The Financial Commitment of Having a Dog

May 23 2018

The Financial Commitment of Having a Dog

Pet Care Costs Should Be in Your Budget

Dogs require a financial commitment. The total annual cost of owning a dog surprises many people—it’s best to be prepared and budget accordingly. Good quality dog food is not cheap. Municipalities require that dogs be licensed. Then there’s the cost of dog toys, dog beds, leashes, collars, treats, grooming—it all adds up.

Healthcare for your dog can be expensive. At a minimum, your pet will need annual wellness exams and vaccinations. But emergency injuries or illness happen as well. Dogs sometimes need expensive surgery. They ingest things that are harmful to them, including plants in your yard. As dogs get older, just like people their medical expenses rise.

One option to consider is pet health insurance. Several organizations offer this, including the American Kennel Club with its AKC Pet Healthcare Plan. By paying monthly or quarterly premiums you can spread the cost of routine medical care over the year, and you will be protected from being hit with a huge medical bill if your dog requires an operation or other treatment. Dogs even require dental care, including teeth cleaning and, on occasion root canals.

Are you willing to spend the money to properly care for your dog?  It’s not fair to the dog if at this particular stage of your life you can’t afford to take good care of him. And it’s not fair to you to have to worry about such things as whether you can afford the dog’s annual vaccinations.

Do you know what it costs annually to keep a dog healthy and happy? If not, you should do some research and calculate an annual budget for all the necessities, and allow for the unexpected medical care that might be needed. It’s a $500 a year cost at least, and can easily run $1,000 or more. It’s best to be prepared for these maintenance expenses instead of letting them be an unpleasant surprise.

There may be other expenses as well. If your property is not fenced, you may have to build a fenced area if you have an active dog or one that tends to leave the yard when he gets a chance. Without some kind of fenced area on your property, you may quickly tire of having to take him out on a leash multiple times a day, especially in bad weather.

Do you travel frequently? Then you either need to factor in the cost of taking your dog to a boarding kennel while you are away—and many of these cost $50 a day or more for care—or hiring a dog sitter to come to your home and take care of your dog.

You may enjoy reading about Pet Insurance options. We received an excellent article that actually reviewed many of the Pet Insurance options to help the Pet Owner make an educated decision. You can find it here:  Pet Insurance

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