Getting a puppy is an exciting thing. You can get it toys, treats, cute collars. You might subscribe to Barkbox, so it gets a little "happy" every month. You pick out a cute name. You fill up Instagram with countless pics, and maybe even make it its own account.
But that's not all there is to a puppy.
Many people get puppies, or kittens, without realizing the true cost.
Most people think it's just dog food, and the occasional vet visit if it gets sick. That is where they are wrong. From working at a vet clinic, I've seen countless clients come in, distraught over their incredibly sick new pup. They don't understand how one minute everything was fine, and the next their pup is on its death bed with a very expensive vet bill.
The diagnosis? Parvo. A killer scenario for a pup. A virus that can attack the intestines, and sometimes the heart, and usually doesn't have a very good outcome.
Why did the pup get this? Well, usually the case is that the owner wasn't aware of the series of puppy shots required to prevent this type of illness and others. They might have taken their new pup to the park, the pet store, or even their own yard, because that's harmless, right? Wrong. Infected dogs could be anywhere and not yet be showing symptoms. So that innocent encounter with the other cute pup at the park could turn into something deadly.
It can also be passed through an infected dog's stool. So one sniff of infected poop without the proper vaccinations and your pup will be next.
Parvo isn't the only thing to watch out for. I have also seen many cases of dogs coming in having trouble breathing, an enlarged abdomen, etc. Owners wonder what's wrong, and sadly we must inform them that it is heartworms. What's that? Well, pretty much exactly what you would imagine. Parasitic worms attacking the heart.
These can be prevented by a simple, yet slightly costly, pill given to your pet every month (or every 3 months as brands can vary). If not prevented, the outcome is a very expensive, not always effective treatment, and sometimes death.
These are just a few of the nasty things that can happen, if not prepared, to your sweet new pup.
But all of these things cost. Heartworm prevention, vaccinations, flea and tick prevention (because fleas and ticks can cause a world of problems, and they are GROSS), and the list goes on. Not to mention all of the things that could possibly go wrong without warning. Pancreatitis, diabetes, joint problems, dental problems, thyroid problems, and the list goes on.
So, what I'm trying to explain to you is that your sweet pup doesn't cost just the fee to get them, the food, the collar, or the toys. It is so much more. So educate yourself. Educate others. Plan a budget and make sure you can truly afford a new pet.
It is truly the saddest sight for a vet and their techs to see a distraught owner lose their new pet to something that could have been prevented if only there was more information out there about it.
So think twice before you get a pup because it's not just a pup.