Have you fallen in love with that doggy in the window?
Choosing to add a pup to your family can bring you a lifetime of unparalleled joy, love, and loyal companionship; however, pet ownership also comes with its fair share of expenses. There are the initial upfront costs, like adoption fees, reoccurring expenses like pet food and vaccinations, and unexpected events that can lead to emergency dog care centre visits.
Don’t get caught by surprise. Before you bring home a new dog, you must factor the costs of dog ownership into your monthly budget to ensure you don’t get caught short.
Broken down by category, here are some of the most significant expenses you can expect to pay when adopting a new dog.
New Dog Expenses
The first few months of dog ownership can leave a dent in your wallet. On average, new dog owners will spend between $1,300 and just over $4,000 on upfront dog care costs; this includes pet staples like:
- Food bowls
- Dog bed
- Poop bags
- Grooming tools
And necessary dog care expenses like:
- Adoption fees
- Initial vet exam
- Spay or neutering (not required but highly recommended)
- First vaccinations
- Microchip (optional)
- Pet license
While the cost for some of these expenses, like microchips and pet licenses, are relatively standard, others like your initial vet exam and spay and neutering can vary depending on the dog care centre you choose. You also have discretion on how much to budget for pet accessories like bowls, leashes, and toys; your dog is unlikely to notice the difference between a $5 water bowl and a $50 one.
Annual Dog Expenses
Now that you’ve covered all the one-time upfront dog ownership costs, you have the regular, reoccurring expenses to consider. The basics of the category include:
- Annual checkups
- Vaccine boosters
How much you can expect to spend in this area will vary depending on the breed of your pup, where you live, and the type of food you choose to feed them. But, on average, plan to spend between $600 and $4,300 a year.
Many dog owners also regularly take their pets in for professional grooming and annual flea and tick prevention treatments. Other essentials to consider include the cost of toys, poop bags, and treats.
Optional Dog Expenses
For busy families, managing all your dog’s physical, emotional, and activity needs can be a challenge. Or maybe your summer plans don’t include Fido. In any case, it’s important to think about (and budget for) non-regular or optional expenses like:
- Doggy daycare
- Dog Boarding
- Dog walker
- Puppy training
- Dog wellness visits
- Pet insurance
- Dental cleaning
And don’t forget about those surprise emergency expenses. If you opt for pet insurance, you might be covered for emergency vet visits. Otherwise, just in case, it would be wise to set aside money each month.
Choose a Dog Care Centre That Cares
Once you’ve committed to bringing a dog into your family, ensure they receive the best care possible by choosing the right dog care centre. A few things to consider when exploring pet care options in your area include:
- Experience of the veterinarians
- Range of services offered
- Friendliness of the staff
- Cleanliness of the facility
Picking a vet is a big decision, but remember, if you are ever unhappy with the care you are receiving at your vet, you are always free to explore other options!
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