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If you have a dog, come in

My husband and I are talking about the possibility of getting a dog someday. We are still not sure but we are making ourselves smart on everything that comes with it. So here a bunch of questions for you:

What breed of dog do you have?

Does your dog shed a lot? If yes, how do you deal with that?

Does your dog bark a lot and if so, how do you deal with that, specially if you have sleeping children?

 About how much money to do spend per month on the dog?

 Do you have a lot of unexpected vet visits?

 What do you do with the dog if you travel?

 Are you happy to have your dog or is the work so overwhelming that you wouldn't do it again?

 

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Re: If you have a dog, come in

  •  We do not have a dog right now but I grew up with dogs so I can answer most of the  questions. 

     

    image JennigoesUSA:

    My husband and I are talking about the possibility of getting a dog someday. We are still not sure but we are making ourselves smart on everything that comes with it. So here a bunch of questions for you:

    What breed of dog do you have? We've had golden retrievers (both purebred and mixes) and a Bearded Collie/Irish Wolfhound mix.

    Does your dog shed a lot? If yes, how do you deal with that? All of them shed a lot! They were all relatively long-haired so they required a lot of grooming.  Other than regular brushing and vacuuming, there wasn't much else we could do. 

    Does your dog bark a lot and if so, how do you deal with that, specially if you have sleeping children? None of them were excessive barkers, just when they saw someone/something out the window. 

     About how much money to do spend per month on the dog? Honestly, I have no idea.  My parents bought large (40+lbs) bags of food and I can't remember how quickly we went through them. 

     Do you have a lot of unexpected vet visits? With the Goldies, none.   With the collie, we did at the end.  We had his one eye removed for a tumor, surgery for a digestive disorder, etc.  but for the first 10 years, no

     What do you do with the dog if you travel? We boarded them in a kennel.  I would not do that now.  I'd want someone watching him at home.  

     Are you happy to have your dog or is the work so overwhelming that you wouldn't do it again?

     I want a dog more than anything but with our work schedules, it wouldn't be fair.  IMO, dogs are a lot of work (some breeds more than others).  We can't commit the time right now. 

     Has your son been tested for allergies? I would do a lot if research before taking the plunge.  Some dogs are high-maintenance (grooming, etc), some have shorter life expectancies, some are more prone to serioud health issues..,

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  • Yes, Luke is NOT allergic to dogs.

    We are still in the beginning stages of this. Right now we are focused on the bad stuff and trying to figure out if we are willing to deal with those things (like walking no matter what the weather is like, hair and slobber, smell etc)

     Is it possible to Foster a dog first to see how a dog would fit into the household?

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  • What breed of dog do you have?  A german shepherd/lab mix.

    Does your dog shed a lot? If yes, how do you deal with that?  Yes she sheds a lot, I brush her with a furminator which helps a little but doesn't prevent her from shedding.  Dogs shed- it's a fact of life and something you'll have to deal with if you have one.

    Does your dog bark a lot and if so, how do you deal with that, specially if you have sleeping children?  She was never much of a barker.

    About how much money to do spend per month on the dog?  About $40 on food, plus heartworm prevention which I guess ends up being $5-10 per month, and maybe another $10 on flea/tick prevention.  I can't remember how much the meds are each month though, I usually buy 6 months at a time.  Then extras like treats, toys, etc.

    Do you have a lot of unexpected vet visits?   No, luckily she's been pretty healthy so most years she just has her annual visit, which is around $200-250 for the visit plus shots.  There have been a few extra visits here and there but not many.

    What do you do with the dog if you travel?  I board her at a kennel, I started taking her when she was a puppy so she's used to going.  Some dogs do better than others in that environment.

    Are you happy to have your dog or is the work so overwhelming that you wouldn't do it again?  Of course, she's awesome and brings us enrichment and happiness.  If you're questioning whether you'll be happy with a dog, in my opinion you probably aren't ready for the responsibility.

    PS- doesn't your son have serious allergy/sinus issues?  If he was allergic to your rabbits, chances are most dogs will cause issues for him as well.

  • image JennigoesUSA:

    Yes, Luke is NOT allergic to dogs.

    We are still in the beginning stages of this. Right now we are focused on the bad stuff and trying to figure out if we are willing to deal with those things (like walking no matter what the weather is like, hair and slobber, smell etc)

     Is it possible to Foster a dog first to see how a dog would fit into the household?

    OK I was probably typing my allergy question as you were typing this.  I think that most shelters are happy to have foster volunteers.

  • What breed of dog do you have? Josie is lab/mix and Roscoe border collie/pitbull mix.

