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Are You Prepared for the Real Cost of Owning a Dog?

Are You Prepared for the Real Cost of Owning a Dog?

It can be tempting to throw caution to the wind and take that cute puppy home right away…but before you commit to getting a dog, you should be fully aware of the financial responsibility you are taking on.

Dogs require a lot more than just love and affection. They are a significant investment that will cost you thousands of dollars throughout the dog’s life.

Here, we’ll walk you through the finances of owning a dog, and how much you will likely have to spend for that dream pup. Dogs can be affordable, but they require careful planning, and you should carefully consider your situation before committing to one.

Where You Pick Out Your Pup

One of the first costs will be where you choose to get your dog. If you choose to adopt a dog from a shelter, you’ll likely have to pay adoption fees. These can vary depending on the shelter, but will often cost from around $300-500. Shelters are excellent if you’re looking to rescue a dog in need of a home. However, it is often difficult to know the breed of the dog you are adopting, as well as its full health history.

Choosing The Right Breeder

Although there is occasionally a stigma around getting a dog anywhere but a shelter, there is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to get your dog from a breeder. It’s an excellent way of getting a happy, healthy puppy. And you’ll have access to all of your puppy’s health history, and know what type of breed it is.

Just make sure you choose a breeder a with healthy puppys. Always make sure that you know the breeder’s reputation before you make a purchase. If they are promising you a pure breed, but for a price significantly lower than other breeders, you should take caution before buying.

Big City, Big Costs

A big factor in how much you can expect to pay for your dog will be where you live. If you live in a big city, you can expect to pay a good deal more for your dog than if you live in a rural area. Vets will likely be more expensive, as will grooming and boarding services. You’ll also probably pay more for food, which can really add up over the course of your dog’s life.

Pups Require A Lot Of Gear

You’ll need a lot of equipment when you first buy your dog, meaning big costs up front. This will include leashes, collars, cages or crates, and toys. You’ll also have to stock up on food and treats. These may seem like small things, but together they can run you hundreds of dollars.

You may also consider investing in a trainer early on to get your dog’s training off to the right paw. Although not essential, a trainer can give your puppy more structured exercises, and help accelerate the housebreaking process. This could add hundreds of dollars on top of everything that you’ve paid already.

Early Medical Bills

Some pups may also need vaccinations, as well as spaying or neutering. You’ll want to talk to your vet to make sure that your puppy has everything they need. This is also going to cost you hundreds of dollars more.

An Unwanted Mess

Keep in mind that even the calmest, gentlest young pup is going to cause some wear and tear to your home. This could include, but is certainly not limited to, torn up furniture, destroyed shoes, and pee on carpet and rugs. Depending on the value of these items, your pup can run up quite the bill, and fast.

Minimize this cost by puppy proofing your home as best you can. One of the best ways of doing this is creating a designated puppy area, where you can control what your dog has access to. This will prevent them from destroying your sofa, or tearing up your favorite shoes.

How Much Will I Spend In Total?

The amount that you will end up spending on your pup will depend on a lot of factors, including the size of your dog. If you buy a smaller dog, you’ll end up spending a lot less on food, medications, and boarding over the course of your dog’s life. According to the ASPCA, you can expect to spend around $750 per year, in addition to the one-time costs that you will have when you first get your pup. All told, you can expect to spend anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 for  your dog, without any major medical costs included.

Preparing For Unexpected Medical Costs

You must also take into account the possibility of unexpected medical costs. No one wants to think about their puppy getting sick, but it happens to most dogs at some point. That’s why you should always make sure you have a plan in case of medical emergencies.

It can be tough to plan for these expenses because the costs can vary so widely.

One way of preparing is setting up a savings account where you put money aside to be used in the case of unforeseen medical costs for your dog. This an excellent way of making sure you always have a little extra in case of emergencies.

You may also want to consider pet insurance—luckily, our puppies come with a year of the best dog insurance in the world. There’s a wide range of different insurance companies out there, offering plans with varying degrees of coverage. Most of these plans will cover emergency conditions, although the amount they will pay for differs between companies and plans. Pick a plan based on your needs and budget.

Also note that insurance may be more expensive for certain breeds that have a history of significant health problems.

Puppies Take Up A Lot Of Time

You’re going to have to spend more than money when you get a new pup. Any dog will come with a big time commitment. Dog’s are active, and they expect you to be, too. And don’t forget all of the time you’ll have to spend getting food, taking them to the vet, and cleaning up their mess.

Dogs are fun loving and excellent companions. But they’re a lot of work. Before committing to a puppy, make sure that you have the financial resources, time, and space to properly raise a dog. This is not a light decision. Dogs are smart, highly sensitive animals. They deserve proper respect and a good home with loving owners. Make sure you are willing to provide this before you decide to bring a puppy home.

And if you’ve decided that you are ready for a dog, head to our puppy finder page to find the perfect pooch.

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