I cant help but be a little concerned about doctor and medical cost and other cost of new puppy. So wanted a few tips in that regard:

- How much should I expect to pay for a doctor visit on an average?
- Is this a good list to follow when looking at vaccine schedule? Based on your experience which vaccines have you skipped from the optional ones?
https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/healt ... ete-guide/
- Is it better to go to small clinic or a big hospital with multiple doctors?
- Should I buy dog insurance? Is it wort it?
- Any dog trainings etc.
- Food? Is Costco good or should I opt of fancy gourmet type of options which I am sure will be more expensive.

In case it matters the breed is Havanese. Any other suggestions would be most welcome
routine vet bills are negligible for me (a run of the mill checkup is 50ish or less), but injuries or other ailments can seriously put a dent in your pocket book. Many of these expensive visits stem from things like cancer where the breed of the dog can drastically lower or increase susceptibility. as your dog gets older bills will rack up more as well. i certainly spend more on my 11.5 year old dog now than i did 5 or 6 years ago. Ear ointments, pain management pills for arthritis, prescription eye drops, daily allergy meds; all things i spend $ on now for an elderly dog that i didn't before, and most of them stem from ailments that my dog is more likely to get as a result of breed.

TheOscarGuy
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by TheOscarGuy » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:53 pm

onourway wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:33 am
Have owned multiple dogs over the past 20 years since I left college. None of them have ever cost us anything significant enough out of pocket to even make them noticeable in our budget, even when our income was quite low. You can spend as much or as little as you like. We have had vets that seem to suggest every single test every time you visit. We are happier now since we found a smaller practice that seems more focused on care of the animals than the bottom line. They are very up-front with us about what they think really needs to be done and what is optional and what things will cost.
I have been in this position (vets upselling everything) and have changed vets to no avail. We would love to get someone like yours, it sounds like they only tell you what is needed for the health of pet rather than their bottom line.

Teague
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by Teague » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:55 pm

DanMahowny wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:42 am
I suggest that you feed your new pup raw food.

Get some dry kibble from Costco and mix in some raw hamburger. Toss in a raw egg, including the shell. MIx it all together.

Your dog will thrive with this diet. And won't get sick.
What are your qualifications to recommend a diet including raw hamburger and raw eggs? The American Veterinary Medical Association clearly disagrees with you:

https://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Pages/ ... Diets.aspx
Semper Augustus

TheOscarGuy
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by TheOscarGuy » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:58 pm

doon wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:25 am
We are getting a puppy in couple of weeks and even though I am very happy for the new addition I cant help but be a little concerned about doctor and medical cost and other cost of new puppy. So wanted a few tips in that regard:

- How much should I expect to pay for a doctor visit on an average?
- Is this a good list to follow when looking at vaccine schedule? Based on your experience which vaccines have you skipped from the optional ones?
https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/healt ... ete-guide/
- Is it better to go to small clinic or a big hospital with multiple doctors?
- Should I buy dog insurance? Is it wort it?
- Any dog trainings etc.
- Food? Is Costco good or should I opt of fancy gourmet type of options which I am sure will be more expensive.

In case it matters the breed is Havanese. Any other suggestions would be most welcome
1. Your breeder should give you a comprehensive list of vaccines to do, when they give you the puppy. We followed their suggestion and were happy with it generally.
2. Doctor visits for wellness here are around 70-80 (just the consultation). All other labs etc. are on top of that. First year, you will have a lot of expenses with Dr. visits.
3. I am still trying to find a smaller vet practice :happy
4. We have bought insurance for ours for catastrophic cases only. Our dog breed is prone to certain ailments, and we would rather have it. It isn't very costly if you keep high deductible.
5. We took ours to 4-5 classes when she was small. I think it helped. Socialization is more important however. A good breeder should give you everything you need to know.
6. We went through several brands, and finally settled on something that works for her sensitive belly. I would not go for cheapest of the brands. You can certainly go crazy here, so be careful.

FeesR-BullNotBullish
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by FeesR-BullNotBullish » Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:15 pm

For training, I recommend a podcast episode - Susan Garrett on the Tim Ferriss podcast. There is a lot of great insight and tips in that episode which gave my wife and I confidence with our puppy. Our biggest takeaway was to keep the puppy in a pen whenever it's inside but not under your direct supervision.

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Elsebet
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by Elsebet » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:14 pm

This may be a controversial opinion but I try to find a vet who operates a low cost operation. With our first dog we went to vets who advertise and have big shiny offices and they end up pitching all kinds of tests/drugs, every visit was expensive. He would take the dog into a back room and do god knows what then deliver me a huge bill. Then during an after-hours emergency I found a vet who operated out of their home-based office. He was personable and showed me everything he was doing. He even had me look at the microscope to show me the worms he found in her stool sample, was pretty cool. I feel like he was a vet who wanted to teach also. He gave me options and broke down the costs of each option. After that I went to him exclusively until we moved to Washington.

