Expenses to Consider
Thinking about whether owning a dog is within your budget? Keep in mind that it’s important to consider the different expenses that occur with dogs.
- Purchasing your dog
- Cost of breed-specific surgeries such as tail docking
- Spaying or neutering your pup
Recurring Annual Expenses
- Once or twice yearly routine exams
- Parasite protection
- Sudden illness (breathing difficulties, vomiting, diarrhea)
- Chronic illness (cancer, diabetes, etc.)
Calculating the Average Cost of Owning a Dog
There are many factors to consider when estimating how much a dog costs, such as size and breed of your dog, any health risks of the breed, and the routine veterinary services they’ll need to look and feel their best.
Along with prevention measures and routine veterinary care, to properly estimate a realistic cost of owning a dog, you’ll also want to look into the cost of food (based on how much your chosen dog breed will eat), beds, collars, leashes, toys, treats, grooming sessions, obedience training, boarding for vacations, and potentially the cost of hiring a dog walker.
Your location is another variable to consider. Services from veterinary care to dog grooming and dog sitting range widely in price based on the area you live in. For a true estimate of costs, you’ll need to consider the breed you are looking at getting, the breed’s risk of chronic illness, and how much the vet services your dog needs cost in your area.
Ways to Make Dog Ownership More Affordable
If you have your heart set on having a dog as part of your family, there are ways to help make the annual cost of owning a dog more affordable.
Set Aside a Money Just For Pet Care
If you are good at saving and budgeting this may be a good solution for you. Whether you use a separate bank account or a jar tucked away somewhere safe. Calculate how much you would need if your pet suffered a veterinary emergency then work out a reasonable about to tuck away each payday. Having that money put aside may help to make veterinary emergencies less stressful when they strike.
If you are concerned about the high cost of emergency care or caring for a pet with a chronic illness, pet insurance may be right for you. Pet insurance can certainly help to relieve the burden of emergency care costs, but it's important to understand what your pet's policy covers before signing on the dotted line.
Many veterinarians offer wellness plans to help pet parents budget for their pet's annual preventive care. These plans take annual recommended preventive care and divide that cost into 12 easy-to-manage payments. At Riverside Veterinary Hospital, our pet wellness plans for dogs include annual core vaccines, two routine exams per year, your dog's Bordetella vaccine, 12 months of flea and tick prevention, and 12 months of essential heartworm protection.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.