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New dog owner help!

Hey everyone!!! So i know I haven't been around in forever so please excuse me!

We are buying a puppy today and I have never owned a pet in my life. So...what do I need to know? Give me all your advice. Also, does anyone know a good vet in the kenwood area? Last specific question: has anyone ever gotten pet health insurance? If so, where from and would you recommend it? Thanks!!!

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Re: New dog owner help!

  • I would recommend adopting one from www.petfinder.com , there are so many that need homes.

  • image Joeblack:

    I would recommend adopting one from www.petfinder.com , there are so many that need homes.

    Agreed 100% You can find any type of dog you'd find from a breeder at a shelter somewhere, you just have to look and take your time.

    If you have specific pet questions, you'll get more responses from the Pets board, but you need to lurk and read the FAQ's page, and look at lots of last posts first.

  • image MsEmilyAnn:
    image Joeblack:

    I would recommend adopting one from www.petfinder.com , there are so many that need homes.

    Agreed 100% You can find any type of dog you'd find from a breeder at a shelter somewhere, you just have to look and take your time.

    If you have specific pet questions, you'll get more responses from the Pets board, but you need to lurk and read the FAQ's page, and look at lots of last posts first.

     

    Yes

  • Get a wire crate & crate train the new dog.  It'll help with house training, keep them safe & secure when you can't supervise, and some like it as a little den or home.

      Buy the best food you can afford.  Not to be crass, but [email protected] in, [email protected] out.  Cheap food has lots of fillers so you need to feed more...and pup will poo more.  I pay about $35-40 per large bag of food & it's lasts one month for our two large dogs.  There are so-so foods in that range and there are also some really great foods/brands.  I know not everyone can afford or will choose to feed premium food, but if you do just understand that you can find average and great foods for the same price. 

    Find a good trainer, one that uses positive, non-physical training methods like clicker training.  A 6 week class clicker might be $75-100 but it's worth every penny for a first time owner. 

    Use good flea control & heartworm preventative.  Flea collars & the really cheap topical treatments aren't good for dogs.  Fleas are nasty, plus they carry icky stuff like tapeworms.  Trust me, you do not want to experience the joy of a dog with a full-blown tapeworm infestation!  My parents' pup caught fleas at the shelter-yuck, yuck, yuck! 

    Also, read some books or find some quizes that match dog breeds to your lifestyle.  Figure out what dog is best for your life, personality, etc, and go from there. 

    Rescues & shelters that foster their animals are probably a good choice for your first dog.  They've taken the time to work with the animals & get them used to living in a home.  Most dogs from county shelters make great pets too, it's just that some of them need a bit more work.  Not everyone has the knowlege or means to do that work.  Besides, you're freeing up space at a rescue so they can get another dog out of a shelter.


    GL!

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  • Not sure why everyone jumped down my throat there and didn't give any responses other than info about adopting...I am planning to get a dog from a shelter so there was no need for the assumptions and one sided thoughts.

    Dave's: thanks for your info. It was nice of someone to actually answer some of my questions.

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  • I'm not sure the gals meant to be mean but your phrase "buying a puppy" might have been misleading or confusing. I'm happy for you and hope your new pet is a wonderful addition to your home and family. We use PetPlan for insurance and our vet is Hopewell Animal Hospital in Loveland. We love them. Good luck!
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  • image KarmaKP:
    I'm not sure the gals meant to be mean but your phrase "buying a puppy" might have been misleading or confusing. I'm happy for you and hope your new pet is a wonderful addition to your home and family. !

    This. I apologize if I came off as mean or one-sided, but your terminology lead me to believe otherwise about adopting. If you are adopting, that's fantastic, and obviously I misunderstood what you meant by "buying a dog".

     

    This is how it's usually undertsood in the "pet" world...

    buying = buying/obtaining/getting a dog from a breeder

    Adopting/rescuing = getting a dog from a shelter/rescue/etc.

     

    We also use Pet Plan pet insurance and have had no difficulty with them. I don't know anything about vets/pet care in the Kenwood area.

    I will suggest again, though, to look at the Pets board. You will get a lot more responses since they are very active over there, and savvy.

    I suggest picking out and feeding your dog a high quality food. The better food you feed the less likely they are to become ill, etc. (just like people, eat crap, have a crap body and system...in very generalized terms). Also know that your vet may not know all that much about the dog foods that are available, and will most often suggest the food that they carry in their office (if they do), because they typically make earnings off of it. It's best to educate yourself on the nutrition of your dog. Commercials on tv does not necessarily equal good food for your dog.

