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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took some quizzes, but none of them ask the dh's big requirement: he doesn't want a dog because he's concerned about health problems. Mostly because of the financial strain.<br><br>
Everyone we know who has dogs has been telling dh that their dog, or their mom's dog, or whoever has needed some sort of surgery. Now he completely against the idea of getting a dog, when the kids and I all want one.<br><br>
I grew up with a dog. I'd love for my kids to. Dh has never had a dog, so he doesn't know what he's missing. He's the kind of guy who doesn't want one, but if we were to get one he'd probably fall in love.<br><br>
I digress! Is there a dog out there that is friendly, pretty mellow, on the small side, good with children, doesn't shed much, and is typically low-maintanence, health wise? Cute and cuddly is a huge plus. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
And I forgot--we can't pay $1000 for the little guy. I'm in love with English Bulldogs, but I'm afraid that's out.
 

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IMO from a health perspective you are probably best off with a mixed breed that you have researched and fits the needs of your family.<br><br>
We adopted a husky mix, although he might qualify as an Alsakan Husky which is not classified as an official breed. They are prone to good health as they aren't bred to meet breed standards but to be strong, healthy workers. However, huskies are prone to food stealing and running away, but luckily we researched that before we brought him home. I truly believe that a well researched (maybe mixed breed) rescue is a wonderful decision.
 

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OK, here is my soapbox:<br><br>
Puppies are expensive. They just are. I wish it were not true but it is. You can minimize some of that expense, but I guarantee you that if you go out there and buy even a very, very healthy breed, there will come a time when you are looking at a thousand-dollar vet bill and you'll have to make a decision. There aren't any dogs--or any mixes--that don't have the potential for something disastrous. Toy dogs--patellas, injuries. Medium dogs--disc disease, injuries. Large dogs--hips, bloat, injuries. And when even a normal spay is creeping up into the over-$500 range in many areas of the country, there's no escape.<br><br>
Purchase price is also going to be big if you want a purebred puppy with good health. There are only two ways to ethically obtain a dog--from a shelter/rescue or from a responsible breeder. You may be able to find a purebred puppy from a rescue, but it will come with no health history and a lot of rescues are going pretty high money-wise for purebreds and puppies. My sister is looking right now, at mixes as well as purebreds, and rescues around here are at the $300-500 range.<br><br>
From a responsible breeder, ANY puppy is going to be between a grand and two thousand right now. That's not because breeders are making any money; it's not because that's what the market will bear. That's what it costs to get anywhere close to breaking even on a litter, because it is so incredibly expensive to breed dogs "right." There are some wide variations between breeds--for example, right now I'd expect to pay $1800-2000 for a Dane puppy, whereas the Cardigans are still $900-1000. But absolutely nothing is cheap.<br><br>
SO--having said that--you're looking at a very narrow set of breeds if you want consistently good health.<br><br>
Cardigans is one--if they don't "go down" (blow a disc) they're pretty consistently healthy and they live forever and a day. But disc disease does exist in the breed (not anywhere close to as frequently as Pembroke corgis or Dachshunds, but it does exist), and spinal surgery is $$$. They also have a much lower purchase price than many of the other purebreds. Fabulous with kids, etc. But they shed like crazy.<br><br>
Bassetts: cute, generally great with kids, ONLY buy a good one or adopt from one that tests them with kids, great personality, but they get arthritis and they get bloat and they get ear infections.<br><br>
Several of the non-sporting dogs: Miniature poodles, French Bulldogs, Pugs, Tibetan Terrier, and some Lhasa (any Lhasa MUST be kid-tested, because they can be risky with kids) are great. However, count on very high prices for any of these, and frequent grooming for the long-haired ones. Rescuing any brachycephalic purebred--Frenchie, Pug, Shih Tzu, Lhasa--is fine, but count on spending money on vet bills. Poorly bred examples of those dogs (and that's what's coming into rescue, because well-bred dogs are taken back by their breeders, not sent to rescue) typically have palate, eye, trachea, and breathing problems because of the shape of their face.<br><br>
I like English Cocker Spaniels (NOT American Cockers), Sussex Spaniels, and Clumber Spaniels for families, but the ECS is going to require good, steady exercise. Sussex and Clumber are more low-activity, but they again are going to be $$ to buy and have various health issues (hips for both, hearts for both) that can run you a lot down the line.
 

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Oh, one more thing: consider with your husband getting a very good pet insurance policy. Not the low-end ones, but the ones that have a high cap and cover spay/neuter as well. You'll end up spending $50-ish a month for it, but it'll save your bacon if you have a catastrophic injury or disease. If you're good at saving, putting $50/mo in a savings account would be even better, since in a couple of years you'd have enough to cover just about anything but major orthopedic surgery.
 

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I have had different experience than the above poster. I work at a vet hospital, and volunteer for a reputable rescue group and have had wonderful experiences with rescue dogs. Where I am they are from $100-200 come spayed/neutered and up to date with vaccines. The price is the same whether the dog is "pure bred" or a mix.<br>
I have 4 rescued dogs- 3 of which are seniors, none of which have ever required major surgeries. Not that that means much- stuff happens, that's life there is no guarantee no matter what kind of dog you get.<br>
I can tell you that the English Bull dog has tons of problems right off of the bat. And also that the pet insurance companys will cover less expenses for "pure bred" dogs than mixes.<br>
As you can probably tell, I am bias towards rescues and shelters- especially if you are looking for a family dog. There are millions of homeless, wonderful dogs out there that would love to go home with you.
 

