Is the humane society the only place to adopt a pet?

adopt a pet human societyTAKE ME HOME PLEASE

 

Not everyone thinks about the various places you can adopt a pet including the most obvious, the humane society.

Having a family pet is something that is common in many homes around the world.

Having a family pet can add some stress to our budgets as well as having enough time to care for them.

Making smart decisions when purchasing a pet can go a long way in saving you some of your hard earned money.

A Man’s Best Friend, Not Always a Budget’s Best Friend

While many people consider their pet to be a part of the family many do not think about how much money owning a pet may cost them in the long run.

Mr. CBB shared in a previous post the many costs associated with owning a pet.

If you have even the slightest concern that you may not be able to afford all the costs associated with owning a pet or the time required to care for your pet, don’t own one.

You may want to strongly consider not having a pet until you can make sure all of their needs will be met.

Where you purchase your pet, Humane Society, online or even a pet store can certainly have an effect on how much money you spend. This may also help avoid some unnecessary trips to the vet.

While I mainly refer to dogs and cats in this post, many of these points are also valid for purchasing any pet whether it’s a bird, iguana or a guinea pig.

 

Buying pets from pet stores

 

Mommy, daddy can we have a pet please? Please!

How many times have you walked past a pet store with your kids to hear one of them say this?

All of those cute, adorable puppies staring at us through the window as we walk through the mall are put in those windows for that reason. The shop owner is hoping the cuteness factor will draw people in to buy one of those cute puppies or kittens.

Remember that when purchasing a pet it’s for life just not for the day, week or the season.

Unfortunately many of these animals are purchased from puppy mills and sources that do not have any regulations.

You may also find that a lack any kind of inspection of the environment in which these animals are raised is also not regulated.

It can be very hard to back-track to find where your pet came from originally to really have a good idea of what kind of living conditions your new dog or cat was exposed to.

There is what can be compared to a black market for pets, people and ‘businesses’ out there looking to make a buck any way whether it is humane or not.

Buying your new dog regardless of how cute it is from a pet store creates a demand for these animals that may have health problems.

You may unaware of these problems when you leave the pet store because you really don’t know where and how they were brought into this world.

 

Buying pets online

 

In this day and age there are many people posting ads on sites like Kijiji and Craigslist with their main focus being to make a few extra bucks.

Unfortunately honesty often gets overlooked by some people when posting these for sale ads. I am not saying there is a lack of honest people in the online world but you need to be weary and ask the seller lots of questions.

How do you know what they are telling you is true?

I have heard of a few cases over the years where the new owners were given documentation stating the animal has had its first shots when in fact they haven’t. Then the pet owner is surprised at how quickly they find themselves with a sick animal requiring a trip to the vet.

You may end up with a large vet bill to pay to treat a condition that may have been avoided if you were given the initial correct information that your pet did not in fact receive their shots.

If a seller offers to bring the animal to you rather than allowing you to see the environment in which it is coming from, be weary. I wouldn’t go ahead with the purchase because you just never know.

 

Buying pets from breeders

 

Buying from a breeder can be as misleading as buying a pet online.

Even though many breeders advertise that their animals have had all their shots unfortunately there are no regulations for even licensed breeders.

Having no regulations makes breeding animals an easy money making opportunity for some and often under the table money.

Often this is accompanied with inhumane living conditions and abuse to occur while they are advertising to sell you a new puppy to have as your family pet.

Again, if the breeder offers to bring the animal to you, say no!

 

Why buy when you can adopt a pet?

 

The over-breeding, unregulated breeding and unprepared pet owners have contributed to the over population of unwanted or uncared for animals. These animals are ending up at our local humane society or animal shelters.

While many of these animals may have been originally obtained through the means mentioned previously in this post you can be sure you are getting a lot more honest information about your pet.

Keep in mind you are also not contributing to the demand for unethical, inhumane breeding of animals.

Adopting an animal from the humane society is also significantly cheaper than going to a pet store or buying online.

The following list below is taken from my local humane society. While your local prices may be slightly different, respectively they will be comparable.

 

Humane Society pet adoption costs

 

Below are some  actual costs of adopting a cat or dog from the humane society in my Ontario city.

 

Cats & Kittens $180.00
Dogs & Puppies $300.00
Vet Services Included in Adoption Fees Cat Dog
Veterinary Health Exam $75 $75
Spay/Neuter $250 $300
First Vaccines $85 $85
Deworming $20 $20
Microchipped $55 $55
45 Days Free Pet Insurance $45 $45
Total Value of Vet Services Included in Adoption Fees $530  $580
Savings By Adopting at the Humane Society $350 $280

 

If you are looking for a particular breed consider calling around to multiple humane societies or animal shelters. There is a good chance you may find what you are looking for.