    Does your dog shed a lot? If yes, how do you deal with that? God yes. We normally are vacuuming clean at least two times a week and not all the dog hair comes up. Dogs are not allowed on the furniture, so that helps with some of the hair. If you sit on the floor it will most likely be on your clothes. Just something you gotta deal with.

    Does your dog bark a lot and if so, how do you deal with that, specially if you have sleeping children? No not a lot, but they are dogs so they will randomly bark at people/dogs if they walk by the house. They also bark/howl when I leave in the morning. But recently we decided to use kongs with peanut butter and treats, that usually last about 15 minutes, so that gets us to the 7 a.m. hour, after that it's fair game if they bark during the day. At night they don't bark unless someone comes to the door.

     About how much money to do spend per month on the dog? We spent between $90-$100 every 1.5 months on 2 bags of dry dog food 30lb (that we buy from our local natural dog store). I will also buy them treats here and there.

     Do you have a lot of unexpected vet visits? not at the moment, but I'm sure once they start to get older they will need more care. Currently we pay about $400-$500 annually on vet visits. Also, you may want to price out heart worm/flea and tick meds. We get the flea and tick meds via amazon which runs us about $130 every three months and the heartworm meds from the vet is usually $80 for a three month supply.

     What do you do with the dog if you travel? My aunt normally will keep the dogs for us when we travel. We have boarded in the past, but Roscoe didn't do as well as we had hope. He stopped eating and lost 5lbs in one week. He's a rescue dog, so we think he might of thought we weren't coming back for him.

     Are you happy to have your dog or is the work so overwhelming that you wouldn't do it again? We love our dogs. Growing up we have always had dogs, but I don't think I realized how much work they were until we got Josie. We got her as a puppy and we had to do potty training, obedience and leash walking with her. We decided that our next dog would be potty trained (which Roscoe was when we got him).

     Please note all my estimates are based on two dogs, not one. Also note that size of the dog does matter. Normally the heavier the dog, more things cost.

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  • What breed of dog do you have? Lab mix and a beagle

    Does your dog shed a lot? Not really If yes, how do you deal with that?

    Does your dog bark a lot and if so, how do you deal with that, specially if you have sleeping children? They mostly bark when they're playing or if they hear a noise outside. Generally they bark to get attention so if the dog gets enough exercise, it's usually not a problem. 

     About how much money to do spend per month on the dog? Not really sure. I would estimate with food, medicines, swimming, treats and toys for 2 dogs about $200 a month.

     Do you have a lot of unexpected vet visits? No but I have friends who are in the vet's office constantly with their dogs.

     What do you do with the dog if you travel? My mom or inlaws watch them.  This is a really big issue as some dogs (like my mom's dog) cannot be boarded and you have to find a dog sitter for them. 

     Are you happy to have your dog or is the work so overwhelming that you wouldn't do it again? Of course I'm happy I have my dogs. They might get on my nerves sometimes but this question is like asking if you regret having your kids.

  • What breed of dog do you have? Boxer/Lab Mix

    Does your dog shed a lot? If yes, how do you deal with that? Yes, I just clean more, she also goes to the groomers every couple of months to get a bath and her nails trimmed and that will help a little with the shedding. She is short haired so a brush doesnt seem to help much.

    Does your dog bark a lot and if so, how do you deal with that, specially if you have sleeping children? We dont have kids yet but she loves to bark when the UPS truck comes through the neighborhood or when she is outside in the yard she likes to bark at everyone that walks by. We got this 'Pet Corrector' spray that makes a hissing noise, so if she really starts to bark and wont respond to us telling her to be quiet, we will spray the can and it makes a hissing noise, she will instantly stop and walk away.

     About how much money to do spend per month on the dog? Dog food is around $20 every month or two, we buy the giant bag since it lasts longer. The heartworm medicine I order online for around $40 every 6 months, and flea and tick medicine is around $70 online for a 6 months supply. 

     Do you have a lot of unexpected vet visits? When we first got her she was sick with kennel cough, but once that cleared we havent really needed to go except for vaccines.

     What do you do with the dog if you travel? We have family come over to take her out or take her to the family members house to watch her.

     Are you happy to have your dog or is the work so overwhelming that you wouldn't do it again? At times it can be overwhelming. We were expecting a calm dog but once her kennel cough was taken care of she became very energetic. If we had known what we were getting into we probably would have went for an older dog but we do love our dog.

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  • Thank You everyone, this is all really helpful !
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  • We recently got a dog (1/11/13) to be exact ..A YorkiePoo ( Yorkshire Terrier & Poodle mix).

    The doesn't shed .. None that I've seen at least ..think that's mostly due in part to the Poodle breed .

    Monthly expenses are relatively low -- Vet every two weeks at about $50 a visit ..Monthly heartworm meds $36 for the year (purchased a years worth) and Fea & Tick about $55 for the year...

