Advice on Getting and Training a New Puppy And/ or a New Kitten

Updated on June 09, 2010
V.M. asks from Conneaut, OH
11 answers

Hubby has wanted a Big Dog for a long long time, we finally moved to a new house with enough room for pets. My kids are 7 and 5 and i feel old enough to enjoy and help out with a pet. We have settled on a Golden Retriever. My daughter would also really like a kitten and i would like to have one too.. so is it ok to get both at the same time with that help in them bonding? WHat do i need to know before i bring home either a dog or cat. how much does a pet add to your monthly bills, food, toys, vet etc? Is it possible to get a golden puppy with out paying several hundred dollars. are there any good tips for "potty ' training, we have brand new furniture too, is there anything i can do to help train them to stay off the furniture? and not to eat the furniture. Thanks moms. Oh, and my motherwho lives in the country has always had pets, but the dogs always were inside outside dogs, and I don't remember the cats or dogs being trained. We live in the suburbs and i personally am a little more uptight about cleanliness like hair etc. anyhow any help or advice would be appreciated.
I love the idea of a rescue dog or even a shelter, but hubby is dead set on purebreed.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the advice, we are still in "discussion" about it. I agree about not getting a puppy, i agreea bout getting a mutt, i agreea bout rescuing a dog, but seriously hubby is not listening to me AT all about this. yes it does represent our marraige, but i'm not willing to divorce over the dog yet. right now i am pressing the point that we need to spay or neuter Even if it is just an inside dog, I was stunned when he said he was planning NOT to do it. ugg,

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answers from Kansas City on

If you are more uptight about hair, I'm not sure a golden is the right dog. They shed, A LOT! Our cat used to shed a ton too.

While you ask great questions and you are asking for help, do you realize the amount of work it is going to take to train a new puppy? With 2 little kids? And sorry, even the best trained puppies will have accidents, may chew on things even with toys and bones available. Are you going to have the cat declawed? Some cats will still scratch no matter what.

Sometimes they will bond, sometimes they wont. We've had both situations.

And just like kids there is no guarantee to health. Our 5 year old golden/lab mix got sick last fall. A bizarre and very rare issue with his immune system. Because he was young and had seemingly been the picture of health, of course we did many things to bring him back to normal. Which cost us $2500+

Big dogs eat a lot. I have 2 big dogs and we go through a 35 pound of dog food about every 3 weeks. Because I am as picky about my dog food as I am my people food, it isn't cheap.

Personally, I would go to a shelter. Or go to a rescue group. Many times they will have full blooded breeds. And even if you get a dog that is a few months to a year or two old, they may already be trained. I swear they realized they are getting a second chance at life and don't want to mess it up! My last 5 dogs have all been golden rescues. Our cat too was a rescue.

Good Luck

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Well, as the owner of a BIG dog, I can tell you, I have to vacuum/sweep almost every day. Golden Retrievers are big HAIRY dogs. :) Before you settle on a pure bred dog, you really should go visit the shelter. I got my mutt there (a Rott/Shepard Mix who grew to 110 lbs) at 10 weeks old. Mutts don't tend to have the health or temperament problems that purebreds often do--not to mention the benefit of saving a furry life. My dog is a mix of two dogs that you would think might be aggressive and she is actually the most mellow, sweet, docile giant. Also, keep in mind puppies are hyper when the are active and their teeth are SHARP. They love to bite hands so be careful! I think getting a puppy and kitten at the same time is a great idea. They will grow up to be great friends and will have no preconceived notions about each other when they meet because they'll be so young. Sounds like fun!
P.S. Get a crate for the puppy-- a big one that he can grow into. Put him in it whenever you leave the house and at night and then take him outside immediately when you get home so he can pee. You are never supposed to use the crate as punishment-it is supposed to be a safe, happy place that the dog associates with relaxing. If you leave his bed and toys in there and the door open, he will most likely go in it on is own when he gets tired. There is so much more! GOOD LUCK and ENJOY!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

