Are you ready for Pit Bull Ownership

there are a lot of things you should know


Are you ready for a pet?

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We shouldn’t have to remind responsible dog owners that proper nutrition, socialization, training, veterinary care, regular exercise, love and understanding are the necessary elements to pet ownership.  As you consider saving an American Pit Bull Terrier or other dog please read the information below.

Check out this great ownership resource from Bad Rap:

Average Annual Dog Care Expenses*

These costs do not include adoption fees or the cost to purchase if you choose a breeder


Food (based on 1 20-40$ bag per mo.)

Distemper/Parvo Vaccines

Rabies shots


Spaying/Neutering **

Heartworm testing/prevention



Accessories (leash/collar/toys)

Emergency Vet Care


First Year


$35 (x3)

$15 (1 year)



$50 + $10/mo.


$45 + registration




Each Succeeding Year


$35 + office visit (1 yr)

$10 (3 yr booster)

$25 (worm check)


$50 + $10/mo.





*costs will vary depending on charges by individual veterinarians

**this cost can be less if you are saving a shelter dog or use a low cost clinic in your area

A dog’s lifespan is more than 10 years which means the average cost of pet ownership is over $10,000

Owning a pet is often a wonderful experience; however, it requires responsibility and commitment. Understanding these responsibilities is essential to acquiring a dog and it should always be a family decision and never a surprise “gift”.  Research breed characteristics of the dog you are interested in adding to your home to ensure that you get a dog that is appropriate for your lifestyle and consider the dog’s needs as you think about your future. It is very important to think about whether you are willing to commit the time, effort and expense required for its proper care before you acquire a dog, not after the dog is in your home!!

Once the dog is in your home, it has only YOU to depend on to make the right decisions regarding its future. You are now responsible for this life.

Some Things to Consider Before Acquiring a Pit Bull

  1. proper food and shelter

  2. breed education

  3. consideration for other pets if you have them

  4. annual inoculations/tests/checkups

  5. licensing, breed specific restrictions

  6. neutering/spaying

  7. adequate attention and safe exercise

  8. care while you vacation/travel

  9. known allergies of family members

  10. initial and ongoing training

  11. medical emergency costs

  12. preventing your pet from wandering and becoming a nuisance to others

  13. a ten year commitment (or more!)

  14. Homeowner’s INSURANCE!!

NEUTER YOUR MALE PIT BULL (and spay your female)

You love him, he’s your “boy”. You wouldn’t want to do anything to harm him right?  You wouldn’t want “yours” removed so he must just be just as attached to “his” right?  WRONG. He is a dog, stop personalizing this and listen to the facts.

Most of the pets killed on our roads are males that haven’t been neutered.  The #1 dog most likely to bite is an unaltered male. Most of the pit bulls we see in shelters are young, unaltered males. When you alter your pet, you don’t change his masculinity or personality.  You allow him to ignore the urges to run away, climb your fence, bolt across that busy street, the urge to fight other dogs. With the urges in control, he’ll be happy to stay at home with you....happy to be “your boy”.  He will be more attentive training, more affectionate, less tense.  He will only get “fat and lazy” if you feed him too much and don’t exercise him enough. Dogs don’t over feed themselves.  By keeping yourself in shape, you can keep your dog in shape too.....

-credit for these materials to The American Kennel Club, The Humane Society of the United States, Dog World (Nov.1997), SPCA of Texas (Dallas), Community Animal Programs (Herkimer County NY), Bad Rap, and Chesapeake Bay Retriever Rescue

Making sure your pit bull is allowed wherever you go is a big responsibility. Make sure you do it before you have the dog or always take it into account wherever you plan to go.  Unfortunately, many rental agencies won’t allow pit bulls even if the dog is within the size and weight limits.  This is something to find out BEFORE the lease is signed.  Many homeowner’s insurance companies are refusing to insure those with pit bulls (safe bets are: State Farm, Farmers, Amica, USAA, Travelers, Nationwide (requires a CGC), Kemper, Chubb, Safeco and Sunny So Cal).  if you know of others let us know!  Verify ownership if you can.  Here is an insurance resource website that has more pet friendly insurance names:

Be a Responsible Pit Bull Owner

  1. Keep your pit bull healthy - physically and mentally: You need to provide food, water, exercise, training and vet care. Pit bulls belong in the house as “ house pets”, they do not have the physical requirements for temperature extremes.  Pit bulls should never be left for long periods of time - they crave companionship and should stay in the house with family whenever possible.  Pit bulls require more exercise than your average dog, especially when they are young.  Be sure to provide enough positive outlets of exercise on a daily basis.  If you need suggestions, let us know.

  2. A one-time surgery, A lifetime benefit: Spaying or neutering your pit bull is the single most important step you can take to be a responsible owner. The result is that your dog will no longer be able to bring more homeless animals into the world.  Spaying and neutering reduces or eliminates the possibility of several cancers and prostate disorders.  Spayed and neutered dogs live longer, healthier lives and make better, more affectionate companions.

  3. Obey the law, Protect your pit bull:  No matter how careful you are, there’s always the chance that you’ll lose your dog. License and put an ID tag on your pit bull before a problem occurs. Microchips are a great idea!

  4. Exercise Restraint: An essential rule is: Off property, On leash.  When not confined to your property, your dog MUST be under control.  If your property is not fenced, your pit bull should be on a leash at all times while outside.

  5. A Lifetime Commitment:  Dogs tied or kenneled out in the backyard for long periods of time, crated inside all day or exercised only at their owner’s convenience are neglected dogs that are likely to develop serious behavior problems. It’s up to you to provide your dog a “lifetime guarantee” for love, attention and care. Dogs are not “things” made purely for your enjoyment, they require time and attention.

Click here for more information on why you may not want a pit bull dog: Don’t Get A Pit Bull