What Pets for which home?

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Figure 1: from ‘Home vs Apartment’, by Brittany Anas, October 4th, 2017,https://www.roomdock.com/blog/roommates/should-you-rent-an-apartment-or-a-room-in-a-private-home, by roomdock.com

Do you live in a Condominium, apartment or house? Do you live in the country or in the city? A lot of factors can determine what pets are best for which home environment. If you bring a pet home and your abode is to cramped then you will have an unhappy setting for you and your pet.

If you live in a condominium or an apartment, you may not want to get a high energy, high maintenance pet, like a Husky, Labrador or Shepherd; when you come home after a long day at work you may find your apartment destroyed. Low maintenance animals may be a better choice for you, like cats, pocket pets, some small breed dogs or birds. PetMD has a slideshow giving examples of the best kinds of pets for apartments or condominiums (Kramer, n.d). It tells you what dogs have the right temperaments for apartment living as well as cats, critters and pocket pet options available for you. Figure 2 also gives incite on the temperaments of pocket pets.

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Figure 2: from ‘pocket pets’ by ( Secret life of pocket pets), October 18th, 2018, grandvalleyvet.com Copyright 2018, Grand Valley Hospital

For houses, because of the larger living area, you have more of a range of pets you can own, especially with dog breeds. Just remember that your home is not the only consideration you need to keep in mind when choosing your family companion. You need to take into consideration your work schedule and type of work you do. Do you travel a lot for work? Work 12 hour shifts? You can own a labrador and a shepherd without them going nuts in the confined space but you will still need to walk them 2-3 times per day. High energy pets need to be taken on long walks and not just let out in the backyard, to minimize their excess energy, so you may have to hire a dog walker if you cannot commit to a minimum of walks twice a day.

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Figure 3: from ‘ 2 German Shepherds and 1 Labrador’, by Tanya Clark, January 16th 2018,http://totallydogtraining.com/german-shepherd-vs-labrador/, By Totally dog training 

Keep all these considerations in mind before choosing your new fur family. Please comment below and give me your thoughts and opinions on my blog.

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Budget For Your Future Pet

Any pet you choose comes with an additional monthly cost, it is always best to know your budget before you adopt. Examples of some extra costs that people are unaware of are dog training, dog walkers and doggy daycare. When adopting be smart in your decision and do not make a choice based on just emotion.

For a puppy, the first year is the most costly when you factor in the vet visits for vaccines as well as puppy training. Young adult dogs have less medical cost but still need training. When training a dog you need to buy various pet training accessories, crates and more. Some people will try to save cost by going on youtube and trying to figure out how to train their pets. Although, this may work for some people it may take longer and be more expensive in the end, depending on damage to your home by your new companion.

The easiest and fastest way to train your dog/puppy is to carry them to professional training sessions. Trimark Canine Services is one place you can go for classes. They are 6 to 9 weeks long and cost $270-290 plus HST depending on the kind of training required (Trimark, n.d.). You may have to sign up for more than one set of classes. The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA), states that obedience classes are the best way for you to make sure your pet has adequate training (OVMA, n.d.).

Dog crates are a necessity when you own a dog. It not only helps to control the dogs when guests are visiting but it helps to protect your furniture and peace of mind. The costs average $35 – $279.99, depending on where you go, the size you need and how durable you want it. The dog crate shown below is $199.99, from petsmart (grreat choice, n.d.).

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Figure 1: from ‘Dog in crate to show size of crate’, by Grreat Choice (n.d.),https://www.petsmart.ca/dog/crates-gates-and-containment/grreat-choice-dog-crate-19958.html?cgid=100406, Petsmart

Dog food has a variety of brands, blends and types. Do you want to feed your pet dry food or a combination of dry and wet food? These decisions will affect your budget; on average dry food from Pestmart can be from $10 – $80 (Petsmart, n.d.). This cost is determined by the brand, size of bag and flavours you choose for your potential pet. Do not go for the cheapest option to save a buck, this may cost you more in medical fees. If you do not know the dietary needs of your potential pet, then please get advice from a veterinarian. Always choose the food with the best nutritional value. Figure 2 shows a preferred brand of dog food.

