Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Finding the right price for cat or dog

Here are some tips on searching for the best cat or dog for you.

Where to find your Cat and Dog

Once you have decided on a particular type of dog or cat, now is the time to start your search. Newspapers, pet stores, veterinary hospitals, the Internet, and word of mouth are all fruitful avenues for information. If you’re not interested in a registered pet, check with the local humane society or animal shelter in your area. These are excellent places to start and are often jam-packed with canines and felines of all types, all eager to be adopted into happy homes. Usually, one can be yours to love for only a nominal adoption fee. As an added benefit, you will feel good knowing that you’ve saved an unwanted pet from an uncertain future.

If a purebred fits your fancy, check pet stores or contact breeders, preferably within your area. Local veterinarians and groomers can often provide specific recommendations. Magazines catering to dog and cat owners can also be excellent reference sources for professional breeders. Finally, shows and other competitive events provide a means of giving you a firsthand glimpse of the cream of the crop and can give you the opportunity to meet prominent breeders in person.

Finding the right price for cat or dog

Before you go shopping, do your homework. Find out what the going rate is for the particular breed you want. Beware of the smalltime operator who advertises or offers you a great deal on a “registered” pup. These so-called great deals can end up costing you more in the long run in medical bills and emotional drain. Where quality counts, stick with reputable breeders who can provide you with the complete pedigrees of both parents and references of satisfied clients. This rule holds true for pet store purchases as well. Before buying from a pet store, ask where the puppy or kitten came from and who the breeder was. Ask to see the pedigrees of both parents. Reputable pet stores will have all this information readily available for your inspection. And don’t hesitate to ask for references from satisfied customers. If the store is unwilling or unable to divulge such information,
look elsewhere.

Whatever you do, don’t rush your decision. Remember that you are making a long-term commitment. Take your time, and pick out that special individual just right for you!

Supply Checklist for Your New Dog

  • Food and water bowls
  • Brush
  • Dog (puppy) food
  • Comb
  • Collar
  • Bed or doghouse
  • Leash
  • Travel kennel
  • Training lead and rope
  • Nail trimmers
  • Identification tag
  • Ear cleanser
  • City license (if required)
  • Toothbrush/paste
  • Proof of rabies vaccination
  • Toys
  • Heartworm preventative
  • Flea control products

Supply Checklist for Your New Cat

  • Food and water
  • bowl Brush
  • Cat (kitten) food
  • Comb
  • Collar or harness
  • Bed or cathouse
  • Leash
  • Travel kennel
  • Claw trimmers
  • Flea control products
  • Identification tag
  • Scratching post
  • City license (if required)
  • Toothbrush/paste
  • Proof of rabies vaccination
  • Toys
  • Litterbox
  • Heartworm preventive agent
  • Litter

Consulting a Veterinarian

Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations as to the purchase quality of the dog or cat in question. If the one you have your heart set on does have medical problems that can be easily corrected, ask the seller to deduct these costs from the purchase price. They aren’t obligated
but by character to do so; as a result, you must decide on your next move if they refuse or fail to compromise. The extra expense (including cost of supplies and required documents in addition to initial purchase price of the pet out of your own pocketbook might be worth it if you think you have truly found the pet of your dreams! You be the judge.

Don’t feel awkward about asking the seller to pick up the tab (pay) for a professional prepurchase exam [and for cats, feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) testing] by a veterinarian of your choice. Sellers who are confident in the quality of their pets should have no qualms about this. If they balk, a warning light should flash in your head. And don’t get suckered into a “moneyback” or “lifetime” guarantee on a pet as an alternative to a professional prepurchase screen. Such a guarantee doesn’t protect you against the emotional distress caused by having to return a pet to which you’ve already grown attached.

Congenital or Inherited Disorders in Dogs

Let’s say you’ve completed the exam described above and have found some potential problem areas. What do you do next? First, don’t get discouraged. Many of these conditions have quick, inexpensive solutions. This is where a veterinarian comes in handy.


  • Microphthalmia (small eyes)
  • Juvenile cataracts
  • Entropion/ectropion
  • Glaucoma
  • Prolapsed third eyelid
  • Tear duct deformity

  • Congenital deafness

Nervous system
  • Epilepsy
  • Brain underdevelopment
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Invertebral disk disease

  • Umbilical hernia
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Demodectic mange

Digestive system
  • Cleft palate
  • Abnormal dentition
  • Overbite or underbite

Musculoskeletal system
  • Dwarfism
  • Joint dislocations
  • Patellar luxation

Cardiovascular system
  • Blood-clotting disorders
  • Heart murmurs
  • Anemia

Respiratory system
  • Collapsed trachea

Reproductive system
  • Retained testicles (cryptorchidism)
*For ethical purposes, all pets with congenital or inherited disorders should be neutered.