The Cost of Dog Ownership
There is no doubt that a dog adds unlimited love and immeasurable joy to a family. Dogs often become important parts of the family and, like any family member, there is no price thatâ€™s too high for their comfort, health and safety. That said, there are significant costs associated with dog ownership and it is important that every potential owner understand them and expect to incur them prior to adopting a dog.
While no two situations are exactly the same and not all families will incur every cost, here are some common costs that a new owner might incur when first getting a dog:
- The cost of the dog. This will vary widely. It can be several thousand dollars for some purebreds, several hundred dollars for others or a small donation if you adopt a rescue dog.
- The first vet visit. Again, this cost will vary widely depending on how up to date your dogâ€™s shots are.
- Spaying/neutering. Many dog owners who do not plan to breed their dogs will spay or neuter their dogs soon after adoption.
- A crate and / or dog bed. If you are crate training your dog, then you need to purchase a crate as soon as possible so that you can begin your training program. If you are adopting a dog that is already trained or you want a comfortable place for your dog to sleep when s/he is not in the crate, then you might also consider a dog bed.
- Food and water bowls. These will be necessary so that your dog can eat and drink.
- Collar and leash. In order to keep your dog safe outside, you need to have a secure collar and leash to prevent him from running off. Also, many cities and towns have dog leash laws that require your dog to be on leash while outside (except in designated areas such as a fenced in backyard).
- Training materials. This could be a wide variety of things and the cost is variable. Some common examples include: safety gates to keep dogâ€™s in a small space in the home and training collars.
- Grooming tools. If you are going to groom your dog at home, then the proper tools are necessary.
There are some costs that you will keep paying throughout the course of your dogâ€™s life. These include:
- Dog food and treats. Discuss with your vet the type and amount of food your dog should eat and figure the monthly cost into your budget.
- Chew Toys / Bones. In order to prevent your dog from being destructive, toys and bones are a good idea.
- Flea and Heartworm Protection. Both flea and heartworm protection are important to keep you dog healthy.
- Vet Care. Regular vet care is essential for the good health of your dog.
- Grooming. If your dog requires professional grooming this can be quite expensive. Discuss with your groomer how often your dog will need to be groomed and at what cost.
- Dog license. This varies from town to town. Call your town or city hall for an estimate of this yearly expense.
So, before adding a dog to your family it is important that you understand the costs and the responsibilities of responsible pet ownership. If you do and are gladly willing to accept them, then the rewards can be immeasurable.
Written by Maria Lee of Oh My Dog Supplies
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