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Old November 23rd, 2008, 07:23 PM
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Mat&Murph Mat&Murph is offline
Master of the Drool!
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Oshawa, Ontario
Posts: 2,149
As a allergie suffer...go get some tests done befor you go and buy a dog. I had too. My allergies bug me at least 4 times a week, but my allergies to my boys tested a 2.5 out of a scale to 5. So I makes sure I sweep and vacum all the time. I wash my hands all the time and my allergie pills. Too me haveing the boys is worth it!!!!!!! I would never give them up. Major pieces to my family!!!!! But do your research!!!

Good Luck!!
Mom To
Matt and Murphy- Born March 18/08
English Mastiffs.
AHHHH They are a year old already!!!!
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 07:29 PM
Karin Karin is offline
Missing My Ciara, 3-21-06
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Williston, Florida
Posts: 2,094
From my experience shelters and rescues also check references from vets and past experience with animals, regular vet checks and such.
All previous experience does not look good here. You had a cat die after being "sluggish"?

I'm sorry folks, I have to vote for Toys R Us again.
Be The Kind Of Person Your Dog Thinks You Are.
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Old November 24th, 2008, 01:20 AM
lala24 lala24 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 9
Most of those things you guys have mentioned Ive thought about and considered and think about quite often. I get what you mean. And I did before you said it. Im not just rushing into this whole thing. It's something I'm looking into in the future and for the hundredth time I am doing my research. I dont need to be told this over and over again. I am serisously considering the fostering thing.. I think that would be helpful... and no, not just to find out about allergies.. I already know that certain dogs Im all good with - I have gone to doctors and clinics for testing. Cats are my main problem with allergies. I think fostering an animal for the animals sake is wonderful. I wouldnt ONLY do it to find out about what Im allergic to or not.

I had one cat in my life that died which was my husbands cat - he took him on regular vet check ups etc so I dont know why the vet didnt know what was wrong with him.. maybe the vet wasnt a reliable one? I dont know.. I didnt pick the vet. My husband had him going to regular vet check ups long before I even met my husband... 5 years he had him before he met me, and then we had him for another 3+ years before he died we did what we could to help the poor thing and he passed away quite quickly. We were never told why. We didnt just shove him out the door , neglect him, let him get sick do nothing about it and let him die.... We're not cruel people.

And then I had the one cat that I did what I could with doctors to work out my asthma/allergies and it didnt work so we ended up re-homing him... and the rest of the animals were my parents choice to give them up when I was a kid as I said before. None of that is good, and I wish none of that happened. I dont want to make the decisions my parents made. All I can do now is what Im doing. Learning, talking to people, researching, talking to doctors, searching out my options etc.

There's a few things that you guys have mentioned and reallly really helped out with that I wasnt aware of before so I really do thank you for that. For example, the fact that there just might be some wonderful medications out there in case I ever need to go down that road. 3 years ago when we had that cat, I thought my doctor and I had explored all my options... I was advised to not live with cats in particular so that was the decision we made - to no longer live with cats. I dont want to have to re-home animals because of something like that. Its not fair. It's not right I agree. And thats why I learned from that one experience.

My PERSONAL involvement with all the pets that have been in my life was nothing but caring for them, feeding them, spending time with them, loving them, playing with them, grooming them, teaching the dogs tricks etc. I was the one walking them, spending quality time with them and showing them nothing but love. It's not my fault most of them were taken away. And I've already explained about the 2 cats. The one who died, we learned from that experieince and thats why when we got the second on we didnt let that one outside at all. But my asthma couldnt take it - my life could have been in danger. What else could I have done when even my doctor is telling me I shouldnt live with cats? That nothing we've tried is working so re-homing the cat is the best option for me. And that's why I will never have another cat again. I know I can't do it. I know there arent hypoallergenic dogs out ther but there are ones that produce less dander and I have lived with dogs over the years and have not had problems with them. I have had 3 dogs in my life, lived with my grandmother who had a dog, roommates who had dogs, have house sat for people with dogs, done dog walking programs etc. Dont get me wrong though, I'm not dismissing any of your comments, suggestions or adivce. Im still going to continue my research about the type of dog I want, what it costs to maintain a healthy life for him or her, continue exploring my options with fostering etc, and make sure I know my options in case my allergies have changed at all and what I can do about them.

I just kind of feel like I'm being talked to as if Im some 16 year old kid who doesnt know what its all about. Trust me I understand. And I dont mean to be rude at all - I understand that all of you are extreme animal lovers and expect nothing but the best for all animals and pets. I FEEL THE SAME WAY Really, I do. I'm on the same page as you, mentally. I just dont want to be continued to be told to research and what not.. I want real advice on Shih Tzu's in particular, On an allergy/asthma advice that asthma/allergy sufferers can share, Advice on finding good groomers, vets, breeders, shelters etc. Ive bought books, spend time reading online, go to the library and book stores to find information before I jump into this 10-15 year committment. This is something that I have been looking into and thinking about for a couple of years. It's not just some spur of the moment thought of "ohh I want a tiny puppy because their cute" things... This is a realistic, I want to take care of an animal committment things. I want a companion, a friend, a member of the family that I can love and take care of. But before hand I need to learn more. I need to be prepared mentally, emotionally, physically, financially... That's why I've spent a year and a half to 2 years looking into options - and I still have another 6 months to a year or more to continue.

But again, thank you for all your concerns and suggestions - just PLEASE dont think that I am just some irresponisble uncaring person here. I do know and always have known that animals (of all types) are to be treated with love and respect as we would treat our families. I do know that there are other expenses included other than reg. vet checks and food. I was just curious what someone who owns a Shih Tzu typically spends monthly - so I could get an estimate on what I need monthly. I know there are other things emergencies, surgery perhaps, shots, spay or neuter, pet sitters, etc etc etc... Im not dismissing those things either - that's why I have a savings account started, and am looking into pet insurance.

Last edited by lala24; November 24th, 2008 at 02:24 PM.
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Old November 27th, 2008, 04:53 PM
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TKW TKW is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 171
Estimate Cost For Owning A Dog

I'm a little late for the party but I can see you have plenty of good advices here.

I just did a cost estimate for my BIL who wants to get a dog just like ours. Based on the last three years expenses since he was a 9 weeks old puppy, I'd say the annual cost is around $1,500-$2,000. The major items are food, vet bills and insurance. Good quality Kibbles I fed him cost $600 a year. He eats 2 1/2 cups a day. A Shih Tzu may eat a little less but small bags kibbles cost unproportionally higher. Insurance is $400 a year but it doesn't cover shots, dental, neutering etc. If you want them cover, the premium will be over $100 a month. So the vet bill part is between $500-1,000 with insurance. This is just regular vet visits for minor stuffs. We had one emengency vet visit when he's around 1 y.o. for suspecting some unknown substance he ate, the bill was $500. And following up with liver biopsy and ultrasound, the insurance claim for that yr was $1,600. The insurer paid $1,100 and change our co-insurance to 50% right after. I am contempating getting more coverage for him after hearing more horror stories of vet bills that cost thousands of dollars.

BTW, I live in the Metro Vancouver area so the cost shall be close. If you are near where I am, I can give you the name of my vet who I recommend.
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Old November 29th, 2008, 12:30 PM
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Tundra_Queen Tundra_Queen is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Northern Ontario
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I think fostering would be your best bet. You would find out what kind of emergencies come up with owning a pet and how expensive they can be, also about the allergies.
~Friendship is like a bank account. You can't continue to draw on it without making deposits~

~Tegan 9 year old yellow lab~
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