The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : So You Want To Buy/Adopt A Cat/Dog? Have You Really Thought About It?

Monday, June 13, 2011

So You Want To Buy/Adopt A Cat/Dog? Have You Really Thought About It?

So you are ready to get a pet? Have you really taken the time to think it out? Or is this a sudden reaction to a pet you saw in a pet store? I have listed some tips on purchasing or adopting a pet.

1. What type of pet would fit your lifestyle? Are you away from home for long hours?

DOGS:

a. If you are getting a puppy, did you know that they will need to relieve themselves every 2-3 hours. It is very important that you do not leave a puppy alone for longer than 2-3 hours. They have no muscle control. If you must leave them make sure that you have left them fresh water and an area covered with potty pads or newspapers. Make sure that they are confined to a small area where they can not get out and possibly hurt themselves.

b.  If your are getting an older dog, it needs to socialize, and leaving him home alone for 8-10 hours each day can result in separation anxiety issues, not to mention excessive barking and sometimes destructive behavior to the house.

c. Are you going to spend time with your dog, letting it out every morning and evening to take care of it’s business. If you take it out for walks, are you prepared to carry a dogie bag and clean up behind it…like every pet parent should do!

d. Now, comes the Vet. Your dog needs to see the Vet at least once a year for all of it’s shots, and maybe sometimes if it gets sick.  Are you prepared finanically to pay for this? I had two shih-tzu’s, they have both crossed over the Rainbow Bridge now.  Their Vet bills ran me approximately $150 a year. Not to mention they where both sick before they passed. One had heart disease and the other one had cancer. Both required medications and at some point hospitalization which can be very costly.

You should have your pet spayed or neutered when it is at the correct age. Talk to your Vet. This will cut down on the population of so many homeless animals.

I am telling you this because while they are cute…they can be costly! The point is that if you are not prepared to properly take care of an animal don’t get it. Some of these animals only end up adding to the homeless population of animals.

e. Some long-haired dogs require grooming every 4 –6 weeks depending on the dog. My shih-tzu’s where groomed approximately every 6 weeks at $50 each. In between grooming they had to be constantly brushed to keep their hair from matting.

f. If you decide to purchase a dog, please do your research and stay away from the puppy mills! If you purchase it from a breeder or a pet store. Please spend the money within the next 2 days after purchase to have it checked over by a Vet of your choice.

g. You must dog proof your home if you have a new puppy. Puppies love to chew when they are teething…and will chew on anything. Keep things out of the way!

h. One last thing…do you travel? If you don’t have a family member or a neighbor to check on your dog…you will have to board it. Think about how often you travel, will it be fair for the dog to be boarded several times a month?


CATS

While a cat does not require as much attention as a dog, it does require attention!

a. Before choosing a new adult cat or kitten, it is important to take time to research.. A cat's personality, age, and appearance, as well as the kinds of pets you already have at home, are all things you should keep in mind when choosing a cat. It is very important to know in advance exactly what taking care of your new kitten/cat will involve.

b. I you get a  kitten, it will need it’s first set of shots by eight weeks, and the second set three or four weeks later. Please spend the money within the next 2 days after purchase to have it checked over by a Vet of your choice. If you adopt, it will probably have already been checked by a Vet.

c. Traditionally, cats are spayed or neutered at six months of age or older. However, some veterinarians recommend performing the procedure at an earlier age, to further ensure against unwanted pregnancies.

d. Never feed a kitten cow's milk or human baby formula as this causes stomach upset and severe diarrhea. If a kitten is already dehydrated, this could prove fatal. This includes condensed/evaporated canned cow's milk!

e. Your new kitten  will instinctively clean itself. You can help keep your little kitten by cleaning them with a damp washrag. Often they need to have their little rear-ends cleaned…by you!

f. Your kitten will start to scratch at things at an early age. This is the time to start training it! If you provide a small scratching post or pad and keep it wherever they usually play, they will learn to use it. Take time to encourage them to use it by enticing them with a toy or some catnip. Gives them praise when they uses it

g. Most kittens naturally feel the urge to dig in litter as early as 4 weeks.  If you interfere with your kitten while he's in the litter box, it may develop an aversion to using it.  Be patient.  Instinct will guide your kitten or cat to developing good litter box habits.

h. Long-haired cats need regular brushing to keep hair from matting. But even short-haired cats should be brushed regularly to keep their coat in good condition. It’ll also keep them from swallowing an excess of hair when they groom themselves, which can cause fur balls.

i. You must cat proof your home. Kittens especially love to run around and scratch and chew on things. It may be necessary to take your roll of toilet paper off of the dispenser. Cats love to play in toilet paper!

j. One last thing…do you travel? If you do, you don’t have the same worries as with a dog. Depending on how long you will be gone you can leave a food and water dispenser out for your cat. You may also want a family member or neighbor come over and check on it.

Please think about these things before you decided to purchase a pet,. Especially one from a  shelter. They have already been through a lot and look at adoption as a new life!


****Never, ever give a pet as a gift! So many of these pets end up in the shelter!****


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