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How to Raise a Happy Puppy

Am I Ready for a Puppy?: 
Costs & Health Concerns to Consider

WARNING: Puppies do not have a developed immune system, so they are constantly AT RISK


It is imperative that puppies not have contact with other dogs that are not up to date on their vaccinations. Puppies should never go to public areas that are frequented by other dogs, including dog parks, until two weeks after they have had their entire series of puppy shots

    Puppy Shots the last series of puppy vaccinations range in cost from $100 to $200.   Dogs XL Rescue puppies come with their first 2 DHLPP shots. The adopter may need to obtain the final shot in the series, as well as his or her rabies shot. This will need to happen by the time the puppy is 4 months old.  


    Kennel Cough is extremely contagious among dogs.  Kennel Cough is basically the doggy equivalent of the common cold. There are many different strains of kennel cough and even dogs who have been vaccinated for bordatella (which covers many viral strains) can contract kennel cough. The cost to treat kennel cough can range from $100 to $400.   


    Parvovirus (Parvo) is a viral disease in dogs that is highly contagious and deadly. Puppies not fully vaccinated are at high risk. Parvo is everywhere in the environment – in the grass, on the pavement.  That is why we vaccinate all dogs on a yearly basis against the disease.  The vetting cost to treat Parvo ranges from $1100 to $4400.   


    Heartworm is a parasitic worm that can live in a dog’s heart, lungs, and nearby blood vessels. Heartworm is transmitted by mosquito bite and it is NOT contagious to people of other pets. Monthly heartworm prevention is imperative because once a dog contract heartworms, heartworm treatment is dangerous, unpleasant, and costly (around $1500-2000 for a large dog.) The cost of a monthly pill like Interceptor, Heart Guard, or Sentinel, or a monthly topical like, Revolution, can run $15 to $20 per month.    


    Flea and Tick Prevention costs approximately $15 per month. Frontline or Advantix are both topical treatments. Flea bites can cause serious skin irritation, and tick bites can lead to Lymes disease. We require all adopter to commit to keeping their dogs and puppies on a heartworm prevention program.


    Spay / Neuter Surgery Adopters who choose to adopt a puppy less than 4 months old that has not yet been spayed/neutered are subject to an additional deposit of $150 (refundable upon proof of spay/neuter.) Included in the adoption fee, the rescue will arrange spay/neuter by a partner vet at the adopter's convenience when the puppy is between 4-6 months of age. It is the responsibility of the adopter to bring the adopted puppy back to the rescue vet for spaying/neutering or to send verification from another vet that the puppy had been spayed/neutered. Spay/Neuter at an ordinary vet can run anywhere from $100 to $600. Dogs XL requires puppy adopters to spay/neuter by the time the puppy is 6 months old or we may engage legal proceedings to reclaim the puppy.  


    Housetraining a puppy requires patience, positive reinforcement and a set routine. A puppy can only hold its bladder for one hour per month of age, plus one additional hour.  
    Example:  A puppy age 3 months can hold its bladder for 4 hours maximum. This includes through the night!!!
To successfully housetrain a puppy, you may have to take him out several times in the middle of the night! If you work during the day, the puppy will require someone to take him outside every few hours. If your puppy becomes accustomed to eliminating in your home without proper housetraining, it will be EXTREMELY difficult to housetrain the puppy when he is older. With every puppy, there will be accidents and you should consider if a puppy will comfortably fit into your lifestyle and home.
    Obedience Training for your puppy is as important for your puppy as it is for you.  Your puppy should be enrolled in a training class to learn basic obedience, as well as to give them the opportunity to socialize with other puppies. Choosing a training program based on a “positive reward” system is extremely worthwhile to both you and your puppy.  A training program can range in cost from $100 to $800 depending on if you choose a group training class or individual instruction.  If you desire a referral for a trainer in your area please contact me.


    Puppy Supplies you will need include collar, ID tag, lead, harness, bowls, bed, brush, toys, etc.  You can easily spend in excess of $100 on these items on your first shopping trip for puppy. 


    Feeding Puppy is the most important factor in raising a healthy adult dog.  The old saying “you are what you eat” is never more true than choosing what food to feed your puppy.  We stress the importance of not feeding your puppy kibble that is purchased at the grocery store or at a discounted “big box” store.  By feeding your puppy a higher quality food you are giving then the opportunity to enjoy a long healthy life.  Spending more on dog kibble now is much more cost effective than spending large amounts of money at your vet as your dog ages. 


This information is not all inclusive of the costs and health concerns associated with adopting a puppy, but hopefully it gives you an opportunity to look at the realistic side of what a puppy requires to enjoy a long, healthy and happy life.