This question gets me nervous. Please do alot of research first. You say your into cleanliness, like hair, and considering a Golden??? Lots of hair, lots of grooming. Pets take a lot of time. No running about after school and all around on weekends. Puppy should not be for you. New furniture and cleanliness does NOT equal puppy. Read up on specific breeds first. There are always breed specific rescue groups that can help place the right dog for you. SPAY/NEUTER!!! Getting a kitten and puppy/dog at the same time may be overwhelming. Maybe consider getting a young adult cat. Maybe even consider an already declawed cat from a shelter that is good with kids. I am set against declawing, but if you are that worried about your "things", consider a declawed cat that needs a home. Make sure you keep cat/dog seperate for a while having small supervised intros at first. No gaurentees all will get along. Kittens can be hurt easily by a rambunctiuos puppy/dog. Please remember, the puppy/kitten, dog/cat will be YOUR responsibility, as kids say they want them and will help, the novelty wears off fast, and husbands, most of the time are the same. I have 2 dogs and 2 cats (at one time 4) and they are my responsibilty as well as 2 young boys and work full time. Between vet bills and food and home repairs from all of them, it adds up. Also remember, animals should respect the kids, as well as the KIDS respecting the animals. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I would go to the pound or a local animal shelter and see if they have any that are what you are looking for. They may not have a golden, but they might have a golden mix. the mixes are better, as the purebreds have a lot of problems. One of my friends only buys goldens and they are at the vet alot. Her first one got bone cancer and had to be put down at only 2 1/2, and both her old and new have had a ton of ear infections.

Also, goldens are huge shedders. They have an upper and under coat, and they shed a lot.

We trained our dog (who is a dauschund) to stay off the furniture by getting her a bed and setting it next to the couch, so she could still be near us without having to be constantly in our laps on the couch. She had, until recently, been allowed on the couch, but when we bought a new one we didnt want her on it anymore and it wasnt terribly difficult to teach her to stay off. It might be harder with a big dog. The key is consistancy.

Oh, and another problem with bigger dogs is trash. Both of my friend's goldens and my aunt's german shepherd have been into the trash if you arent careful. Nothing worse than coming home and finding the trash strewn all through the kitchen and living room and a guilty dog hiding under the bed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Erie on

PLEASE don't rule out a shelter dog! There are tons of purebreds in shelters that need good homes!! If you do get a puppy, I would recommend as soon as they are old enough to take them to obedience classes. Establishing training for the animal will help them realize that they're not head of the household and believe it or not will help with them not chewing, etc.



answers from Washington DC on

Goldens shed. You will have to brush it, but they are wonderful dogs for children.
We got two cats and our dog all within the same month, 7 years ago. They are the best of friends, we now have three dogs and three cats. THey all get along very well.
I trained the dogs to see the cats as Alpha to them by letting the cats eat and drink first before the dogs were allowed to eat. I would just put the cats by the dogs food bowls and let them sniff then when they went away I let the dogs eat.
Cats are pretty easy to potty train. PUt the litter box near the food bowl and let her be.
I had both the cats in a bathroom for a couple days then let them out gradually to explore the house.
2 of my cats are declawed. THey do it with lasers now so it isn't as painful. The other one wears softpaws claw covers. These are invaluable if you like your furniture. I think, Google it.
Get the puppy into training classes immediately, well after it's first two rounds of shots. We started our Beagle at 8 weeks at Petsmart's puppy training class.
Sine I have such a zoo in here we go through a large bag 34# every 3 weeks or so. It costs about $40 a bag
We go through one medium cat food bag about every two months and that costs $11.
I get treats for all the fur people. One cat likes melons.
We have all sorts of toys and of course everytiem we go to Petsmart we end up with something new. The cas love to chase flashlite beams.
At Petsmart we have the Optimal pet plan for one dog. For the two years it was worth every penny. She is a Beagle and tends to eat everything, including bees andpoisonous snakes. So they took care of her stupid teenge time with a few shots of Benadryl. Otherwise the vet bills are not that terrible.
A visitis $34 and the shots are $18-$20 sometimes lower.
Always get the Advantix or Revolution. These keep the Heartworms and ticks away..
I dont' do my cats, they are strictly indoor cats.
Please go to the pound and get your new babies. My daughter just did her sophomore community project on the animal problem here in our county and they put down over 45 cats a week. These are good healthy cats that people just don't want, many of them are kittens. On the day we went in to interview the pound director, a guy had just brought two kittens in. Why?? Because they scratched him!! Kitties have sharp parts. THey were about 14weeks old. The pound put them down during week 2.



