Dogs by the Dollars: Cost of Owning a Dog
Dogs are human being’s best friends. They are the most loyal companions one can ever wish for. Dogs are energetic, playful, friendly, and silly but at the same time, owning a dog is a real responsibility. Before bringing a furry friend into your life and home, it is essential to understand their needs and requirements. Yes, they can be a liability for some because they’ll need your emotional, mental, and financial support for their whole life.
So the dog owners need to pose the question to themselves before they go ahead and get one: Am I prepared for this?
Know that getting a dog is a commitment. It will mean a complete change to your lifestyle. Walking the dog in the morning will be your first task of the day, followed by feeding him, taking him to the vet for timely check-ups and vaccinations, and the most crucial thing in all of these is the ‘money’ factor.
Owning a dog will be a financial burden. The dog’s health and happiness will be your responsibility. Your pet will be entirely dependent on you for everything, and to take proper care of your pup, you’ll need to invest a lot of love, time, patience, energy, efforts, hard work, and the most important of all, money.
There’s no such thing as a ‘free puppy.’ Even if you adopt your new friend or buy a pure or mixed breed, in the long run, each one of them will require proper care. Initially, there are the basic requirements that your pup or dog will need, like food supplies, treats, toys, and a collar belt.
But there’s not all! There will be other expenses regularly that’ll burn a hole in your pocket.
Your pet needs to have a proper diet and take each meal. A nutritional and balanced diet will ensure good health and longevity. On the other hand, a low diet will lead to skin infection and irritation, hair fall, dog food allergies, indigestion, vomiting, constipation, growth, and developmental problems. Therefore dogs need to be fed the premium food designed for them, but they don’t come cheap.
Having a pet means routine visits to the vets, be it monthly, weekly, or yearly. These visits will include vaccines, yearly boosters, wellness check-ups, lab tests, and dental care. Additionally, if your pet falls sick or meets with an accident, there will be an additional cost for that, and Vets are expensive.
The grooming cost for your dog will depend entirely on the breed. A long-haired dog like a Maltese will need professional grooming at the dog salon or parlor. However, you can groom certain dog breeds at home and save the expense of a professional parlor.
There are accessories required for your dog besides food and vet costs that you cannot avoid. A new puppy will require teething toys, dog urine cleaning pads, puppy training pads, grooming and bathing products, Dog Coats that’ll keep you warm, covers, and bed blankets among others. If you travel a lot, you’ll also need a pet sitter.
The costs incurred on a dog depends on various factors. Some of them include the following:
- Cost of the pet: Buying a purebred or a mixed breed will cost you a lot of money. But adopting a dog will save you a few bucks, and you’ll provide a forever home to a shelter friend.
- Size of the Breed: The size of the dog breeds matter. Smaller dogs have a higher life expectancy than the large breeds. According to research, the lifetime cost of a dog is as followed:
- Small breed dog: $15,051 (average life expectancy: 15 years)
- Medium Breed dog: $15,782 (average life expectancy: 13 years)
- Large breed dogs: $14,480 (average life expectancy: 10years)
- Age Factor: Puppies will live longer than adult dogs. Therefore getting a puppy will need a more prolonged investment.
- Treats and Toys: The market is booming with dog and pet supplies everywhere. Be it cute costumes, extensive treats, lovable toys, attractive collar belts, crates, dog walkers, supplements, or customized name tags. And every once in a while, an owner is sure to get tempted. These lead to more additional expenses.
- Development: Your dog will need some training for overall development. From basic obedience classes to high-level training and Dog yoga, these activities are indeed expensive.
According to the American Pet Products Association report, in 2012, American pet owners spent over $53 billion on food, veterinary care, kennel, and other services.
So it is crucial to consider all the mentioned factors above before getting yourself a pet. In a nutshell, owning a dog is not inexpensive. But the money is spent gradually over the years and not immediately. But you’ll be trading your money for a loyal friend who’ll love you unconditionally through thick and thin. So it’s worth it.