I ended up looking for a similar vet and found one here (even in this expensive state). My current vet operates out of a small home and has no fancy equipment. Sometimes if his assistant is gone for lunch or on an errand I help him hold our dog during minor procedures. He also cares for farm animals. He takes great care of our animals at a reasonable cost and even calls to check up on them after any issues. He has my business until he quits or I move again!

Some people want the fancy clean office and all the trappings but I prefer a vet who is professional without all the fluff.
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca

fru-gal
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by fru-gal » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:16 pm

Don't let pet stores do anything for your pet, like grooming. Every so often there is some horrible article in the news about an animal dying because some idiot employee has done something stupid.

Bacchus01
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by Bacchus01 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:26 pm

RollTide31457 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:09 am
A dog should never be more than 2 feet away from owner and on a leash when being walked in a public space. Nothing worse than dealing with people who allow their animals to roam away from them.
This is funny.

My dog is 100lbs. If he was never more than 2 feet away he’d literally be on my lap at all times. Give me a break.

Bacchus01
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by Bacchus01 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:30 pm

We have a vet that comes to our house, so costs are a bit higher but we love the convenience. Without that service fee, it would be very minimal overall.

We feed him Kirkland. It’s not the cheapest, but it comes highly rated and is easy to get. He is very healthy so far.

Train. Train. Train. That first year is uber critical to stay at it. And training means training the people too! Don’t want him on the furniture? Then don’t EVER break that rule (for example) as they don’t get it.

I worked with our dog daily and still do at 1.5 years. The other family members know some of the rules (always turn your back if he looks to jump, always make him sit and wait for food, never let him on certain furniture, never ever feed from the table or in the kitchen at all, etc) and he is pretty well behaved. Still working on jumping and leash manners.

teamDE
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by teamDE » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:34 pm

RollTide31457 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:09 am
A dog should never be more than 2 feet away from owner and on a leash when being walked in a public space. Nothing worse than dealing with people who allow their animals to roam away from them.
Agreed. Do not use an extendo reel type leash!

quantAndHold
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by quantAndHold » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:43 pm

Food. If you’re getting the puppy from a high quality breeder, ask the breeder what to use. They will have an opinion based on their experience with the breed.

Vet. Large practices with several vets are easier to get appointments at, especially for urgent issues, but they can be more expensive. Insurance can flatten out the cost of vet care, so that it’s more predictable. Not cheaper, since insurance companies are in the business to make a profit, but more predictable. Vet practices can do most of the same stuff as human doctors, and the costs aren’t all that different for similar things. I can’t remember the last time we got out of the vet’s office for less than $200 after all the lab work and vaccinations, and we seem to end up with a $500 dental visit every couple of years. We also have a dog that has more expensive prescriptions than we do.

You should absolutely get training, especially if this is your first dog. To get a dog you can live with, expect to be in training classes off and on for most of the first year. The trainer my wife works with is $125 per six week class, and a puppy will probably need 3-5 classes over the course of a year, depending on its temperament and how much you’re willing to work with it. There is a vast difference in abilities of trainers, so try to find a good one. A qualified dog behaviorist with 20 years of experience and small class sizes is often not anymore expensive than the person at Petco.

A havanese will require regular grooming. You’ll need to brush it a couple of times a week, baths every couple of weeks, and grooming probably every six weeks or so. Around here, a grooming appointment would be about $60-70. You’ll also need to learn to clip its nails, or else that will cost $10-20 to get someone to do it.

Cody6136
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by Cody6136 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:51 pm

Bacchus01 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:26 pm
RollTide31457 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:09 am
A dog should never be more than 2 feet away from owner and on a leash when being walked in a public space. Nothing worse than dealing with people who allow their animals to roam away from them.
This is funny.

My dog is 100lbs. If he was never more than 2 feet away he’d literally be on my lap at all times. Give me a break.
Yes,it is funny. I live in Montana and there are ranches out here with cattle, sheep....we have 27 million acres of public lands. Nothing is two feet away from anything else around here, unless it is indoors.

quantAndHold
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by quantAndHold » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:13 pm

Cody6136 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:51 pm
Bacchus01 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:26 pm
RollTide31457 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:09 am
A dog should never be more than 2 feet away from owner and on a leash when being walked in a public space. Nothing worse than dealing with people who allow their animals to roam away from them.
This is funny.

