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SG Susan Garrett
SG Hey, everybody. Welcome back to Shaped by Dog. I am Susan Garrett. And do you know anybody who is thinking about getting a new puppy or a dog? Maybe you're thinking of getting a new puppy or a new dog. In today's episode, I'm going to share with you how you could save money when getting a new puppy or a new dog. Hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars. I bet you didn't think that was possible. Here to tell you it is and I'm going to share with you five great ways you can do just that.
First of all, I want you to remind you, and if this is your first dog, this is a really important podcast for you because you need to know that owning a dog is mostly an investment of time. It is a massive investment of your time. I don't want to scare you off from getting a dog, but it is a time investment. And it's not just the things that you think are obvious. Yeah. Now I know Susan, I'm going to have to walk the dog. I'm going to have to feed the dog. I have budgeted, you know, 20 minutes in my day for that.
You see dogs like to be part of our family. They like that engagement. As opposed to like a cat who maybe tolerates you being part of their family. Dogs need that from us. They need that social engagement. You know, maybe a plant or a goldfish is better if you don't really have the time to train and engage daily with your dog.
And the nice thing about this time investment is, it pays massive dividends back for you. So of course, you need to feed them, and you need to walk them. Not just once a day though, they should be walked two or three times a day, ideally for a total of an hour, maybe even more. I mean, my dogs get walked two hours a day.
So, the study on longevity that they've shown that it isn't the type of dog food that dogs get fed. It isn't the breed of dog that makes a difference. But it is, what they have found is dogs who get more exercise live longer. So, there's a good reason to get out there in the rain or shine or snow, if you're up here in Canada and walk that dog.
So, it definitely is a time investment. Number two, obviously it's a financial investment. But people think, oh yeah, I bought this pure, breed dog, I paid a lot of money and that's it. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Right? So, the things that you need to invest in, obviously the accessories that you're going to be needing, like color leash, et cetera, there's…and we'll talk a little bit more about what that list looks like.
You need to, invest in the investment could save you money right up front. So, we'll talk about that in a minute. I want to encourage you, please, please, please don't impulse buy. You might be at a, like a, at a farmers market and see a box of cute little puppies, that impulse buy may end up costing both you and that dog down the road.
So, take your time and do your research. Research what kind of dog would be great for you and your family, your lifestyle. Because dogs have been bred for different reasons. Some dogs are bred to guard and you might think, well, that's what I want. I want a dog who's going to protect me. But just like having a loaded gun in your house, there's a danger to having a dog who's been bred to protect.
Because if that gets misdirected, that ends up being a lawsuit and it's not the dog's fault. Right. You need to be well aware when you're going in that, dogs that have been bred to protect, they could be great family pets, but they require a lot of knowledge and a lot of investment of your time training and directing that drive to protect.
Likewise, like I have Border Collies, they've been bred to herd. If you have little kids, they may end up getting nipped as puppies. You might end up getting nipped when you have these guys as puppies. I love Border Collies. I can't imagine my life without them, but here's what I recommend you do.
Most people and I was the same way. Got attracted to the breed by the look. My first love was a Chow Chow. You need to Google. We've got Dr. Google now. What are the worst traits of a Chow Chow. You may find there on the top lists of dogs who bite. So, there's a lot of things you need to know. Google the worst of the dog. And then “how would I prevent that” and go in with your eyes open to what dog you may be deciding would be best for your family.
Now, of course, I don't want to eliminate the thought of rescue dog. That would be my number one thing to encourage you because it's a entry point financially that most people can afford. And not only that, you're saving a life. And a lot of rescue dogs, aren't in rescue because they're bad dogs. They're in rescue because the people didn't do the research ahead of time.
Or the dogs got spoiled and got the run of the house. And now just need somebody to under.. who understands the need to invest in this animal, because it is somebody that needs to be part of your family. Right? They can't, they aren't gold fishes. They just can't be ignored. So be prepared, don't impulse buy, and please don't buy two dogs at one time.
