They’re darling and sweet but watch out! Some dog breeds come with a lot of expenses! If you have ever owned a canine companion, you have already witnessed the expenses associated with dog ownership. Once you decide to keep a dog, you have taken on a grave responsibility because someone furry and helpless is depending on you for love and protection.
If you aren’t sure whether you can afford the luxury of having a dog to call your own, please do the research and give this much thought before bringing a new puppy or dog home. While owning a dog is an absolutely amazing experience, it is also a commitment that should last for the lifetime of your pet. Since dogs live approximately twelve to fifteen years, on average, adopting your own furry canine friend should not be a decision made impulsively. To help with your decision, here are some of the main expenses of owning a dog. Please keep in mind that this is not an entire list as plenty of other things can happen to you and your pet.
#1 – Purchasing your Canine Companion
How much is that doggy in the window? Well, depending on the breed you choose, purchasing a puppy or dog can be quite an investment. If you choose a designer dog or one that is considered a rare breed, you can expect to pay as much as $200 to $2000. If you prefer a more common and easy to find dog breed, you can expect to pay somewhere between $100 and $500, depending on the area where you live.
Even if you decide to adopt your dog from the local shelter or pound, there will be an initial investment which is intended to cover your new pet’s vaccinations, medical treatment, grooming and housing. This investment can range from as little as $30 during promotional adoption events at dog shelters to as much as one hundred dollars or more.
#2 – Veterinary Care is a Guaranteed Need
Once you bring your dog home, you should take him to the veterinary clinic for his very first veterinary appointment. At his first visit with the veterinarian, you will learn about your dog’s health and find out what type of medical care he will require. During the first visit, your dog will probably receive a vaccination and the veterinarian may suggest a flea and tick treatment. Your dog may also need his nails clipped. These preventative treatments are not too costly, but if it is determined that your new pet has any medical conditions, you could be looking at frequent veterinary care and treatments, which can run into a lot of money depending upon your dog’s ailments and breed. Here are some of the basic expenses under this category.
Routine veterinary care
Depending on your dog’s breed, it will be necessary for your dog to have routine veterinary care once to twelve times per year so your veterinarian can detect problems before they progress. Regular examinations can average between $50 and $100 in cost, and includes a thorough exam from nose to tail, including your dog’s dental care. Keep in mind that the cost of veterinary care will differ according to your dog’s size, your geographical location and possibly even your dog’s temperament.
Spay or Neuter Surgery
If you adopt a canine companion, you should be a responsible owner by having your dog spayed or neutered. This is absolutely necessary unless you are a professional breeder, as this will help control the dog population in your area and build the relationship between you and your pet. Having this surgery may cost as much as $200 dollars, but it is a lot more affordable than an emergency Caesarean section or a little of puppies that will all require veterinary care as well as food and other necessities. Also, many communities and animal activists are starting to work together, helping dog owners pay for this surgery. Ask your veterinarian if there is help in your area.
Emergency Care Costs
While you hope that your dog will never need emergency care, the sad truth is that this happens all of the time. Aside from routine veterinary care, your dog could incur an accidental injury and require expensive medical intervention such as surgery or a weeklong stay in the animal hospital. Your pet is also susceptible to diseases and illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis and other serious health issues that could run into thousands of dollars.
While you definitely do not want your dog to require emergency medical care, it is even worse when you cannot pay for the care he really needs and you are forced to watch him suffer or worse, you must make the decision to put him to sleep. You should ask yourself this question: Can I afford to pay for the care my dog needs if he is hit by a car?
Hopefully, you will never have to experience that feeling. If you decide to purchase or adopt a dog, start a rainy day fund for your pet so he is always well-protected, just in case you have an emergency someday. Another option to be considered is pet insurance, next on our list of dog expenses.
#3 – Purchasing Pet Insurance for Your Dog
Pet insurance can protect you and your pet from several different occurrences, depending upon the policy and coverage you choose for your dog. Dog insurance will help by reducing some of the preventative care your dog will need, as well as help with the costs of emergency veterinary bills.
Depending on your dog’s breed and age, the location of your home and the amount of coverage you have chosen, you can expect to pay as little as $200-500 annually for pet insurance. These are just some estimates, as pet insurance premiums can equal much more. Pet insurance is also optional but if you are covered, it will likely pay for itself in savings.
#4 – Daily Supplies and Dog Necessities
As we all know, bringing a dog home will require a lot of preparation and numerous supplies including a dog crate, dog bed or pet pad, collars and leashes, a dog harness, age appropriate food and treats, dog bowls and water dishes, toys and travel supplies. If you have chosen a puppy, you will also need house training supplies including disposable pads.
Some dog owners will also purchase dog clothes, neckwear such as dog bandannas or scarves, and adorable shoes to protect their paws. While this may not seem very costly when you are purchasing these items one at a time, this can add up if you are not prepared or financially stable. For example, dog food and treats could cost approximately $250 to $700 annually, depending on your dog’s size and breed.
#5 – Dog Grooming Costs
Grooming is very important to help maintain your dog’s healthy coat and overall health, especially in the ears and on the paws. Depending on your dog’s coat and the season, grooming can be an economical expense or a financial challenge. Owners can help curb some of the costs associated with bathing and grooming their dogs, but a professional grooming should also be done on a regular basis as well.
You can help the groomer care for your dog’s coat by purchasing some grooming tools to use at home. With daily or weekly brushings, you can avoid unsightly tangles and unattractive matting. Ask the groomer how often your dog should be bathed at home. Some dog breeds require a weekly bath while other breeds need one each month or less.
#6 – Obedience Training and other Dog Classes
In order for your dog to behave and have good manners, you may want to socialize your dog with the help of obedience training and other canine classes. If you have faith in your own abilities, you might try purchasing books and DVDs on how to train your dog at home.
This can be very difficult when there are so many distractions around. Also, those big puppy dog eyes may make it hard to be stern during training sessions. Professional dog training classes can range from $10 to $100 per hour, which can quickly add up. The results will be well worth the investment, if you have the finances for obedience training.
#7 – Dog Travel Care
No matter where you choose to travel, your dog will need special accommodations. There may be a pet deposit, depending on the hotel you have booked and there will be locations where your dog may not be welcomed while traveling.
If you don’t take your dog along and there is no one you can trust to help, you will need to hire a kennel which can be quite costly, especially for an extended stay. When you take your dog on a trip by car, you should purchase a car seat or travel crate to keep him safe.
When traveling across long distances with your dog using an airline, bus or train service, you will be required to contain him with a dog carrier and pay an extra fee for his ticket.
Dogs deserve our love, and need our help and protection. It is important to know what you are getting into when you purchase or adopt a dog, and make sure that you have a firm understanding of the responsibility you are assuming. By knowing what to expect and doing the research, you can adopt a dog breed that is best suited for your income level.
The expenses of owning a dog should not be the reason to stop you from adopting a pet that needs a home and someone to love. While the yearly cost of dog ownership can total several thousand dollars, the joy brought to your home and life is worth all of the financial burdens.