uppies are cute, energetic, entertaining, troublesome, and EXPENSIVE!
“Expensive?” you say. “We got our puppy for free from a friend.”
Whether pup was free or $5,000, pups cost hard earned cash! And, they keep on costing!
HOW MUCH IS THAT DOGGY IN THE WINDOW?
(Song to a film clip from Lady and the Tramp)
$3,724 is what Canadian pet owners paid on average for doggy care in 2021. Highest expenses included food, pet insurance, and dental care. Source Dog owners can easily expect to pay $1,500 to $9,900 per year.
TIME IN A BOTTLE
(Song by Jim Croce)
Expenses aside, another reality check is time investment. The best way to estimate how much time it will take to have a dog in your life is to decide what type of dog behaviour you want to end up with.
Certainly, the breed of dog can be a determining factor when it comes to canine personalities and behaviours. Dedicated research of each breed and their overall characteristics is essential.
Generally, canine breeds are categorized by size—small, medium, and large. Don’t forget to also look at mix breeds, designer breeds, exotic breeds, and so on.
To have a well-trained dog, you need to be committed to reinforcing the training tasks on a daily basis for the first year of your puppy’s life.Source
Whatever the size, shape, age of dog, if you want your pet to exhibit specific behaviours, it takes training. Four decades as a dog owner and having trained various breeds, I’ve noticed that there are basically two types of dog owners—those who expect the dog to simply fit into the owner’s lifestyle, and those who alter their lifestyle to accommodate the dog. Which in the pair is in control?
The fit-in-or-else owners often look to professionals to do the training, grooming, walking, and so on—dog nannies, you might say. The I’ll-do-whatever-is-necessary-’cause-you’re-my-best-friend type of dog owner often dives in without realizing the investment of time, energy, and money involved. A happy dog is a blend of the two types of owners.
THINGS GO WRONG
(Song by Chris Isaak)
With the commitment to being a dog owner well cemented, then comes the assortment of complications, with common hurdles being:
- Unexpected vet emergencies such as when pup checks out a porcupine and is left with quills piercing tongue, gums, cheeks, and throat;
- The need to have a few litres of tomato juice on hand because pup thinks skunks are cute;
- Three inches of pup’s tail lopped off because coyotes decide to drop by for a visit;
- Pup discovers that barbed wire fences can rip a gash through its fur that leads to nighttime emergency surgery, 100 stitches, and the frustrations of a neck cone.
Twice this week, there were notices of owners returning pups to a shelter because within that initial time of being a pet owner, they complained that pup was too this or too that. A favourite excuse for the return is that the children are allergic. More likely, what happens is . . .
- Parent(s) works away from home, kids are at school, and when everyone convenes later in the day, socks and other clothes from the laundry basket cover the floor, some torn to shreds, others peed or pooed on.
- The area rug in the Livingroom suddenly has a sticky, smelly brown pile decorating one corner, while a large wet stain gilds the middle of the carpet, and one corner of the rug is now fringed.
- One shoe is aerated with puppy teeth holes.
- Puppy gets his thrills by tugging the toilet paper off its holder, and chewing it to mush.
- There’s a neighbour who complains about the constant barking all day.
BAD DOG SONG
There are an estimated 500,000 dog bites a year in Canada, and three-quarters of the victims are children under the age of 10. Most of the bites are inflicted by pets that belong to family and friends.Source
A Canadian 2003 report states that more than two-thirds of infants and toddlers requiring emergency treatment was because dogs had bitten their faces, heads or necks. Children between the ages of five and nine received more emergency treatment for dog-bite injuries than for ice-hockey injuries. Dog-bite injuries in youth aged 10 through 14 accounted for more emergency department visits than trampolining.Source
Children will play with or taunt dogs, unaware of a potential attack, perhaps even taunting further because of the excitement of the dog’s reactions—the snarling, baring of teeth, jumping around, lunging, and so on. An unpredictable dog with an unpredictable child is the perfect blend for pending disaster! Considering the number of children bitten by dogs each year, the issue is clearly pet owner responsibility.
Adults also taunt dogs, perhaps testing their bravado against innate canine force. A mailman in Ontario took pride in regularly taunting dogs of all sizes and ages in our neighborhood.
I was five months pregnant when I first met that postman. My dogs began their come-quickly barking. I begged the postie to not poke my pooches through the fence with his stick. He laughed at my pleas, shoving me to the ground and out of his way. My beloved and subsequently well trained tail-waggers cleared the fence and ran in a circle, maintaining a three meter (ten feet) distance from the reprobate letter carrier, barking for all to hear. The postman’s manic cackle grew louder as he continued jabbing at the dogs with a stick or trying to kick them. Aware of neighbours witnessing the scene, he eventually stopped his cruelty and carried on with his government duty of delivering the mail, whistling proudly as he left!