The costs of caring for these animals at the Humane Society is funded by donations. Whether its donations of pet food or blankets to make beds for them to sleep on all donations are appreciated.

If you have recently lost a pet or have extra blankets, toys or food around consider making a donation to your local humane society.

 

Farley Foundation

 

Do you know about the Farley Foundation?

I didn’t until I did some research to write this.

While life doesn’t always go as planned, our pets get sick or injured at times and require veterinary care. These costs can add up quickly and if you are already struggling to make ends meet where do you get some help to take care of your family pet?

There are some eligibility requirements that need to be met but if you are an Ontario resident and are a recipient of Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Payments, or a senior citizen.

You may qualify for up to $1000 per year of funding towards veterinary bills if you fall into one of those categories.

The Veterinary clinic does the application for you as long as they are a member of the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, which is not a mandatory requirement in Ontario.

If your pets requires care it may be worth your while to look into this program if you think you may eligible for funding.

Many dogs, cats and other animals may never have the chance to make it into a loving home. Making smart choices when you purchase your new pet can avoid supporting the overpopulation of sick, abused and uncared for animals in our humane societies and animal shelters.

These animals will most often sadly be euthanized if no one adopts them as well as saving you some unnecessary expenses.

In the famous words of Bob Barker, “Help control the pet population and remember to get your dog spayed or neutered”.

Do you have any experiences or advice to share when buying a family pet?

 

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A dog is for life, not just for Christmas

dog-havaneseYOUR DOG WILL LOVE YOU UNTIL THE END

 

As with many pet owners and this time of year I can be sure that they’ll be at least one present under the tree for your four-legged friend.

The family dog, the pooch, the mutt or even the Heinz 57, including our particularly daft dog will be there waiting for the special treat that they already sniffed out a couple of weeks ago.

Our little friend has spent many a Christmas diving in the wrapping paper and running off with presents that aren’t even his, but this year he’s getting particularly old.

 

Boarding a dog

 

After many happy years running after bunnies and generally terrorising the country side he’s really beginning to show his age. He’s going away for a couple of days so the wife and I can take a little trip somewhere that she doesn’t yet know about.

Now, normally I would be booking him in to a kennel, but he despises kennels, worries far too much that we’ll never come back and then proceeds to not eat.

Once, the situation had gotten so bad he had to be picked up early by my parents when him and I still lived in the UK. Once back at my parents it took 2 months of love and attention and not to mention good hearty dinners to get the little fella back to his normal self.

This time he’ll be spending a couple of nights at the local Vets……yes, I said the Vets. Now unlike a normal dog who will shy away from the thought of even going to the Vet, he seems to have this attachment to them.

Since going in for his surgery a few months ago, going back for a check up and sometimes dropping in for a free biscuit he’s more than happy to wander in and make his presence known with the girls who work there.

What’s more, they love him to bits even if he is a little smelly round the edges. What’s even more surprising is he’s on first name terms with a host of local residents yet I have no idea who they are and they don’t even know my name.

It’s not cheap to board him at the Vets but for his well-being and my piece of mind it’s worth every cent of the $40 a night for it. Before you scream, what? $40?, this is the first time he’s stayed out of family or friend supervision for almost 5 years. Now I had done some research into the prices of kennels and they ranged from $20 a night for 1 dog in one run and that includes being housed in a heated kennel, walked every day and so on, although dog washes are extra. The upper end was around the $30 mark for 1 dog in 1 run per night.

A traditional kennel would have been cheaper and he’s been in them before and caught kennel cough, lost weight or just come back generally depressed. I would have booked a kennel but at his age it’s not going to happen.

Not only would I ask a host of questions to the potential kennel, but there are a host of idiosyncrasies particular with your pet. They like to know what kind of oddities your pet has so they can accommodate them. For us, our dog has to have biscuits before bedtime other wise there is hell to pay. He won’t poop in the garden so you have to take him out on a walk.

Plus you can ask what ever other questions you can think so that your dog will be well looked after. A site visit is always essential, clean kennels and happy friendly staff are on the top of the list. I found one kennel in the UK that I used frequently, on a farm but it was fantastic.

He was always happy, healthy and clean on pick up day but he was always happy to be dropped off for the week, or longer. I can distinctly remember they washed and trimmed him because he had gotten dirty during play time in the field. I didn’t get charged for that, it’s all part of the service.

He never refused to go there and knew the staff well. The staff loved him so much they would spend extra time with him playing ball when he was feeling down. That’s the sign of great service and someone who loves what they do for a living.

 

Responsible pet owner

 

As a dog owner, it’s my responsibility to make sure he is well looked after all the time. It makes me cringe to see so many unwanted dogs after Christmas end up in animal hospitals or worse, end up having to be euthanized.

