We receive phone calls often from families attempting to budget and prepare themselves for dog ownership. The truth is, it is difficult to prepare for a pet and the expenses but our goal is to help as much as we can!
Unfortunately, many look at the initial cost of purchasing a purebred dog with the mentality that it has all of the bells and whistles and will not need any additional maintenance. The reality is that any dog can have health concerns and all dogs should have a healthy diet, environment and vet visits to help prevent those possibilities. According to studies, the cost of owning a dog can range from $700-3000 per year. There are also pet insurance companies that we recommend. Links to our recommendations are located on our website http://www.belmontvet.com/#!pet-insurance-links/cz2z.
After making the decision that you are prepared to be a dog owner, research what dog would best fit your lifestyle. There are many sites to help find out what breed that may be such as this one:http://www.iams.com/dog-breed-selector. After finding a reputable breeder or finding your dog at an animal shelter or rescue group, you should take him or her to your veterinarian. Depending on what your dog will need, the first visit could cost anywhere from $45-$300. Visits for puppies will likely be larger ($100-$300) every three weeks until it is current on its puppy vaccinations (usually around 16 weeks of age). Keep in mind puppy classes as well if you are a first time pet owner and if you adopt an older dog, you can in fact teach an old dog new tricks. Don't let that myth scare you, there are in fact many advantages to adopting an older dog. Follow this link for the benefits, http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/02/15/benefits-of-adopting-an-older-pet.aspx.
Additionally, necessary costs include feeding a high quality food and healthy treats ($250-$700 per year). Toys ($25-150/year) increase exercise and mental stimulation and decrease naughty behavior from boredom. Unless you plan on sharing your bed, it's best to invest in a durable, easy to clean bed for your dog ($50-200/year). It's also necessary to have a leash and collar, and if your dog is anything like mine, you'll want a durable one that they can't break or chew through! Yearly costs for this usually run from $20-50 per year. To prevent matting and/or to keep your dog clean, grooming is essential for all pets, whether you do it yourelf or take them to a groomer. Grooming services or supplies can range from $30-500 a year.
Of course routine visits to your veterinarian are key. Check ups are necessary once or twice a year. Depending on your pet's age and physical health, checkups can range from $150-300 and blood work, dental work, etc. can easily add on $100-300. When vacationing, more than likely your pets will need someone else to look after them. Whether you hire a pet sitter or decide to board them, it aerages $100-300 per year. Of course no one can prepare or expects an accident or something unexpected to occur, but unfortunately, they do. Emergencies can easily cost $500 and grow to $2000 or more quickly. Ultemately, studies show that the average yearly cost of owning a dog can range from $1100 to $3500 a year making an average monthly cost of $90-290.
These costs may seem intimidating but if you're prepared, being a pet parent is one of most rewarding experiences. Please don't hesitate to call if you ever have any questions or concerns. We are happy to help keep your pet happy and healthy!