My dog is 100lbs. If he was never more than 2 feet away he’d literally be on my lap at all times. Give me a break.
Yes,it is funny. I live in Montana and there are ranches out here with cattle, sheep....we have 27 million acres of public lands. Nothing is two feet away from anything else around here, unless it is indoors.
OP is getting a havanese. 10 pounds, 10 inches tall, and hair in a ponytail on top of its head. It’s purpose in life is to be a lap dog.

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DanMahowny
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by DanMahowny » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:22 pm

RollTide31457 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:09 am
A dog should never be more than 2 feet away from owner and on a leash when being walked in a public space. Nothing worse than dealing with people who allow their animals to roam away from them.
Seems you fooled a few around here. Not me.
Funding secured

Spirit Rider
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by Spirit Rider » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:03 pm

This is not an anti-vaccine post, rather anything but. It is a suggestion to follow the recommended canine vaccination guidelines from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) even if the vast majority of veterinarians do not. Imagine if the vast majority of doctors ignore guidelines from the AMA, yet that is what is happening in the veterinary industry.

See the 2017 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines Especially note the CORE Vaccinations Revaccination (Booster) guideline.

"Administer a single dose of a combination vaccine within 1 yr following the last dose in the Initial Vaccination series. Administer subsequent boosters at intervals of 3 yr or longer. Measuring antibody levels (quantitative or qualitative) provides a reasonable assessment of protective immunity against CDV, CPV, and CAV2."

I would look for a vet who conforms to the AAHA guidelines and does a minimum interval of three (3) year CORE Boosters. It is up to you if you just do three year boosters or do antibody testing. The latter may not save you any money, but it is better for the dog to not to receive vaccination boosters before they are needed. To me it is a good filter on a Vet/Animal Hospital if they follow the AVMA/AAHA guidelines.

P.S. Reducing unnecessary vaccinations is far more important with small breeds like Havanese. Many veterinarians do not like to give the Leptospira vaccine to small dogs after the initial puppy doses who are indoor dogs. The risk of exposure is small, the vaccine is only effective in about 70% of dogs and the contraindications tend to appear more frequently in small dogs. When you find a vet, you should raise these concerns.
Last edited by Spirit Rider on Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:06 pm

Notify your insurance company. They ask if you have pets for a reason.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:48 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:06 pm
Notify your insurance company. They ask if you have pets for a reason.
I can't imagine notifying my insurance agent for adding a Havanese to my household. But I do enjoy living on the edge.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:41 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:48 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:06 pm
Notify your insurance company. They ask if you have pets for a reason.
I can't imagine notifying my insurance agent for adding a Havanese to my household. But I do enjoy living on the edge.
I have no idea what a Havanese is, but if it were a German Shepard or Rottweiler or pit bull, your Insurance company would be interested in knowing.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

Teague
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by Teague » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:54 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:48 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:06 pm
Notify your insurance company. They ask if you have pets for a reason.
I can't imagine notifying my insurance agent for adding a Havanese to my household. But I do enjoy living on the edge.
I dunno, everyone around here is terrorized by the neighborhood "killer chihuahua." That little son-of-a-female-dog takes on joggers, bikers, even school buses. It's absolutely fearless. Not very bright and crazy to boot, but fearless.
Semper Augustus

CoastalWinds
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by CoastalWinds » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:49 pm

Dogs may be “just animals”, but they’re more trustworthy and loyal than humans. Humans are the real savages.

quantAndHold
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by quantAndHold » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:55 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:41 pm
Doom&Gloom wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:48 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:06 pm
Notify your insurance company. They ask if you have pets for a reason.
I can't imagine notifying my insurance agent for adding a Havanese to my household. But I do enjoy living on the edge.
I have no idea what a Havanese is, but if it were a German Shepard or Rottweiler or pit bull, your Insurance company would be interested in knowing.
Imagine a feather duster with a bow in its hair and you get the picture.

Rudedog
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by Rudedog » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:28 pm

Ask around about a vet, ours was recommended by a good friend when our dog was a pup, she has been a wonderful vet. We have always fed our dog "Science Diet" food, purchased at Rural King, vet said Science Diet is a good one. W give Milk Bone for treats, dog still likes Milk Bone after 13 years.

Be sure your dog gets enough exercise and attention, he is a member of your family after all. Provide him with fresh water and good food. Wash his food bowls every day.

Follow your vet's advice for vaccines. Our annual vet visit is generally $ 250 to $ 350. Our dog is 13 years old, he has had surgery four times, at about
$ 600 per surgery ( he is a Jack Russell Terrier mix, surgeries have been for tumor removal). Grooming is about $ 50 per month. As he is now 13, he takes thyroid pills and some pain killers for joint pain, as well as Cosequin and monthly heartworm and parasite pill.