If your wanting to get a family dog then do your research as it’s not all bundles of joy. Yes, the puppy stage is cute but they soon grow up to be a much bigger poop machine that needs feeding, shots and vaccines, a license and walks.

I knew what I was getting myself in for when I bought my dog all those years ago. But circumstances change and he and us have adapted but it would have been easier without having to consider him. The thing is, he’s been part of the family for a long time.

 

Unconditional love

 

The benefits that he brings to the household are that he’s always there to meet and greet you with an enthusiastic wag in his tail, no matter how bad your day has been.

He’s always eager to get going and drag us around the neighbourhood for a walk. He never misses the opportunity to come and help with the snow shovelling by throwing himself in the snow piles.

 

Dogs are pricey

 

The health benefits he bring to getting us up and out are equally taken away by the costs he brings along with him. I’ll be the first to admit though, he’s probably been the cheapest dog alive. The only surgery he’s ever had was a few months ago and in the later years of his life.

That said, there are dogs on our street that are constantly in and out of the vets leaving the owners with huge costs, in the thousands of dollars. The costs of owning a pet are more than just dog food.

At least one dog is on a strict special diet which is expensive and to add to the problems the poor little guy has, he’s also allergic to a bunch of different things and suffers from skin rashes.

Some of the more handbag looking dogs get constant dog washes to keep them respectably looking like they’ve just stepped out of a doggy salon. The thing is you have to remember that a dog can last anywhere up to 18 years.

It makes me thankful that I’ve got a real CBB pet, cheap, no-nonsense dog.

What do you do for your four-legged family member?

 

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Pet Budget: Homemade peanut butter dog treats

Homemade-peanut-butter-dog-treats-2

Treats Your Dog Will Love

I’ve never given much thought to our pet budget and making homemade dog bones until I came across a peanut butter dog treats recipe that made me question the cost of the treats we purchase for our dog and what’s in them.

Pets cost money

We currently put away $113 a month into our pet budget category to cover costs such as vet bills, food and treats, pet licence, snow boots, leash, poop bags etc. Before you decided to own a pet you should do your research into all the potential costs associated with pet ownership.

The Peanut butter dog treats is a recipe that I found while reading the Facebook page of Kitchen Dreaming. They really are as easy to make as my 5 ingredient peanut butter cookies for humans, except for the chocolate of course. I thought it was a brilliant idea but I wasn’t sure if our dog would be into the whole peanut butter biscuit idea. I was wrong, he loves them, he more than loves them.

After he had the first peanut butter treat he literally sat and watched them baking in the oven. He made sure to come and keep reminding me that his peanut butter treats were baking and not to forget about them. I almost felt as if he was trying to say, “I don’t like burnt biscuits” so I had to bring my net-book into the kitchen to do my work otherwise I’d get nothing done with all the pacing back and forth he was doing.

He was literally driving me around the bend while they were in the oven. It was like he was championing the new homemade dog biscuit and was head of the company that produces them. Yes, like he was my boss.

Peanut-Butter-Dog-Treat-3

The first batch I made I forgot that I had a cookie cutter so like the nerdy dog owner that I am I cut out dog bone shapes with a knife. I made enough for the photo and then I gave up and used my biscuit cutter and then cut that in half to make half moons. Honestly you can just cut them up with a knife your dog won’t care what blinkin’ shape they are.

There’s nothing funky in these homemade dog biscuits, its everyday pantry items that the recipe calls for. You will find vegetable oil, cornmeal, water, whole-wheat flour, eggs and a bit of peanut butter in these treats. There’s only 1/4 cup of peanut butter, so not that much.

I went on to make a second batch of these peanut butter dog treats the following week. This time I used a fish cookie cutter and didn’t cook them as long as the first batch. The recipe suggests leaving them in the oven to get harder but our dog didn’t fancy the hard treat. Probably too much work since his motto is chew once then swallow.

If you’ve followed my blog you know our dog has been ill and we have had some large vet bills over the course of the past two months. Since he’s just had his teeth cleaned and three teeth pulled out soft and chewy is what he prefers. I pulled the cookies out of the oven a bit early and let them sit for a few minutes. They did not harden but are nice and soft and he just adores them.

Dog-treats-and-Dog-Food

Store-bought vs. homemade dog treats

I don’t think we will waste our money on store-bought dog treats anymore especially since these are such a budget friendly alternative. The only problem is he loves and I mean he really loves his sausage rolls or what’s more commonly referred to as MarroBone treats from Pedigree.

MarroBone treats are made with real bone marrow and has a delicious meaty centre, no I did not try them either, I just read the bag. However if you ask my mum she will tell you that I fancied dog treats when I was a kid. Don’t ask me why but I taste my fair share. I admit it, my wife asked me to try the peanut butter dog treat just to see what it tasted like. She only did it because I told her I used to eat dog biscuits when I was young and didn’t believe me. Now she does.  It tastes like a peanut butter dog biscuit so let that be your human review and move on.