There's a number of reasons why you shouldn't do that. Most of all, they're social creatures and they bond to each other far faster they're going to bond to you. And it makes training doubly difficult. So many people will say, “oh, I'm prepared for that” and then they end up regretting it, especially when it's littermates.
You know what, cats, different. Buy two litter mates. Dogs, absolutely the wrong thing to do to buy two littermates. I have multiple dogs. I'm not saying don't have multiple dogs. But get the second dog or the third or in my case, the fifth dog for the right reasons. Go in there, my dogs they are three years apart in age.
Some of them are four years apart in age. So I am, I understand what goes into making the decision to bring in that second dog. And I'm not bringing in another dog just to keep the first one company. That's your job, engagement, right? So, if this is your second dog, do as much thought as you did, putting into the first dog and maybe even more cause maybe that was an impulse buy.
Okay. So, let's talk about the investment, financially. There's obviously the purchase price if you are going to buy from a good breeder. A good breeder is going to cost more money because there's a lot involved in doing good breeding. Health checks of not just the parents, but the parents, littermates, knowing the lineage, the dogs behind how healthy were those dogs.
It doesn't mean there's any guarantees for you. But if you go to a backyard breeder or a puppy mill, then there's a higher probability that you're going to have a health challenge with the dog and it's going to be heartbreaking. And it's also going to cost you money. Of course, when you, when you buy from a rescue. You could very well get the breed you want. If that's something that's important to you, because there's a lot of association breeds that have rescue associations, that these are dogs who need a love, like adopt a senior dog. Oh my gosh. There's so much joy in that.
So, the purchase price of the dog doesn't have to be formidable if you go to a rescue association. But that is a consideration, that is a financial investment. But that's a place that you could save money. Accessorizing. There are things you absolutely need to have, but you don't need to spend a lot of money because you could do things like look at Facebook marketplace, uh, garage sales, yard sales.
Uh, thrift shops, I've donated brand new items to thrift shops. So, things like buying a crate for your new puppy, please buy one that is going to fit the puppy maybe in the next month. And then you can trade it in at the thrift shop or an upgrade.
Don't buy a crate the size of your adult dog, because that dog may have a crate that so big, they decide, Oh, I'm going to do my tinkling and a pooping at this end of the crate and I'll sleep at that in the crate, you don't want that. So, buy one that's the appropriate size of the puppy. So, you need crate. Um, and I'll go into detail maybe in an upcoming podcast of how, what we do on that first day to make sure that first day, that puppy hits the ground running, gets a full night of sleep and equally important make sure you get a full night of sleep without getting interrupted.
So, all of that we'll cover in an upcoming episode, but you need to buy all these things ahead of time. Save money. By, start looking now, you may not be in the market for a new puppy because you're just starting your research, but get an x-pen.
That is a pen that your puppy can be in, is going to dramatically minimize damage to your house, dramatically minimize behavior problems that are going to start. So, x-pen, obviously you're going to need a leash, collars, stainless steel bowls. I highly recommend good quality stainless steel to feed your dogs out of.
Don't just go with the pretty ones, because they're, the plastic ones that are pretty, a lot of times, those could be toxic if the dog eats them. Also don't save money by going to a thrift or by going to a dollar store. A lot of things that you buy in a dollar store comes from less than reputable sources that end up even having lead in them.
It's been shown that some of the dog toys at dollar stores actually contain lead. So not, not a good place to do your shopping. So, you want to be prepared. Fence in backyard.. If you're getting from a rescue, a lot of them insist on fencing in backyard. I can say I've owned dogs for 30, more than 30 years, and I've never had a fence in backyard.
What does that look like to me? It means when my dogs are puppies, they go out on a leash every day of their life. And I go out with them, it allows me to see what their business looks like. If it's runny, if they're having a problem. So, I see some real value, it's bonding time again. You might want to say, “oh, I don't want to go out with my dog”. But again, starting with the puppy, you should be going out in that… if you're going out in the backyard, I still recommend you go out on leash.
We'll talk about that in the upcoming episode about what to do when your puppy comes home. But I'm just saying a fence in backyard isn't necessarily a must, unless you make that commitment to going out with a dog on leash all the time, especially for that first year.
