How well do you know your dog?

Before you decide to add a furry best friend to your family, you need to consider some important things before making your choice. There are many different breeds to choose from, many unsuitable in small compounds as they need a lot of exercise.

Some say that animals cannot talk; I would have to argue that they do in their own way, although we may not understand them. Because we are not listening or watching for the signs of curiosity, pain, discomfort or signs of love in their eyes that they give you.

Many years ago, dogs were always on a chain and left in back yards sleeping in their kennels during winter and summer alike.  Therefore, people never interacted with their dogs as they do now.  These days, dogs have become more a member of the family than a dog. This means we see things today that went unnoticed many years ago.

Pet Care:Training your dogCredit: TPhotosIf you have an indoor dog, spend time watching your dog. Look at your dogs’ ears and eyes are they alert? Do they follow, when you move about the room? Most pets’ will monitor your movements, especially if he/she sees you preparing food.  Ours has us trained like primed seals.  He tells us when the mail carrier is coming, when he deserves a treat for doing a good job. Yes as a working dog, we give him jobs to do to keep him active. He knows the different sounds at meal preparation time.  He gets so excited. I just give him a look and straight away, he backs off and sits next to Dad waiting patiently for his dinner. 

He is so smart, but then all Blue Heeler (Australian Cattle) dogs are intelligent.  Do not laugh, Titan understands so many words that we sometimes have to spell them, to trick him.

Take the time to listen and understand your wonderful friend, the same way he sees and understands you.  He may surprise you.

Frontline Flea and Tick control

Merial Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Control for 45 to 88-Pound Dogs, 6 Applicators
Amazon Price: $100.00 $59.99 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 11, 2014)
This will protect your dog from fleas, eggs Ticks and chewing lice for up to 30 days.

Treats dogs up to 88 lbs.

Choosing your dog

Think before choosing your dog

  • Never buy a pet because it looks cute and cuddly, or friends have one. 
  • Choose one that suits your particular family. If you all work, do not buy a pet similar to a Jack Russel that is overactive and needs attention. It will destroy things out of sheer boredom, which is not the dogs’ fault it is the person leaving it home alone.
  • An over active dog can trip, an elderly person and cause broken bones.
  • Never buy a dog as a gift without making sure that person wants that type of dog, has the time and patience, and is able to care for it properly.
  • Can you afford the added expenses? Food, vaccinations and vet care are expensive.

Obedience training your dog

If you decide to have a dog, then you need to train or have it obedience trained as a puppy.  This is important for your benefit as much as the dogs.  A well-trained pet will be a welcome addition to any family.

A dog without this training can destroy a family. It could cost you a fortune if it bites a member of the public or bring devastation if he bites one of your own children.  Obedience training will give you peace of mind as well as a happy family.

Think about the commands you teach your dog to do.  When they are young it is great to have a dog getting your mail, helping to bring and carry things into the house for you, but like us we learnt that maybe if we were training Titan again we would not have trained him to carry things for us.  Simply because, now even though he is twelve years old he still wants to carry every letter or book that we have in our hands.  This can cause a problem to his old bones.

Also avoid letting him jump up onto chairs.  Because when he ages, getting off the chairs he could fall when his legs give way and cause more damage to his bones.  We are now in the process of stopping our dog from sitting on chairs, to protect his aging legs.

Cruising Companion Nylon Dog Car Harness, Small-Medium, Black
Amazon Price: $10.99 $4.99 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 11, 2014)
This Companion Harness will keep your pet secure and safe while traveling in the car. It is made of nylon and has a quick release buckles.
Even though your dog is secured it still allows the dog to either sit or lay on the seat.

Costs of Keeping a dog

Dogs cost money to feed and keep

Gone are the days when you scraped the leftovers from the dinner plates to feed the dog.  I often wonder how the dogs survived by eating those roast leg bones that break into sharp splinters puncturing the dogs’ esophagus or bowel. In fact, many did not survive.  In those days, we never had a local vet around the corner. Instead, if the dog was sick, you had to hope for the best.

These days dog food is not cheap, I know that some people go without food to feed their dog. In addition, some humans eat the dog food themselves, as they cannot afford real food.

Avoid giving your dog, chicken bones and any brittle bones that may cause problems.

Foods to avoid

Never give your dog Chocolate or onions they can kill your dog. 

Vaccinations are not cheap.

All dogs need regular vaccinations to avoid catching deadly diseases.  Always keep vaccinations up to date.   Parvo virus is deadly for dogs without proper care.