If you put a peanut butter biscuit and a Pedigree MarroBone on the ground the MarroBone always wins but they are pretty costly sometimes upwards of $3.99-$4.99 a bag. We have picked them up when they go on sale for $3.99 but that’s still a bit pricey for our pet budget for dog treats.

Each MarroBone has vitamins A and E plus vitamin D and Calcium to support healthy teeth and bones. The bag suggests that for a small dog up to 3 treats per day, medium dog up to 5 treats per day and a large dog up to 8 treats per day. Wow, I’ve never read the bag before and our dog has not had anywhere near 8 per day but that means we’d finish this bag off well before the month is up.

The bag doesn’t tell me how many are inside so I had to manually count them for a total of 68 treats at 8 per day that would last him just over eight days.  Over the course of a year 365 days x 8 treats per day / 68 treats in a bag = 42.94 bags of MarroBone per year x $5.19 ($4.59 * 1.13 = cost per bag with tax) = $222.72 for dog treats for the year! 

The peanut butter dog treats cost me approximately $2.50 to make approximately 70 treats plus my time and electricity (I baked on cheap rate) although I do know what every ingredient is in the recipe. What I don’t know is how many he should be having each day comparable to MarroBone. The recipe contains a mixture of eggs, whole wheat flour, oats, water, cornmeal and peanut butter. The peanut butter contains a healthy fat, protein and fibre. See recipe link above for the exact measurements and directions.

I think we may continue to purchase his favourite Pedigree MarroBone treats when they are on sale but on a limited basis. We will eliminate the generic brand of small dog bones we also typically purchase for around $3.99 a bag. That way he can still have his MarroBone fix just complimented with homemade peanut butter dog treats instead.

Sweet Potato dog treats

Since the wife has been on a low gi diet she’s been roasting up sweet potatoes or yams. Now I don’t mind them but they aren’t my favourite potato, let’s just say I prefer a traditional spud. Well our dog, loves roasted sweet potatoes. Who would have thought Mr.Picky would have a thing for an orange spud. What I’m thinking of doing is manipulating this peanut butter dog biscuit recipe and make homemade sweet potato dog treats.

I’ll simply replace the peanut butter with the sweet potato that I roast up or you can boil it and mash it.  Follow the same recipe for and there you have it, sweet potato treats for dogs homemade in your own kitchen. Now, I haven’t tried it yet but I’m sure it would work out just fine. If in doubt give it a taste. It’s like hiding sweet potatoes in fudgy brownies just so those who hate vegetables get a serving,  lots of people do that.

Homemade dog food

My friend who blogs at Nickel by Nickel took it one step further this week and shared a recipe about how to make homemade dog food. I think it’s brilliant that people are trying homemade dog food recipes for their pets as long as the pets are getting all their nutrients. That was one of the concerns from our veterinarian when we told her last week that our dog fancies Wheatabix and whole wheat toast for breakfast. Yes you read that right. Oh come on, how many of you pet owners don’t give your pet something special for a treat?

No he doesn’t get it slathered with butter and marmalade, although if he had it his way I’m betting on Nutella and peanut butter since he does love them both. When he was younger he managed to nick half of a Nutella sandwich from a plate when no one was looking and gobbled it all up. Lucky for him, he didn’t get ill since chocolate is not good at all for pets.

Dog spa

Harry's-Dog-Grooming-Van-in-Dumb-and-Dumber

Harry’s Dog Grooming Van in Dumb and Dumber
Image Source: Google Images

So no fancy in-ground dog pool and spa pet wash that visits the home for the posh spa treatment each week. (It’s true, our neighbour has a mobile dog wash come once a week to pamper their poodle. The funniest convenience service you will ever see. It’s like watching a cartoon live on your own street because the mobile makes such loud noises your mind starts to wonder just really what is going on inside there. No, it’s not the “Mutt Cutts” van as seen in the movie Dumb and Dumber either.

Our boy just gets a standard dog wash, dry and brush with the occasional body massage from our mini hand massager we have just for him. That’s as spoiled as he gets. Our dog is getting older and he wants different foods now. He doesn’t have much time to live so for the last couple of years we will make his stay on this earth a good one. It makes us happy when he’s happy so it’s worth it for us as pet owners.

It doesn’t stop there though because now he won’t eat his dog food unless it’s soft and has some human food mixed in. We’ve been adding water to his food along with a bit of gravy and sometimes grated cheese, minced beef, boiled chicken, rice or pasta sauce. He gobbles it all up in a flash.