    The plan is take her on every trip ... Starting later this month to Miami at $75 for her plane ticket

    I must say .. Both my husband and I didn't grow up with any pets so we were iffy and did our research ---didn't want a big dog or loud dog or a dog that sheds as we all have allergies..

    Our dog has been a fun and enjoyable addition to our family -- she's super friendly enjoys everyone and just makes us and everyone smile! 

    Must mention our two kids (ages 10 &9) have also been a great help with  walking feeding and everything in between. 

    Having a dog takes lots of patience  we've come to learn in the past few weeks and as we expected ---  currently our dog is almost housebroken and is teething .. but we wouldnt have it any other way

    Good luck !  

  • image JennigoesUSA:

    My husband and I are talking about the possibility of getting a dog someday. We are still not sure but we are making ourselves smart on everything that comes with it. So here a bunch of questions for you:

    What breed of dog do you have? We have two -- a pug/chihuhua mix and a cavalier king charles spaniel

    Does your dog shed a lot? If yes, how do you deal with that? No, neither of them are big shedders. I think. If they are, I don't notice. I grew up with animals, so I think shedding doesn't phase me, but I don't feel the need to vacuum daily.

    Does your dog bark a lot and if so, how do you deal with that, specially if you have sleeping children? They bark when someone comes home and if there's someone at the door, that's it.

     About how much money to do spend per month on the dog? Not a lot. Now that we're getting to spring, I'll have to pay about $40 a month for flea treatment, and probably $20 to $30 a month for food, maybe a little more. That's not including the months where they go to the vet or we go out of town. 

     Do you have a lot of unexpected vet visits? No...but Fleetwood, the cavalier, is a rescue dog with a lot of health problems (overbred), so we have had to pay more to deal with an eye issue and will eventually have to deal with his heart murmur. 

     What do you do with the dog if you travel? If we're going to the Shore for a night or two, we kennel them at Canine Country Club in Grasonville, we love it there. If we're going somewhere else or going somewhere for a longer time, we have a lady who comes stays at our house and watches them for about $40 a day. 

     Are you happy to have your dog or is the work so overwhelming that you wouldn't do it again? I love my dogs so much. I don't have kids yet, so I can't compare, but I seriously unconditionally love them. Porter, the chug, is my practice baby, I say. But I do think it's a difference because they're so small -- porter is 12 pounds, fleetwood is 19 pounds, and it's much easier to manage them.

     

  • What breed of dog do you have? golden retriever and yellow lab

    Does your dog shed a lot? If yes, how do you deal with that? yup, they both shed.  the golden's hair is longer and more obvious but the lab's hair gets everywhere. Honestly we just accept that we will always be covered in dog hair. we brush them, groom them, take them swimming to get some of the loose hair off, and we keep a lint roller in the car to get the dog hair off our clothes, but really we just accept that we have two dogs who shed a lot and dog hair is always going to be an issue.

    Does your dog bark a lot and if so, how do you deal with that, specially if you have sleeping children? our lab barks a lot. Like, he'll see a bird go down the street and stay in the window barking for 10 minutes.  It rarely wakes up the baby.   We've tried a spray bottle, redirecting, etc.  It helps somewhat.   but it doesn't bother DS.

     About how much money to do spend per month on the dog? we budget 150 per month I think.   we spend 60 dollars on food every 3 weeks for the two of them, and then the rest of the money is budgeted for vet visits, toys, boarding for the lab, etc.

     Do you have a lot of unexpected vet visits? No.  Our golden gets hot spots so he has to go usually three times a year when he gets one, but our lab goes for his annual visits and that's about it.

     What do you do with the dog if you travel? The golden stays with my parents or brother, the lab goes to doggie daycare and he LOVES it.  It's his favorite place ever lol.

     Are you happy to have your dog or is the work so overwhelming that you wouldn't do it again? I absolutely adore my dogs.  I spent 10 minutes this morning cuddling with the two of them and praising them etc and was later for work than I wanted to be lol.  I think we will probably always have dogs.

     

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  • What breed of dog do you have?  black lab

    Does your dog shed a lot? If yes, how do you deal with that?  YES!!  It's a lot but we are as diligent about vacuuming as we can be.  We vacuum the main level every day - it's a town house so it's not a ton of space.  The couches and upstairs get cleaned usually on Saturday or Sunday.

    Does your dog bark a lot and if so, how do you deal with that, specially if you have sleeping children?  Jackson has never been a big barker, even when we crated him.  He'll bark now when there are people walking by outside but only when we're sitting on the couch watching tv, or if someone comes to the door.

