We have a new Puppy! Now what?

Puppies!!!! Getting them home is the fun part. 
 Taking care of them is a whole other story!

Meet Heartly.

Heartly <3
She's the newest addition to our family. She's a 5 month old Yorkie/Maltese mix breed (we got her when she was only 3 1/2 months old). Very recently she gave us our first little scare. We noticed that she was behaving rather sluggishly for an otherwise very active puppy. She was very sleepy and overall not really hungry or thirsty. We took her temp (the very not-so-fun way!) and found that she had a fever of 39.5 C (which to my US friends is a whopping 103.1 F)! Keep in mind this happened only a few days after she received her first round of vaccines plus the rabies vaccine all during the same visit to the vet.

Obviously as worried parents to a tiny fur baby, we were so concerned. We stayed up the whole night, and watched as she slept to make sure her fever didn't get out of control. First things first: we called the vet to ask if this could be a possible reaction to the vaccinations she had received, of course they immediately answered "No, you should definitely bring her in. The initial examination will cost $97, and any blood work and/or further diagnostics will be discussed after the doctor determines what is required." (To tell you a little bit about me . . . I don't like getting taken advantage of neither on a personal nor professional level.)

At the Vet Clinic before grooming!
My next step, obviously still very concerned for our pup was to start scouring the Internet for any and all information we could find. Entering the eternal world of Google Search, we found that it could be something as simple as overheating,(the only course of action on our part was to monitor her behaviour and try to keep her cool), to something as sever as a bad infection to which she might need antibiotics and potentially surgery! Then we remembered that she had recently lost two of her puppy teeth, and BINGO . . . our fur baby is TEETHING! Just like any other baby, when puppies are teething, they want nothing more than to sleep, and what usually comes with teething? ? ? You guessed it, a FEVER! We found that keeping her hydrated (including adding a small amount of chicken broth) and giving her a very very low dose of baby aspirin did the trick.  Within the next two days her fever slowly diminished and now she's back to chewing everything in sight, I forgot to mention that teething will make them do that too :)  I remember when my daughter was teething, her go-to pain reliever was mommy's Otterbox cellphone case, with the cellphone still in it! Pacifiers did nothing for her!

After the groomers :)
This brings me to the all important question of "To Insure, or NOT To Insure"? I've been having a tough time with this one because I feel like there's no real affordable alternative, other than to pay more to insure my pet than I do to insure myself! A friendly visit to the vet can run you from around $80-300, diagnostics can run even higher. Reading horror stories online about surprise vet bills as a result of a beloved pet getting sick or injured. The costs ranged from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars and all I could think of was "What are we going to do if our puppy is sick and we have to take her to the vet?" We can't afford that, and applying for the Vet payment plans have interest rates that are not at all pleasant. It's really a double edged sword that you can't afford to be on either side of! There are plans ranging from 10-15 dollars (which include very limited and very basic pet accident coverage, but don't include the illness and Vet costs which is the primary thing we WANT them to be covered for!), then there are the plans you actually need, which range from $24+ and skyrocket from there! Your rates are determined by your pets age, any pre-existing conditions (I believe they ask for a screening from the Vet to confirm that your pet doesn't have any known conditions). The rates also depend on how much coverage you want for your pet and how high or how low you want your deductibles to be.

**We're still looking for the perfect fit for our playful pup.  I'd love to hear any recommendations or experiences you'd be willing to share!