Some may think he’s spoiled but it’s his teeth that are giving him the problems as well he gets bored with eating the same thing day in and day out. I have to ask myself if I could handle eating the same food all day every day. Likely not so making sure we give him the best we can including all the valuable nutrients he needs is important.

Pet allergies

Our friend has a dog that is allergic to almost everything and she also has to make his dog food. Best of it is she makes his dog food from lamb. I don’t even buy lamb, my grocery budget would be shot. Have you seen the prices in Ontario for lamb? Oh yes, she spares nothing when it comes to her pet but he’s just that allergic to life he can only eat certain foods let alone hang out in the grass which gives him a rash. Clearly she’s a good pet owner who takes care of her pet.

Our pet is like family and sometimes we have to go above and beyond to accommodate them even if that means a fancy lamb dinner. Sure we could buy some expensive soft dog food but our dogs back-end doesn’t seem to approve, we’ve tried it, trust me. We’ve even tried the lower end brands of soft canned food and it just doesn’t agree.

Dog pet stores

We’ve been to the pet stores and bought organic dog food and gone through the range from the most expensive to the least expensive at the grocery store. We’ve even bought a fancy bag at the veterinarian which he liked for a short while then turned his nose up at once he got sick of it.

We mix it up now but have to add the extra bits like a topping so he’ll tuck in. We’re currently feeding him a British dog food called Harrington’s Lamb and Rice which we found on offer at Wal-Mart for a reasonable price otherwise it was pretty pricey.

So if you are looking to make homemade dog bones it’s a bit of work to bake up but it’s worth the 30 minute effort for your dog and your pet budget.  Making homemade dog treats  is fine and adding in nutrient rich meals we make in our kitchen to mix in his dry food bowl is what works for us and our dog.

We talked it over with our veterinarian who didn’t seem to have any problems with adding cheese, gravy or proteins as long as he got all the nutrients he needed. He does, and then some. That and a good dose of exercise to keep him in top-notch shape. If you are looking for some peanut butter dog treat recipes free on the internet I’d suggest trying the recipe at Kitchen Dreaming.

Now I just have to find a hiding spot for these homemade peanut butter dog treats because if he can smell them or see them you can bet he will guard them with his life. I don’t blame him, I feel the same way about my beer. A male protects his snacks.

Do you make homemade pet treats or pet food?

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The Loss Of A Dog, Euthanasia Costs and Dealing With Grief

sick animals

Unconditional love. The loss of a dog, euthanasia and dealing with grief may well be part of owning a family pet. Thoughts of what to do when a dog passes away is not a subject that many pet owners tend to think about. As humans we do the same because we don’t tend to think of our own deaths and preparation of a will unit later in life if ever for some people.

I’m not sure if we will ever own another pet when our beloved dog passes but we do know he’s had a great life and we love him very much. I would rather see our dog pass of old age in his sleep rather than pain and suffering. I still hold that close to my heart. When a pet dies, a part of the owner dies with the pet because there is a spot in our hearts that becomes the bonding of pet owner and pet.

Writing this post is bringing a tear to my eye as good memories flashback in my head. I don’t care who you are you the last thing you want to think about as a pet owner is the death of a dog. All the times you might have been upset with you pet, or wished you could go out with your friends but you couldn’t because you didn’t want to leave your pet alone seem trivial.

It’s a beautiful time when you make the decision to become a pet owner. Owning a pet is not cheap and I urge people before they hand over cash to purchase a pet or get one for free to please consider the cost implications to your budget.

My parents have had to go through losing a dog not once but twice. The dogs were like pals and wherever one dog went the other one followed. When one dog passed away the other dog became sad and lonely and in some strange way we think that pets know when their pal passes away.

When we walk our dog we speak to many pet owners and one guy I spoke to said his friend paid $12,000 because they had an ill pet. Some pet owners will stop at nothing to give their pets the full care they need.

Veterinarian Visit

Loving a dog is easy to do especially when you have a pet who loves you back. Your pet relies on the gift of love, health, shelter, warmth and food. I’m sure many other things but these are what came to mind. We’ve had our dog now for many years and just this past week we had to make a decision to take him to the veterinarian after we noticed some bleeding in the anal area.

The vet found a lump inside his butt and wants to send bits of it off for testing as well as check out many other lumps he has on his body. She told us that if it is indeed cancer he may only have 5-6 months left to live. I don’t think I felt my heart sink so fast in my life and I wanted to cry like a baby but I held it inside.

Your pet stares at you like nothing in the world is wrong yet you smile back knowing almost everything could be. They could do surgery but the possibility of him not knowing that he is going number 2 is potentially a downfall for us and steroids may be our own option.

After he came out from surgery he was well drugged up but very relaxed and wouldn’t leave our side. I had to carry him to the vehicle being very careful not to upset him. The veterinary assistant told us that the pain medications should last up to 24 hours and if he is crying to come back and get some other pain medications for the dog.