I LOVE MY DOG
(Song by Cat Stevens)
Concerned about transporting his precious new puppy by plane, a chap asked a professional breeder who said it’s done safely all the time. He also asked the director of the local SPCA who told him the pup would be left traumatized. What to do? Will the pup be needing a K9 shrink if its owner decides to utilize the plane’s pet cargo area?
The emotions we feel and tie to our canine companions are deep and electrifying. The idea that dogs live in a doghouse in the backyard and is not sleeping with us, is an abomination to some pet owners. We’ve personified our canine buddies to the point that seeing-eye dogs are now not the only dogs allowed in grocery stores.
Angel in fur, furry soul mate, and fur-baby are just three of the many terms used to describe owners’ feelings for their beloved companions, as flashed about on social media and around the kitchen table. Pet owners refer to themselves as their fur-babies’ mama, papa, grandpa, grandma, auntie, uncle, etc. Gone are the days of referring to our canine buddies as the family pet, or the mutt, or the dog.
The pet industry in Canada is worth around US $7 billion when food, supplies, and services are factored in. The Canadian pet food market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.3% by 2025.Source
Personifying dogs might be filling a maternal/paternal/familial need for some pet owners, but it is also a trend that makes millions of dollars for dog food and equipment providers!
We are encouraged to feed our furry friends foods like sweet potatoes and blueberries, raw, grain-free, gluten free, hypoallergenic diets. There are speciality supplements and wonderfully smelling shampoos and all natural gels and edible toys and peanut butter pill pockets for when they require medicine, and toys that squeak or comfort, and custom made pet houses, and pet psychologists for when pup is stressed, and music made especially for dogs, and boots and coats and hats and even fur dyes for decorating fur-babies. In 2020, 7.7 million dogs in Canada were recipients of products made just for them.
And that chunk of change not only applies to what we spend on our pups. It doesn’t begin to cover the industry that makes ornaments and t-shirts and bedding and decorative puppy baggies and mugs and plaques with special sayings and… for pet owners.
I watch with interest at how human desire is now transferred to an importunate advertiser hyping doggie delights.
OH WHERE, OH WHERE HAS MY LITTLE DOG GONE?
(Air Bud TV)
To wrap this up. . . if you’re concerned about environmental footprint or about maintaining a comfortable standard of living or about healthy, safe families and communities, then also be concerned about how being a dog owner impacts not only your life, but the lives of others as well. Think hard and long and do the research before acquiring that adorable puppy or rescue dog!
When all is said and done, opting for a GOLDEN PUP or a PLUSH CUDDLE CLONE might just be the most satisfying investment one can make!
GOLDEN PUP— Lifelike & Realistic, an Ageless Innovation Joy for All Companion Pets
- PUPPY-LIKE MOVEMENTS & SOUNDS: pup can open and close its eyes and mouth, move its head to look at you, wag its tail… features a heartbeat that you can feel… synthetic coat mimics that of real puppies.
- STATE OF THE ART TECHNOLOGY—BARKBACK technology: puppy responds to your voice by turning its head and barking. Built in sensors allow pup to respond to touch such as petting…
- AWARD WINNING: Today’s Caregiver Award 2016 and 2017, Dementia SMART Award from the Dementia Society of America… appeared in The New York Times, People magazine and The Baltimore Sun, CBS, The Doctors, and heard on BBC radio.
PLUSH CUDDLE CLONE—
- Handmade to look just like your pet!
- 100,000+ satisfied Cuddle Clone owners
- 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back.
- We make ALL animals— dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, etc.
Tethered to the future with more info. . .
- VIP Puppies Designer Dog Breeds
- HEPPER Designer Dog Breeds
- Deadly Consequences No-Kill Policies
- Dog Bites USA
- Dog Bites Canada
- Dog Bite Related Fatalities in Canada (January 1983 to May 2017)
- Euthanizing Aggressive Dogs: Sometimes It’s the Best Choice
- Family Adopts a New Dog; When Vet Sees It, He Calls the Cops
- I Hate Dogs and I Am Not a Horrible Human Being
- Pet Cremation Conspiracy Theory
- Puppy Behaviour and Training Basics
- Pet Industry Canada Statistics
- Top 30 Most Dangerous Dogs
2 thoughts on “SO, YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT GETTING A PUPPY, HUH?”
Ruff! Ruff! This is nothing to bark at. My conclusion is: Don’t get a dog! Seriously, though, I’m a cat lover. Most of the problems described above do not apply to cats. They’re so lovable, pettable, friendly, entertaining, cute, and cuddly. I am “sound sensitive,” so I hate the harsh barking sound that many dogs make. On the other hand, I love to hear a cat’s purrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. It’s soothing and relaxing, almost therapeutic. One final thought: Do dogs go to heaven? Answer: Only if they’re St. Bernards!
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Wonderful! Made our morning! 🐾
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