Our dog, Petey, has been a great dog for us, he and I have walked hundreds of miles together. Whatever we have spent, it has been well worth it.

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Misenplace
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by Misenplace » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:57 pm

Invest in good clippers + high quality grooming scissors and learn to groom your dog yourself. These two tools cost just a little more than a single groom session by a professional groomer. It doesn't matter if you make mistakes as you learn, since their fur will grow again and erase any mistakes. Over time, you will get very good at it. Also, your dog will enjoy being groomed by you vastly more than being groomed by a stranger who will not care as much about him as you.
Enjoy your new best friend!

Mr.BB
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by Mr.BB » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:38 am

Get medical insurance for your dog, personally I like trupanion. Give your dog good / healthy food, no different than a person. A healthy person doesn't eat crappy, foods dogs are no different.
A puppy is not a dog! how you train it as a puppy will affect you and it as it becomes an adult dog.
Teach your puppy to walk with you. Don't let it pull you around when you're walking it will do that as an adult. I see it all time with people walking their dogs. Teach your dog to walk beside you for the most part, it will of course still need to go and sniff and search but if you let it drag you around it's not a good habit to teach them. Do not reward them for bad behavior. Take them to dog parks / dog beaches let them learn to socialize with other dogs, it is very important.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

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randybobandy
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by randybobandy » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:33 am

Teague wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:54 pm
Doom&Gloom wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:48 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:06 pm
Notify your insurance company. They ask if you have pets for a reason.
I can't imagine notifying my insurance agent for adding a Havanese to my household. But I do enjoy living on the edge.
I dunno, everyone around here is terrorized by the neighborhood "killer chihuahua." That little son-of-a-female-dog takes on joggers, bikers, even school buses. It's absolutely fearless. Not very bright and crazy to boot, but fearless.
That is unfortunate. A while ago I was walking my pup and 3 dogs burst thru someone's front door and surrounded my pup. A weird mix: a dachsund, adult American bulldog, and what looked to be some type of lab mix. There was just a lot of sniffing going on until the dachsund started biting and the other 2 joined in.

I spent most of my effort on kicking the bulldog away, but I kicked the dachsund once and it seemed to get the point. It fit the not very bright and crazy description.

Gardening_at_night
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by Gardening_at_night » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:03 am

We have a Havanese. We had him neutered and all his shots for a maybe $200.00, which is way less than we paid for him. But we are fortunate enough to have an Auburn educated vet in the "poor" area of the country we live in, so his fees are very reasonable. Havanese are very smart but they are stubborn as hell. They will pick one person as "master" and everyone else is SOL. In our case my wife is who he clings to and after almost 3 years he will not come to me unless he's hungry and knows I have a treat. He was somewhat hard to potty train. We hung a loud bell by the door and made him ring it before we took him out and eventually he would ring it when he needed to go. But now he just holds it and I take him out every few hours.

The biggest cost we've had for our Havanese is food expense. He is the pickiest eater I've ever seen in a dog. We have to continually buy different kinds of the best dog food and hope he will eat it. This probably comes from you know who feeding him people food from the table when he was young. So I suggest keeping his/her feeding area separate and not giving him food from your meals until old enough to get used to dog food.

Havanese need almost constant attention and to be around their caretakers as much as possible. It is hard on them being left alone for large portions of the day everyday. They love being center of attention. They also do not shed at all.

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JMacDonald
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by JMacDonald » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:02 am

Teague wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:54 pm
Doom&Gloom wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:48 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:06 pm
Notify your insurance company. They ask if you have pets for a reason.
I can't imagine notifying my insurance agent for adding a Havanese to my household. But I do enjoy living on the edge.
I dunno, everyone around here is terrorized by the neighborhood "killer chihuahua." That little son-of-a-female-dog takes on joggers, bikers, even school buses. It's absolutely fearless. Not very bright and crazy to boot, but fearless.
It seems that those little Chihuahuas are very aggressive. I have decided that because all dogs come from wolves, those Chihuahuas just don't know they are little.
Best Wishes, | Joe

quantAndHold
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Re: Tips for new pet owner

Post by quantAndHold » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:12 am

Gardening_at_night wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:03 am
The biggest cost we've had for our Havanese is food expense. He is the pickiest eater I've ever seen in a dog. We have to continually buy different kinds of the best dog food and hope he will eat it. This probably comes from you know who feeding him people food from the table when he was young. So I suggest keeping his/her feeding area separate and not giving him food from your meals until old enough to get used to dog food..
Wife works with a dog behaviorist. Most of the time when people say their toy breeds are “picky eaters” is because they’re being overfed, and they just aren’t hungry. Those little dogs don’t need very much food.

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