The cost of a weeks worth of medication was $45 and comparable to a Tylenol but for pets. We opted to wait to see how things were before spending that over the top amount for pain medications. Thank goodness we did, he was a champ through it all, I wish I had his strength.

Everything at the veterinarians  cost money so if you are not prepared to save money in your budget every month then don’t own a pet. I’m not talking just food , but tags, vet bills, medications. We now save $115.83 per month  in our budget as a projected expense and now we know why.

This veterinarian visit cost us just under $600 but something that we didn’t have to put on credit because we had the money saved up. We could have boarded him there for a few days for another alarming amount but we opted to take him home.

Needless to say he slept most of the day, didn’t really eat and was just very relaxed. We took this time to spend with him and comfort him so he knew we were close. There’s a certain closeness you feel when your pet is ill and you want to make sure you do everything you can to ease the pain.

The next morning was a different story, to be honest you wouldn’t have known he had surgery and was stitched up. This s the champ I speak of. He was back to his normal self, panting, tail wagging and wanting food and lots of it. It was like he lost a week from his life being out for the entire day before.

We were thrilled to see the vigour back in his body and two days in now and he is as active as can be. No more bleeding and he seems fine. We still have to face the results of the tests next week no matter what.

We are hoping it’s just an inflammation that can be treated. We even received a phone call from the veterinarian checking up on our dog, which put our minds at ease knowing how much she cared.

Euthanasia

While at the veterinarians clinic we decided it was probably a good time to ask about the euthanization of pets. I wanted to know what the procedure entailed (how to euthanize a dog) and the costs.

We also asked the veterinarian technician, what if my dog passes away at home and what to do. She was happy to help us and says more pet owners need to take an active involvement in their pets life from the time they bring a pet home right until planning for dog loss.

In a way it was a bit odd asking about death as it’s just not something we are comfortable with. Were we being cruel talking about it with our pet in the same room? Were we jinxing his recovery? All these questions popped into our minds but we knew that planning was the right thing to do. We wanted to know so we can make informed decisions beforehand.

What is Euthanasia?

The definition of euthanized is the act of humanely putting an animal to death or allowing it to die as by withholding extreme medical measures.

She told us that in the event that we had to euthanize your dog (putting your dog down) because he was suffering we had a couple of options. I was getting a chill down my back because I knew that if we are faced with this decision at some point it will be one of the hardest decisions we will ever have to face in our lives thus far

Euthanasia in Greek means “A Good Death”.

Keep in mind costs to euthanize a dog may vary depending on what your veterinarian charges, but ours said it is a standard price for most. I’m not aware of any free euthanization clinics or vets but you could always ask your veterinarian.

1- We could pay around $100 for a sedative for the pet which would give us time to spend with our pet, say our good-byes and whatever else we need to do to make the process a bit lighter on the heart. I don’t think anything could take the instant pain away of watching your pet close it’s eyes for the very last time.

2- We give your pet a lethal injection for around $90 and your pet will close his/her eyes as if going to sleep, stop breathing, go into cardiac arrest and be gone in a few seconds.

There’s no colourful way to put this, it’s the way it’s done and the way she explained it to me. You need to decide when the right time to let your dog go is especially if they are suffering silently.

In my head I was visualizing it all going down and my heart ached. I don’t know if and how I can handle this. Not everyone wants to stick around and watch she says as it’s just too painful.

Coping With The Loss Of A Dog

Grieving the loss of a pet is going to be something I will experience one day and I don’t think there is anything that can prepare me for that moment except for knowing he’s in a better place. Every pet deserves the respect, love and dignity like any other pet or human when your dog dies.

If you know someone whose dog passed away and wonder, what do I say, well the answer is simple. I would simply say, sorry for your loss and you can address the pet’s name and maybe some good times you can reminisce about when you were around the pet. I know that if and when our dog passes away that we want to think only good memories of our true friend and our times together.

It won’t be easy coping if we are faced with the loss of our dog so we will have to remove the pet bed, bowls, leash all the memories that surround us and put them to rest as well. We have lots of photos, plenty of good memories in our minds, in our hearts and surrounding us.

Pet After-care

Our veterinarian did mention there are places that you can hold communal cremation if you would like to go that route. I did a bit of research after she gave me some information. You can have your pet cremated either with other pets and have his/her remains returned to you or have your pet cremated alone and the ashes returned.

I also know some pet owners who simply have a burial ceremony on their property and bury the pet after goodbyes, especially if a pet passes away in their sleep. It’s not uncommon to see pet owners set up a dog grave so the memory of their pet lives on.