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I don't have the many many years of breed knowledge that thekimballs does, so I'll absolutely defer to her recommendations. I do have close to 13 years vet. tech experience, though, and your husband's concerns are 100% valid. Any dog, healthy or not, has the potential to be expensive. You never know when a dog is going to be injured (they can rupture an Anterior Cruciate Ligament playing in the backyard- mine did, to the tune of $1000, and that was 6 years ago. ACL repair in my area is running close to $1500 at most clinics), or when they are going to eat a sock and require surgery for obstruction. You're looking at $1-$2000 conservatively for either surgery, no matter what. Even a spay or neuter is going to easily run $300-$500. Monthly heartworm preventative isn't cheap, unless you have a dog under 25#, and if you live in an area where fleas/ticks are a problem, you need that every month as well. Routine exams/vaccinations can be $100 per year, and don't forget high-quality dog food- a 33lb bag typically runs $45 or more. You can feed raw more cheaply, though.<br><br>
Purchasing pet insurance is a great suggestion. It may seem expensive, but that one time you need it, it can make the difference between having to take out a loan to pay a vet bill or not.<br><br>
Really, the bottom line is that if one spouse does not want the expense of an animal, things can turn out badly if you get a family pet. I've seen it more times than I care to recount; the sobbing wife and kids sitting in an exam room at the vet clinic- the dog laying on the table, either sick or injured, with the wife on her cell phone talking to her husband, trying to decide what to do. When one person is willing to spend the money and the other is not, it can get ugly. You dont' want to be faced with that reality when you and your kids (especially your kids) have gotten emotionally attached to a dog and your husband is unwilling to spend $$$$ on a vet bill.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>cmb123</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10307336"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have had different experience than the above poster. I work at a vet hospital, and volunteer for a reputable rescue group and have had wonderful experiences with rescue dogs. Where I am they are from $100-200 come spayed/neutered and up to date with vaccines. The price is the same whether the dog is "pure bred" or a mix.<br>
[snip]<br>
As you can probably tell, I am bias towards rescues and shelters- especially if you are looking for a family dog. There are millions of homeless, wonderful dogs out there that would love to go home with you.</div>
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You're in CT, right? I have been looking in the CT rescues for my sister, and they're $300-500 just like the MA/NH rescues.<br><br>
Now before I get myself in trouble, there are some really GREAT (and I mean very, very positive and good) reasons that rescues in this area are so expensive, and why I sincerely hope that all rescues get this expensive:<br><br>
-- There is a much lower incidence of owner turn-ins, especially of small dogs, and almost no puppies (yay!).<br><br>
-- So shelters and rescues up here are importing dogs from other states and from overseas to meet the demand for small dogs and puppies (also yay!).<br><br>
-- Rescues up here tend to hold dogs for a much longer time, so their carrying costs and overhead are higher.<br><br>
-- Rescues up here have very high expectations for what comes with the dog. Ten years ago, when I rescued a boxer x, the shelter had four litters of puppies, adoption fee was $50, nothing included. Now, that same shelter has no puppies, spays/neuters absolutely everything that walks out the door, and includes a full training package (on-site; they built a gorgeous facility) with each adoption.<br><br>
-- Rescues and even municipal shelters have come to realize that the issue is not so much overpopulation as it is programs. The model used to be get 'em in, bank 'em in cages in a building down a back road, if they're not adopted in ten days they're PTS. The new model is all about programs, advertising, large pleasant facilities, foster homes, routine vet care, grooming, etc. This has been unbelievably successful in reducing kill rates, but it is much, much more expensive, and those costs need to be (partially) passed on via adoption fees.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>thekimballs</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10306516"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh, one more thing: consider with your husband getting a very good pet insurance policy. Not the low-end ones, but the ones that have a high cap and cover spay/neuter as well. You'll end up spending $50-ish a month for it, but it'll save your bacon if you have a catastrophic injury or disease. If you're good at saving, putting $50/mo in a savings account would be even better, since in a couple of years you'd have enough to cover just about anything but major orthopedic surgery.</div>
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This is the best advice I've ever taken. Seriously. Our pet insurance pays for itself and then some EVERY YEAR. And yes, we have particularly expensive dogs, but I still think it's an absolutely worthwhile investment.
 

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I totally agree with Joanna. Dogs aren't cheap and they all have potential for expensive vet bills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks to all of you. The advice posted here is extremely helpful. Most of what I read above was new to me, and I really appreciate you taking the time to post.<br><br>
Maybe my husband is right (it happens occassionally, hahaha), financially speaking. But at the same time I think it would be worth it.<br><br>
I had a rescue dog growing up, and I think that is the way we'd go, if we do decide to get one. I had wondered about the pet insurance, so that's really good to know.<br><br>
What should we do? Deciding to get a pet has been maybe as difficult and almost more thought out than deciding to have our to children (I probably shouldn't put that in writing). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 
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