    About how much money to do spend per month on the dog?  His food is about $55 for one of those giant bags, about once a month or every 5 weeks.  PP mentioned heartword and flea/tick preventative - I buy those in 3 or 6 month packs.  They range in price depending on brand and amount. 

    Do you have a lot of unexpected vet visits?  When we first got Jackson, he had a weird eye allergy so we were at the vet more than I wanted to be.  But it's been fine for over a year.  Knock on wood!  Our annual vet visit is about $200, give or take.

    What do you do with the dog if you travel?  We've boarded him at Dogtopia in Clarksville or used our JD's Pet Services.  Both have been great but I prefer to use a friend or family - if they're willing.

    Are you happy to have your dog or is the work so overwhelming that you wouldn't do it again?  I wouldn't trade having a dog for anything.  At times the shedding gets overwhelming but Jackson's the best!  Having a dog, in my opinion, will definitely help after a long day.  Jackson's cuddles make my heart melt (I don't have kids...can you tell?)

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  • What breed of dog do you have? 2 Pitbulls

    Does your dog shed a lot? If yes, how do you deal with that? I wouldn't say a lot but they shed normal and we just vacuum.

    Does your dog bark a lot and if so, how do you deal with that, specially if you have sleeping children? I have never had a barker until we got Bodie the new addition. Out of 4 pitbulls he's the only one and we just tell him to be quiet and he stops. He's usually barking because he wants my attention.

    About how much money to do spend per month on the dog? Maybe about $40 or so. That also includes a $30 a month deduction to Banfield hospital which covers all of his shots and his neuter with no copays.

    Do you have a lot of unexpected vet visits? We did with Zeek but once we found out he had cancer it was less than a month until he passed.

    What do you do with the dog if you travel? Have someone come to our house to stay with them or they can go to my MIL.

    Are you happy to have your dog or is the work so overwhelming that you wouldn't do it again? Happy that's why we keep getting new ones. LOL I couldn't see living without the love from my pitties.


  • What breed of dog do you have?    1/2 Jack Russell/ 1/2 shihtzu (2 dogs)

    Does your dog shed a lot?    Yes- our dogs shed. We brush them (could probably do this more) and vacuum. But at any time there may be tumbleweeds of dog hair in our house. My kids almost always go to school with dog hair on them, as they sit on the floor, the dogs sit on the floor, etc. 

    Does your dog bark a lot and if so, how do you deal with that, specially if you have sleeping children?     My one dog barks when I am on the phone. She has done this for about 7 yrs now. I have to walk into another room and close a door in order for her to stop barking. The other dog barks when a stranger comes to the door, including if it's just the mailman/UPS/FedEx dropping off a package. He also barks at animals in the yard. When we initially moved in our dogs barked at our neighbors as they were getting used to them and we had to go to dog court because our 1 neighbor is a total a$$hole. Our dogs don't bark at night or early in the morning so disturbing their sleep isn't a huge issue. Since we had the dogs before we had kids my kids are very used to the barking and it didn't wake them as infants in those rare instances. 

     About how much money to do spend per month on the dog? Honestly, I have no idea. I know my DH has a line item in our budget for vet bills, but we count their food as part of our grocery budget- we go back and forth between food we buy for them @ Whole Foods, or go to Petco for Blue Buffalo. Paying more for food can help keep you out of the vet's office and give your dog a longer and higher quality life, so I think spending more on dog food is worth it, but we also are careful about what we eat. We incorporate the cost of having someone watch them when we go away into our vacation costs. 

     Do you have a lot of unexpected vet visits? We have a 7 yr old dog and a 13 yr old dog. My 13 yr old dog never had to go to the vet for anything other than shots/check-ups until she was 7 or 8 and she got some allergies. Our younger dog jumped off our deck so we took him for x-rays. Now our older dog is on meds for a collapsing trachea and I spent about $400 taking her to an animal opthamologist because we thought she had cataracts, but it turns out she doesn't but she is totally blind and we don't know why but she isn't in pain. 

     What do you do with the dog if you travel? We used to board them, but now we pay someone to come and stay in our house. My parents used to occasionally take them for us, but it seems like such a burden and now with my one older blind dog, I don't think it's right for her to be anywhere other than here, her home.  

     Are you happy to have your dog or is the work so overwhelming that you wouldn't do it again?

    I love my dogs. They are a lifetime commitment. I can say pretty firmly that if we were to get another dog, it would be an adult dog. If we got a puppy now, that dog would likely be alive until our kids were in college. I feel guilty enough that we don't do as much with our dogs as we did before we had kids, I also know that after our children are done college we hope to travel more, etc. 

    So personally I wouldn't change a thing in terms of timing of our dogs.

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