Through online research I found an actual pet cemetery called Gateway Lakeview between Ottawa and Kingston on the shores of Graham Lake with a location in Toronto, Ontario as well. It was opened in 1987 after a family decided to give their pets a place to rest and today 22 years later they have revolutionized the aftercare industry for pets in Canada. They adhere to the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories IAPCC.

Gateway provides services including communal and individual cremations, viewing and visitation facilities, and a variety of memorial products.

I don’t know the actual cost of the cremation but they do offer pricing on some of the products they do sell. You can choose from various granite textured urns  priced at around $35 or a hand crafted cedar urn priced from $55-$85 for larger dogs.

There are also many other memories of your pet they offer such as precious paws which is a clay paw print for reasonable prices. Alternatively you can search Amazon to see what products they offer for pet loss. Gateway also have a free pet memorial online called the Gateway On-line Memorial Park where you can share memories of your pet.

We started The Bridge On-line Memorial Park as a way for you and your family to memorialize your pet, any time you want, any where you want. Visit your own pet or someone else’s. Take a stroll through the Park and visit some close friends who’ve crossed over.

Check your area listings to see if you have a similar pet after-care facility near you offering the services you need after the loss of a dog. Another great source of information on pet loss is at Pet Loss Matters which is operated by Bunny Hankers out of the UK a pet owner who has spent the last few years researching everything she needed about pet loss.

Pet Loss Poem

The more I researched about pet loss I was finding this poem all over the internet so I believe a blog post about the loss of a dog should always have this lovely poem for those that visit and read what you are sharing and grieving a dog. The author of this poem is unknown but whoever wrote had a deep love and knew that those mourning a pet it would bring a smile and hope back to their life.

Double Rainbow

The Rainbow Bridge

There is a bridge connecting heaven and earth.
It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of it’s many colours.
 
Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land of
meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass. 
 
When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. 
There is always food and water and warm spring weather.
The old and frail animals are young again. 
Those who are maimed are made whole again. 
they play all day with each other. 
There is only one thing missing. They are not with their special
person who loved them on Earth. 
So, each day they run and play until the day comes when one
suddenly looks up ! The nose twitches! The ears are up! 
The eyes are staring! And this one suddenly runs from the group!
 
You have been seen, and when you and your special friend meet, 
you will take him or her in your arms and embrace. 
Our face is kissed again and again and again, and you look
once more into the eyes of your trusting pet. 
 
The you cross the Rainbow Bridge together.
never again to be separated.

Author Unknown

The loss of a dog and dealing with the grief that follows will be tough for any pet owner. Making a decision to put down your dog through euthanasia is something that may well break your heart. As pet owners we need to be prepared to show our dog that we love him very much and will do our very best to take care of him until the end. We love you buddy!

Have you lost a pet and want to share your story or memories, please share them below. Were your prepared to pay for the costs involved with your animals illness if any? Do you have any pet keepsakes?

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Photo Credit: Double Rainbow Evgeni Dinev and ill pets Debbie Spoon/freedigitalphotos. net

Costs Of Owning A Pet…Can You Really Afford One?

Owning a pet can cost money and I’m not talking chump change neither. There are significant start-up and ongoing costs that should be factored in to your decision to be a pet owner. So often I see people who get googly-eyed over a small kitten or a small fluffy dog and jump right in and adopt one or take one on for free. Impulse purchases are the worst and are often the expenses that will cost you most out-of-pocket. Dogs depending on size can live 8-14 years and the costs of owning a dog can mount up according to Dr. John Williams at petplace.com.

Dr. Williams goes on to say

Small to Med dogs

  • Estimated lifespan 14 years
  • Start Up costs $740-$1325 (first year)
  • Annual Costs $500-$875
  • Lifetime Costs $7240- $12,700

Large Dogs

  • Estimated lifespan 8 years
  • Start Up Costs  $1020-$1825 (first year)
  • Annual Costs $690-$875
  • Lifetime Cost $5850-$7950

There are reasons people offer their pets for free, mainly costs they never considered but other reasons such as allergies, not getting on with other pets or family members, scratching, illness (which they may not even tell you about) and the list goes on.

A great example and I’m always going back to our mate (good thing she doesn’t read this blog) who is struggling to pay her bills and keep a roof over her head due to a large debt load. We bumped into her last week and as we were catching up about what’s been happening in our lives she goes on to say she took on a baby dog. Don’t ask me what breed the dog is as I was more in awe about why on earth she would commit to a owning a dog. Her fiancée who has kids wanted this dog to love and to take care of she tells us. They live in an already busy apartment with no space that is practically falling down around them. They can’t save money, they are in debt, hardly able to buy groceries and they bought a dog. Are you shaking your head yet? If not, now’s a good time.