answers from Philadelphia on

you poor thing! good luck in convincing him that it truly is best for the dog (and your house!!)
If you're in Bucks county, please go to Animal Lifeline's thrift store in Warrington on 611 in the shopping center where Finn McCool's tavern used to be and is now empty.
They are linked to ALL rescue and training organizations so can help you with training once you get a dog. No problem on your hubby's insistence on a purebreed. They can hook you up with a rescued whatever breed when it becomes available.
Please keep us posted!!


answers from Chicago on

I am an animal person and I dislike puppies very much. If I were you I'd look for a young dog (already trained) from a rescue organization. There is no need to buy a dog. If you get a dog from rescue, they usually are living in foster homes and are trained, and the family keeping them can tell you if they're good with kids or not. Training takes time and you'll need to go to a reputable trainer. In my experience, it's been the people who don't do training that have many problems with their dogs. You'll also need daily exercise (walking at least two times) for a large dog. They have a lot of energy. As for training a cat.... I don't think you can do that. I wouldn't get both at the same time. I'd let your family get used to one, and have one get used to you, before adding another. Oh, and as far as purebred dogs go, my ex is a vet and knows from years of practice that purebreds are much unhealthier than mixed breeds. So maybe hubby should reconsider that.



answers from Harrisburg on

I just got my Doberman pup from a shelter a month ago. I had been looking for a Dobe pup but the cheapest I could find from a decent breeder was $1000. We refused to spend that much on a dog, especially when there are soooo many animals that need homes. Check daily. That's how we found him. He is a purebred but I don't have the papers which I couldn't care less about- I'm not going to show him so what do I need them for. This is our 3rd Dobe and we have trained all of them. I truly believe that all dogs should be through at least a puppy obedience course to teach them to sit, lay, stay, walk nicely on a leash, etc. It's really important so that you are always in control and don't have one of those "crazy" dogs that constantly jump and bark. I'm paying $80 for 8 weeks (an hours each week). I think they normally run a little over $100 for 6 weeks. Training has made a HUGE difference for us....and our puppy is pretty good. I agree with everyone else though about the hair and you need to remember, you are basically taking in another child. You wouldn't get rid of your child, you don't get rid of your pets (not that you would, but SO many people do). I would choose either the dog or the cat and wait a bit to get the other. I would personally probably pick the cat first since they are easier but still give your kids some responsibility and that way when you do bring a pup into the home, he is raised with the cat. Good luck and happy pet parenting!


answers from Philadelphia on

Whatever you do make sure your 5 year old is ready, we got a puppy with my almost 4 year old (we already have 1 since before she was born, and she has always been great with dogs) so we assumed she would be ok with it...dead wrong! Puppies jump and bite and she got bit on the face an er visit and needed stitches. Unless your 5 year old knows that he can not pick up the puppy, and can't play with it by himself I would say wait another year, but you know your kid, I'm J. saying watch out, it was a 9 week old puppy that landed us into the er.


answers from Dallas on

I got an 6 month old puppy and he is potty trained, I think, now at 8 months, but we still lock him in the kitchen when we leave the house and at night. He still can't be totally trusted and he will chew most anything. He is much better, but nips too. prepared to gate or crate the dog when you are not able to watch him closely. It is a lot of work and I would recommend doing some googling to learn training tips. I would also say think about getting a dog that is already about a year old because you already have your hands full with two small children.

A big dog will add to your bill because they eat a lot! My puppy has at least 5 cups of kibble per day. Vet bills, buying toys, crate, leash, etc... You need heartguard, flea stuff, monthly, all the shots and will probably want to have the dog "fixed." I spent about $700 on these things in the first 2 months. That's not including food, toys, leashes, etc...

I would suggest you research your breed to be sure he is good with children. It's work and depending on the size and breed will depend on the cost. BUT we adore our puppy! We chose a dog that does not shed, which means more cost to have him groomed, but we think it is worth it.

I haven't had a cat in a few years, but don't remember ever having to train a cat. Just the hair thing and cleaning the box.

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