Last week we went over some of the upfront costs associated with adding a new dog to your family. Now let’s look at some of the ongoing costs that span over the lifetime of your dog, which in many cases can be 10-15 years.
- Food – This probably goes without saying, but just like humans dogs need to eat regular meals everyday. Beware of the food you buy, cheaper dog foods may save you money now, but could lead to health problems for your pet later, which also could mean high vet bills. I choose a higher quality food, but always look for coupons or times when it comes on sale. I usually buy a little extra when it’s on sale to take advantage of the better price, just watch the expiration date.
- Annual Vet Appts – Do you go to your doctor every year for a checkup? Ok, I know we all don’t, but your pet should. It’s a good time to check up on their overall health and they’ll usually get a shot (my dog just got hers and she wasn’t too happy about it).
- Unexpected Vet Visits – Just like we can sometimes get sick or injured, so can our dogs. This results in unexpected visits and unexpected vet bills. I’ve started putting aside a little money every month just in case. It never hurts to be prepared!
- Training – If you have the know how to work on training with your new pet by yourself, then that’s great! Many of us, however, may need some extra help. Training classes can greatly vary in price depending on the type of training and length of the class. Training is great to help teach good manners around people, other dogs and when walking on a leash and leads to an overall happier life when your dog is better behaved. There’s also classes like agility training you can get involved with on an ongoing basis if you have a particularly active dog, but it can be costly.
- Flea/Heartworm Medications – Fleas can be a nuisance for your dogs and for your house. Also, here in Hawaii we have lots of mosquitoes. To keep your dogs from being bothered by fleas and keep them safe from heartworm (carried by mosquitoes) make sure they’re on flea and heartworm medication. I pay about $20 a month for each of my dogs which keeps them flea free and safe from heartworms.
- Toys, Outfits, New Gear – This is totally up to you, but I know I sometimes can’t resist picking up a new toy or one of those cute little outfits I see in the stores. If you want to be able to pick these up, but are watching your budget check out discount stores or even shop online to find great deals.
Let’s end this post with another cute dog photo – everyone meet Muffin! Stay tuned for Part III next week, where we finally get to the benefits of pet ownership, that make all the costs worth it!