Things to Think About When Adding a New Member to the Family

By: Jen and Amanda 

Everyone loves the idea of having a new puppy in their home and in today’s society there are so many choices of dog breeds to choose from and a multitude of mixed breeds. We cannot stress enough the importance of researching all aspects of getting a new puppy.

1)      Chose a breed that will be appropriate for your household.

2)      The diseases that can affect puppies.

3)      Financial aspects of having a puppy.

Choosing a breed that is appropriate for your household is easier said then done especially if you have your heart set on a certain breed.  If you live in an apartment you might want a smaller dog, instead of a Labradoror Australian Shepherd.  If you have more questions about choosing breeds that work best for you and your family check out Dr. Hogle’s blog http://baringvetblog.com/2012/04/10/tips-for-selecting-a-dog-breed-for-you-and-your-family/.

One of the most common and preventable diseases that puppies need to be protected from is parvovirus. It’s a highly contagious, often fatal viral disease of dogs, characterized by vomiting, diarrhea and depression and accompanied by high fever and loss of appetite.

You should make an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss vaccine history and future vaccines that will be required to keep your puppy healthy in its early stages of development. The veterinarian will determine how many vaccines will be necessary to insure full immunity to parvovirus as well as rabies and canine cough. You should not be in a rush to take your puppy in public places until your veterinarian has established full immunity.  Keep in mind that this can take up to 3 to 4 months.

Treatment of parvovirus is difficult to treat at home and most cases need to be hospitalized and may still result in death. Depending on severity of the disease it can take 1 to 2 weeks of round the clock care of intravenous fluids, antibiotics, lab work, and possible plasma transfusions. If you suspect your puppy may have parvovirus get in to your veterinarian as soon as possible and get tested.

The breakdown of vaccines vs. treating parvovirus in cost is as follows:

* Full set of puppy vaccines is $179-$276

* Average parvovirus treatment is $600-$2000

Financial consideration is a key point to owning a puppy and if you have not researched fully your financial limitations then you may want to reconsider getting a puppy. Adult dogs are always in need of adoption and may suit your needs both in your household and your wallet too.