    Buying dog food, the only decent dog food you will find at Pets Mart is Blue (Buffalo), the rest is crap. You will find a larger selection of higher quality dog food at Complete Pet Mart, or locally owned places. Some people get heated on the topic of dog food, but just educate yourself on ingredients to look for/avoid, etc. and choose what fits best for you.

    Check out this website to look at foods and get reviews. I wouldn't consider feeding my dog anything lower than 3 stars, we stick with 4 or 5 stars.

    http://dogfoodanalysis.com/

    Did you get a dog yet? If so, what kind/name/where from/etc.?

  • Wow, I didnt think anyone was jumping down your throat. It sounds to me like they were giving you good suggestions on where to look for a puppy if you hadn't already found a place. Loosen up those panties, girlfriend. Geesh.
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  • Regardless of where you get your puppy - it's still a living creature already in the world and it needs a home, whether it comes from a shelter or a breeder. Thank you for giving a home to a dog.

    We use Hopewell Animal Hospital on Loveland-Madeira road. They are an excellent vet and I can not recommend them highly enough. They take their time and really get to know your pet - and you. I've referred several people to them and everyone has raved about their service.

    As for pet food - choose what is best for your pet, your budget, your home, your lifestyle. A lot of people will refer you to the dogfoodanalysis.com website, but may not realize that the people on that site ranking foods are not experts in animal nutrition, and they are propelled by a breed specific organization. I'm sure they want the best for every dog, but they aren't unbiased. Do your own homework and be willing to do some trial and error until you find what is best for your puppy. I will mention that the vets at Hopewell are both certified in animal nutrition - most vets aren't and don't take more than 1 course on animal nutrition in vet school. I have made the mistake of picking a supposedly better (& more expensive) brand before only to find it available at only 1 local place that was completely inconvenient with odd hours - which isn't helpful when you realize you need to pick up dog food on your way home after 8pm on a Thursday. Not to mention when you need it now and they've run out of it. We now feed our dogs a blend of 3 different brands varying between high & medium grade b/c we don't want them stuck on one kind of food - or having the digestion issues that come from a sudden food switch if one brand isn't available.

    Agree completely with Dave's on the crate training. It will be the key to your sanity and the puppy's sanity sometimes. Our dogs are 6 & 8 yrs old now and view their crates as their sanctuary (though we never close the doors anymore) - it's their private space to have quiet. For training - you can do the basics yourself or go to a class. My better trained dogs didn't do classes - just me working with them - but training a dog is like exercise - you only get out of it what you put into it. If you aren't willing to do the work every day - being painfully consistent and patient - then it's only you to blame if your dog has poor manners or won't potty train. Going to a class once a week is a waste of cash if you don't work through the lessons several times a day, every day in between. Remember, they look to you to be the boss, and the kind of employee you get is a reflection of the type of boss you choose to be.

    Good luck and enjoy your new pup!

  • Ah,  the debate on dog food. I don't suggest only looking at one site to get your dog food. Do your research, OP, on multiple sites, and they will just about have a consensus on what food is good vs. bad. Either way, good or bad good, it might take a few different foods to find the one that works best for your dog and his/her system.
  • image MsEmilyAnn:
    Ah,  the debate on dog food. I don't suggest only looking at one site to get your dog food. Do your research, OP, on multiple sites, and they will just about have a consensus on what food is good vs. bad. Either way, good or bad good, it might take a few different foods to find the one that works best for your dog and his/her system.

    Suggesting she do her own research - which we both did - isn't really debating.

  • I second Hopewell Animal Hospital.  My parents took the dog we had growing up there and now my brother takes his dogs there, my dad takes his and I take mine!

    I buy Blue Buffalo food for my dog.  She seems to do well on it and yes, it does cut down on doo-doo!

    Good luck! 

  • Oh good Lord...sorry for the huge siggy!  Gotta work on that!
  • image anotapotamus:

    image MsEmilyAnn:
    Ah,  the debate on dog food. I don't suggest only looking at one site to get your dog food. Do your research, OP, on multiple sites, and they will just about have a consensus on what food is good vs. bad. Either way, good or bad good, it might take a few different foods to find the one that works best for your dog and his/her system.

    Suggesting she do her own research - which we both did - isn't really debating.

    I guess I meant the debate on if the dog food ratings site is a good resource is what the debate is about. 

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