Dental Chews

Greenies Dental Chews for Dogs, Regular, Pack of 27
Amazon Price: $32.99 $17.95 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 11, 2014)
Dental chews are an important part of keeping pets teeth free from plaque. Plaque will cause bad breath and could result in kidney and liver problems.

When ever you feed your pet always supervise their eating to prevent any adverse situations.

Dogs teeth need attention

Caring for Dogs Teeth

Just because your favorite pets teeth are out of sight does not mean you can forget them.  How many times have you bent close to your dog and jumped back in disgust?  No, do not blame him/her it is your fault for not giving him the right care and treatment.

Like us, all pets need help with cleaning their teeth.  Plaque and rotten or loose teeth can cause bad breath. This can cause them pain and overall bad health from growing bacteria traveling into the blood, causing heart, liver and kidney problems. A trip to the vet can help with this problem and you can buy dental sticks to help clean their teeth.

Unexpected Emergencies and Expenses

Pet Care: Beware of snakesCredit: TPhotos

 Dogs and cats are fascinated by snakes. Often a dog will attack them to protect their master

Beware of Slithery Snakes

Summer is the time of year to look out for those slithery snakes as they wake from their winter hibernation.  In most cases, snakes will avoid us as much as we wish to avoid them. There is something about snakes, which attract our furry friends’ attention. Their curiosity to investigate anything that moves can kill them.

There are many types of poisonous snakes around the world, some more venomous than others.

Venom – The signs of snakebite will depend on the amount of venom injected and the type and size of the snake.  Anti -venom from the Vet can be expensive; anything from $300 to several thousand dollars.

Secure your dog in the car

Do you have a harness to keep your dog safe in the car. Or that there is a fine is your dog is not secured with a harness.  The fine is not cheap either.

Who takes who for a walk

ECO Easy Walk HARNESS & LEASH SET Premier No Pull Stop Pulling Large Sedonna Red
Amazon Price: $29.99 $14.29 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 11, 2014)
If you enjoy taking your dog for a walk, except as he is growing bigger he is now pulling you along, in fact he can even pull you over and cause bone breakages. To prevent this pulling, the simple answer is to use a walking harness that stops your dog pulling you. The leash is attached on his chest so it pulls him sideways stopping him from pulling you.

Accidents do Happen

Be prepared for accidents

Even the best-trained dog, can forget his training in  his excitement.  This excitement could cause him/her to run in front of a car while chasing another dog. This adventure could be very costly. If your dog needs surgery it could cost between $500 - $8000 especially if an amputation is required.

Pet care - Medical OperationCredit: TPhotos

Our dog after surgery on lump on his jugular vein in his neck. Very lucky to be alive.

Pet Insurance

As I have suggested the cost of veterinary care is often more expensive than you realize.  For this reason, it may be less expensive to take out pet insurance.

With pet insurance, you pay a smaller amount each week or month. Some companies cover accident only, and not illness while others may cover illness but not accidental. Read the small print on any insurance policy.

If your dog has an accident and hurt, could you pay $5000 - $10,000 to save the life of your dog?

Stick throwing Dangers

How many times have you thrown a stick for your dog to chase.  We did it once too often. Titan was poisoned from a stick that the vet believed was used to stab a puffer fish.  Our son picked the stick up from the beach and threw it.  As Titan runs like a bull out of the shute the stick jammed in his throat.  

It was not until he reached home that he noticed the problem.  Titan started foaming and dribbling from the mouth. We rushed him off to the vet and he save him.  If your dog loves chasing things then why not use a frisby or a ball it will save you money and avoid any injuries to his mouth.

Conclusion:  Think about all the above points and decide if you still want to have a beautiful furry friend and wonderful companion, which will give you years of love and affection. 

I think you will still say yes even after expensive medical treatment like our dog has had. They will be the best friend you have ever had. 

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Ball launcher with tennis ball

Yws Red Dog Tennis Ball Chucker, Launcher, Thrower & Picker With Free Tennis Ball. - 64Cm Long,
Amazon Price: $5.99 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 11, 2014)
One of these ball launchers are a lot safer than throwing sticks. Dogs run fast and do not always grab the stick in the middle. Therefore if they grab the end it could jamb in its throat.

Why not try one of these, because they are so simple and easy to use and much safer

Caring for your puppy

AEROBIE PRO RING (Colors May Vary)
Amazon Price: $9.99 $7.88 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 11, 2014)
These Aerobie rings are great for the whole family or take anywhere to give your dog more exercise. They are easy to throw and safe for the dog to catch.

You can use on the beach or any large areas, although they do not float so watch where you are throwing them.