Okay. We've covered the purchase price, accessorizing. Food. Yes, we have to feed the dog. It is not a place to cut corners. I feed raw. I strongly recommend everybody feeds raw. There's a lot of scaremongering out there about feeding raw. Again, another episode I'll bring in an expert, I'll tell you why. Um, you know, I love the fact that you get increased longevity and yes, you have to be careful when you feed raw that you, you clean up the area, but guess what?
The people telling you that there's a risk, you know, there is a risk of salmonella from feeding your dog raw food. But if you're feeding chicken, unless you're a vegan like me, you're bringing chicken into your house. There's actually an equally or a higher risk from grocery store chicken than there is from the raw dog food that you'd feed your dog.
So, don't cut corners, because if you cut the corners on what you feed your dog and going to some cheap, big box brand dog food, you end up having health problems. You might have lower food problems, but you'll have higher veterinarian bills. So, trust me, when I say really good quality dog food. Veterinary bills, there is a way you can cut those as well.
And it's not by going to the cheapest vet in town because the cheapest vet in town is rarely the best vet in town. Right? Do your research. Find a good veterinarian. Don't cut corners there, but here's how to cut corners with veterinary bills. There are unavoidable veterinary bills and there are avoidable veterinary bills. The unavoidable ones are things like the puppy just catches a virus and get sick.
I mean, stuff happens, right? The avoidable veterinary bills are, your dog got hit, he got hit by a car. Your dog ingested some chocolate or got into the garbage or your dog got into a dog fight. Now it's unavoidable if you're walking your dog on leash and some dog comes, thug comes in jumps you.
It is avoidable if yours is the dog that goes and initiates the fight. So, the avoidable veterinary bills, you can avoid them by really investing your time and money in good quality dog training. And this is something you can do right now. And if you're listening to this podcast, you've already began, right. Listen to all the podcasts here, go to my blog at DogsThat.com. DogsThat – think: dogs that run, dogs that smile, DogsThat.com.
That, there's tons of great educational articles, all for free. Sign up for my newsletter list. And then once a year I do a three educational masterclass for people. So, there's a lot of ways to get great quality education for free. And you can go get a product like our program, Home School the Dog for under $200 or Recallers for under $500.
You might say $500. I don't have $500. Save it, save your money because that will be the greatest payback of an investment you will make in all of the financial investments you have to make when you get yourself a dog. All right. So, uh, training is not an area you cut corners. Food is not an area you cut corners. Going to the cheapest veterinarian in town is not an area that you cut corners.
You're accessorizing, they don't need 55 leashes and they don't need clothes. Now, if you have like a dog that has thin-skinned, they're going to need a coat, but a lot of those things you can get used guys. And it's, you just have to start looking now. Up here in Canada, we have something called Kijiji Craigslist in the US wherever it is local, you can buy at a thrift shop.
Those are areas that you can cut costs. Every dog deserves to live a life of enrichment. A dog … where they're loved. A life where they're made to feel important and loved. Enrichment means you spending time with them. And when you train the way that we do in reinforcement based, game-based training, every moment you spend training that dog is a moment you are spend investing in a relationship.
And we all know what that does. The more you invest in a relationship, the more it grows. Because relationships are never static. They're either getting better or they're going down the toilet. And when a dog is not engaged, when they do not have a life of purpose, they start to find their own life of purpose.
Which might mean, aggressing at dogs in the window or aggressing at the mailman or neurotically chewing up your furniture.
They will find a life of purpose of their own. But when you invest the time and you engage in the dog and you help create the best life ever, a life of freedom where they're allowed to make choices, that is an investment that will pay you dividends that I can't even begin to tell you how great they are.
Every dog deserves a great life, and every human being deserves a life with a great dog in it. I'm Susan Garrett. That's it for today. Please, if you haven't done so, subscribe to this podcast, let me know what you think of it by leaving a review. I read each and every one of those reviews and I appreciate them, every one of them.
Thank you. And we'll see you next time on Shaped by Dog.