I’m not saying that people who are in debt aren’t able to care for a pet as that is not the case. The problem is when your budget is already stretched to cover the roof over your head and food on the table it’s not likely you can handle ongoing costs of the pet which can add up especially if your pet gets ill. As a dog owner since his birth our pet gets all the love and attention he needs and is well taken care of with a staggering 3 walks per day. He’s a lucky boy! He is part of our family and we know we will be devasted when he is no longer with us. They sort of grow on you and you treat them as part of the clan.

Another example is our neighbours who have a dog and seriously are that lazy to walk the dog around the block to do his business. They literally walk the dog out the front door and tell him to hurry and do his business on the front lawn and then cleans it up. The dog is a young, vibrant dog that always wants to play with our dog when we walk by, but that would never happen. Although not everyone may not be able to walk a dog due to illness or disability a back yard where the dog can run free is always good or simply paying someone to walk the dog daily is also a good idea.  There are many benefits to adopting a pet and for some a companion or someone just to be at the front door when they come home from work is all they need.

One of the young girls in our neighbourhood put up a sign on the mailbox looking for work walking dogs. I thought, brilliant a young entrepreneur at her finest starting at the age of 7. She also delivers flyers on a weekly basis as is never late. You can tell this child is in it for the money and is grasping what responsibility and saving money is all about. She told me the other day when I asked her what she does with all her paper route money and she responded that she is saving it for her future. Sounds to me like her parents have taught her about finance from a young age.

We’ve been lucky with our dog as he has given us no problems over the years and has always had good check-ups at the veterinarian every year. Sure a pet costs money but if you can’t invest the time, money and love a pet needs… don’t bother getting one. You may just end up frustrated and it’s not the pets fault who simply wants to be in a loving home where he/she is safe.

Costs Associated with owning a pet can vary depending on the kind of pet you have such as ferret, snakes, rabbit, fish, guinea pigs, dogs and cats. For the most part costs are inevitable and should be included in the budget in projected expenses if something should happen. There’s nothing worse than having no money to pay for your pet’s illness or emergency operation.

Ways We Have Saved Money With Our Pet

Our pet can run us around $800-1000 a year factoring in expenses and potential emergency expenses so we need to make sure that we set this money aside. We have been fortunate to have used pet coupons for treats and pet food the past year which greatly reduced costs with our pet. Since we are now paying for food and treats we have had to make changes to our budget. We now save $83.33 a month for the dog. Some people include pet in their grocery budget but we are not sure if we can do that yet. We may give it a try once we see where our new budget takes us as we are already pushing the envelope with our grocery shops as it is. If we don’t use all the pet savings at least we know the money will be there. We pick up pet toys for free at garage sales as well as other items like a dog bowl etc. Sometimes when pet owners have a pet who passes away they often donate or give away their pets belongings.

Can You Afford To Own A Pet?

Below is what we typically would pay for or save for each year to own our pet. Everyone may have different needs for their pet but the bottom line is, pets are not free or cheap to own especially if they get ill or have a disease. I know cleaning our dogs teeth ran us around $700.00. So think about what responsibilities you are taking on and whether you are able to take care of ongoing costs associated with being a responsible pet owner. Love sometimes is just not enough.

Typical Costs Associated With Owning A Dog

  • One time fee -Adoption Costs can vary depending on breed (unless you get your pet for free)
  • Food-Monthly We feed our pet dry food from the local shops. Speciality, diet or adult food can run you more money especially if it’s vet food.
  • Dog Treats/Dog Cookies- Monthly and these can get costly depending on what you buy.
  • Toys – Typically we get them free but they can be costly
  • Poop Bags- Monthly
  • Poop Bin- Buy when needed.. ie: wear and tear, goes missing (we’ve lost ours in rain storms, wind)
  • Accessories ie: water bowls, booties, jackets,walking lead, dog/cat bed,blankets, cushions, scratching posts
  • Annual Licence
  • Pet Insurance
  • Medical Costs- including dental work and for any other illness, medications
  • Crate for travelling- one time cost
  • Dog Bed- One time cost
  • Dog Pillow- We buy this once per year. Just like we need a new mattress or pillow so will your pet.
  • Travel Bag- One time fee to carry items when travelling
  • Dog Training – Our dog went through training in the early years
  • Spay/Neutering- One time fee
  • Micro-Chip- Our dog is micro-chipped -a one time fee
  • Blood Tests- When needed by Vet
  • Vaccinations- Heart worm, Flea and Tick Control- We do this every year
  • Pet Sitting- If you are going on vacation this can run you about $25- $50 or more depending on if your pooch is dropped off at the Posh Pet Hotel or a friend’s house.
  • Grooming Costs (our neighbour has the travelling spa come to his house)
  • Dog House- Our dog stays indoors

How much does it cost you to own your pet annually?

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