Every dog, from the tiniest Chihuahua to the largest Great Dane evolved from the wolf. It’s only because of man's selective breeding that we now see more than 400 different breeds of “Man’s Best Friend”. When you bring your new dog home you want to make sure to have all the necessary items; collar and leash, ID tags, food dishes and lots of interactive toys. This can cost about $75. Annually, the cost to care for your dog depends on what type of dog you have. A small dog's expenses, including food, veterinary care and local licenses, are about $400, a medium size dog $600 and a large dog $800.
Dogs and puppies should be fed a quality, brand-name food on a regular schedule. Puppies less than 6 months should eat 4 times a day, puppies older than 6 months and adult dogs should eat 2 times a day. If you want to add special treats like cottage cheese, cooked eggs, or fresh veggies, they shouldn’t total more than 10% of their daily intake.
Dogs are social animals and want to be out and about. This can increase their exposure to many diseases like leptospirosis, bordetella which causes kennel cough, and lyme disease. Keeping your dog up to date on vaccines is the first line of defense against these diseases. Annual heartworm blood tests and monthly heartworm and flea and tick preventive help keep parasites off and out of your dog. Make sure your dog gets their annual exam, vaccines, bloodwork and dental procedures to minimize their risk of developing health problems.
All dogs need exercise. If left at home all day and only taken outside for elimination, a dog will become bored and destruction ensues. Make sure to research the breed of dog you’re interested in and find out how much exercise each breed needs. A Toy Poodle may not need as much exercise as an adolescent Labrador Retriever.
If you’re looking for more information about adding a dog to your family, please give us a call at 262-253-2255. Our knowledgeable vet assistants will be happy to answer your questions.