Adopting a New Addition to Your Calgary Family?

So you’re looking at adding on to your family?  That’s great, whether you are looking at getting a new puppy or kitten or adopting a dog or cat with a little more life experience, it can be a lot of fun, but also a lot of stress.  The Horizon Veterinary Team can assist in helping you choose the best breed and size of pet for your current lifestyle.

Here are a few tips to help you in your search of that perfect furry four legged addition.

When looking into getting a dog or cat there are a few key things you should research about that specific breed you are looking for to make sure they will be a perfect fit for you and your family.

What genetic and congenital diseases could affect the breedOriginal purpose of the breed and its temperamentDo you have the best housing required for this breedDo you have the finances to care for this dog or cat for 10+ years

For dogs, there are many websites including the CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) and the AKC (American Kennel Club) that can help you answer these questions and many more.  Both sites have a long list of breeds that give you information on what their historic purpose was, along with what kind of health problems may be common.

1) BREED COMPATIBILITY:  When looking into getting a new dog, not only should you look into health risks for that breed, but you should take into consideration your lifestyle and that of the breed.

For instance if you live in an apartment, work 12 hour night shifts and need to sleep during the day and do not have much time to take the dog for runs, purchasing a German Shepherd or any large breed dog that needs extensive exercise may not be the best choice to suit your lifestyle. 

Larger high energy level dogs need to be exercised at least once day for an hour and if they don’t get this, their lack of exercise and boredom could turn into behavioral issues (ie) jumping, destroying furniture, excessive barking, aggression. 

 With that being said, small breed dogs still need exercise and can suffer from the same boredom as larger dogs, but they don’t necessarily always need that long hour run every day.

2) COSTS:  When thinking about getting a dog or cat, finances should be taken into consideration.  Consider starting a monthly savings account that you can use for the care of your pet.  Dogs and cats should be vaccinated and have a wellness exam every year, and although we like to think our pets will stay healthy forever, just like us they can have health issues. Through out the life span of your pet, they will need food, toys, training, spaying or neutering, dental care, vaccinations, wellness exams on a regular basis.

Talk with the Horizon Veterinary Team before adopting your new pet.  We can review vaccination costs and other fees that you should put in your budget.

3) PET INSURANCE:  So your dog ate a sock and now needs emergency surgery to have it removed.  Do you have the money to cover that?  These surgeries can be very expensive. Luckily, there are pet insurance companies that can help, but your pet needs to be insured before an illness or accident occurs. When you get a new dog or cat and you take him or her to your veterinary clinic for vaccinations, talk to your vet about pet insurance and how their services can work for you.

After all of the preparation on deciding what dog or cat may suit your life style, it’s time for the fun part!  It’s time to get out there and find that perfect loving, cuddly, fur ball to call your own.  Consider visiting your local humane society or animal rescue organizations and give a dog or cat another chance at a happy life!


Article by:  Alyssa Fries, Client Care Specialist