Dogs are often adopted without much thought as to the long-term cost of care. Sometimes this can lead to the dog being given up or abandoned because the owner is unable to care for it financially. Before getting a dog, it’s important to know how much caring for it will cost so you can determine if you can financially afford to have a canine companion now, and forever.
Read the following 10 common expenses to see how much owning a dog really costs.
1. The Dog
Depending on the breed and source, a purebred dog can cost anywhere from $500 to $2000, give or take. Mixed breed dogs from your local shelter will cost $50 to $200 in most areas. Whether you get a mixed breed or purebred, one thing is the same. Older dogs will cost less and as a bonus, they will already be housebroken.
2. Food and Treats
Depending on the size of your dog, you are going to go through a lot of food and treats. Obviously bigger breeds eat more, but regardless of whether you have a poodle or a great dane, you’ll want to feed them high-quality, nutritious dog food and treats. Expect to spend $20-$60 per month on food.
Toys are important to keep your dog busy and happy. If you don’t provide him with a safe place to chew, he may decide your favorite slippers look like a fine substitute toy. This is especially important if you have a puppy. Luckily, you don’t need many toys and you don’t need to buy them very often. $25-$150 per year worth of toys should do the trick.
4. You dog must have at least one leash and one collar. Many dog owners prefer to have multiples of each, and both require periodic replacing. Set aside $20-$50 each year to get your dog properly fitting collars and leashes each year.
It’s a common misbelief amongst new dog owners that they can do all of their grooming themselves. No matter which breed of dog you have, you’re probably going to turn to the professionals for at least one good grooming per year. Nail clipping and other more frequent services can also be done at the groomers. Expect to spend $30-$500 yearly to keep your dog looking his best.
6. Routine Veterinary Care
The cost of routine veterinary care can vary wildly depending on where you live. Expect to spend $100 a year for well check-ups in a cheap market and $300 in a higher market. Blood work can add on a couple hundred dollars and yearly dental cleanings can easily cost $200. Costs increase if your dog is sick or has a medical condition. If you don’t get your pup pre-spayed or neutered, that service will also run a few hundred dollars.
7. Preventative Medicines
Preventative medicines aren’t just for aging pets. Flea and tick medication also fall into this category as well as heart worm preventer. Expect to spend about $300 a year on preventative medicines.
Training your dog to obey simply commands will make your life a lot easier. A good training course will cost between $25 and $300 depending on where you live, but it’s worth every penny.
9. Pet Sitters or Boarding
When you go on vacation, your pet will need somewhere to stay. Boarding them at a kennel or hiring a pet sitter isn’t cheap. Often, the cost of boarding your pet may be as much as your travel expenses. On average, dog owners spend $100-$300 per year on boarding expenses.
Emergencies include chronic illnesses, disasters and unforeseen urgent care needs. Planning for emergencies by seeing aside money each month can help in the event that something happens to your four-legged friend.
All together, dog owners spend an average of $1100 to $3500 on their pets. Owning a dog is a big financial commitment as well as a big time commitment. Make sure you have plenty of both before bringing a canine into your family.