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Figure 2: from ‘Royal Canin, pet food for different pets’, by Royal Canin, (n.d.),https://www.royalcanin.com/ , Royal Canin

Be wise, be advised and do your research, to make sure you can afford your new companion. Please comment below and tell me your thoughts.

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Pet Insurance plus Cost

Pet Insurance helps to lower overall cost with veterinary bills. They are a variety of different pet insurance across Canada, but the ones I will focus on are Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) pet insurance, Pets + Us, and Trupanion.

The OVMA pet insurance has three different plans; they are comprehensive, extended and unlimited plus. The OVMA strongly believes that pet insurance is the best way to plan for unexpected pet costs. OVMA is 100% Canadian and designed by Ontario’s veterinarians (OVMA, n.d.). Although it is a new pet insurance (founded in January 2018), it was created with the best value for pet care in mind. The umbrella company, Petline Insurance, has been running successfully for the last 28 years.

Trupanion promotes its direct payment plan; they have no limits to how many claims they will pay annually or within a life time. Pet insurance is becoming a necessity for pets due to the increase in vet fees. Pet Insurance is a good thing to have to counteract the raise in pet medicals.

The difference with Pets + Us is it gives you valuable information about pet ownership, their lifestyles, breeds and much more. It is a community and pet focused organization that has a people friendly website. Their coverage plans vary and are easy to understand. They have Accident and Illness which has coverage of $7,500 to $15,000 per year (Pets Plus Us, n.d.); an accident plan for coverage of $5,000 per year. They have a Wellness Care as an “add on” to their plans. These are easily accessible and affordable plans. The image below will give you an idea of what a puppy cost for the first year, the link below it also shows you the annual costs of a dog, cat and kitten. These info-graphs were created from the information collected in a survey done in 2016.

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Figure 1: from ‘annual cost of caring for a puppy’, by Pets plus us, (2016), https://www.petsplusus.com/pet-information/pet-ownership/cost-of-care, by Pets plus us survey for 2016

The following chart created by the Ontario SPCA, shows a comparison of puppy cost vs kitten costs. This gives you an understanding of different animal costs (Ontario SPCA, n.d.). As a potential pet owner, it is advisable to do your research for your new addition to the family. Please Comment and give me your input.

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Figure 2: ‘Cost comparison of puppy and kitten ownership for first year’, by OVMA, 2013, https://ontariospca.ca/blog/the-cost-of-owning-a-pet/, Written by Laura for Ontario SPCA

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Choosing the Right Pet for You

 

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Figure 1: ‘A variety of potential pets’, by J. Roberson, n.d., http://www.zimbio.com/quiz/J3S59_tWSS2/Kind+Pet+Right , From Zimbio

Pets in a household have many benefits for seniors, children and the home in general. The benefits of owning a pet can be seen on the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA), their studies show that owning a pet can lower risk of heart attacks, improve overall health; reduce children’s heart rate and pressure, as well as building self-confidence and non-verbal communication( OVMA, n.d.).

These benefits are great, but you have a number of factors to consider before getting a pet. It is never a good idea to buy or adopt on a whim, always do your research. You need to know the cost of having a pet, is your home suitable for the type of pet you desire, does your social life best suite a dog, cat, pocket or exotic pet? When you are trying to find out this information you can go to the Canadian Kennel Club website, to help you decide what breed, size or temperament is best for you, if you are looking to get a dog (Pattison, 2014). If you are unsure what type of pet you wish, then the OVMA website can give you some useful pointers.

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Figure 2: ‘What pets can teach children’, by Growing up Katertot, n.d., https://me.me/i/pets-teach-children-kindness-respect-love-and-compassion-groving-up-13699656, from me.me

A pet is not an item you can try for a bit and discard if not the right fit. Depending on the pet you choose, depends on the commitment that is required, for example if you adopt a dog, you may have a ten to fifteen year commitment. When choosing a pet, make sure you can afford it both physically and financially. Your entire household needs to be on board with the adoption of the pet, because a split household is not good for you or your future companion. Do yourself a favour and do your research. Talk to a vet if you are unsure what to do and where to go for that lovable family companion. Please give your thoughts below.

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Figure 3: ‘A promise to a pet’, by Central Illinois dog owners, n.d., https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/245657354644635484/, from Angela Reckers’ Pinterest page called ‘Death row cats & Dogs needs rescues!’

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