Pet Ownership And Expenses: How To Know If You Can Truly Afford A Dog

  • 06/09/2020
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pet-wonership-costs.jpgMany people have fond memories of dog ownership from their childhood and want to own one as adults. There are a lot of factors to consider before bringing a new family member home. How do you know when you are actually ready to go from wanting a dog to owning a dog?

Before owning a dog you have to be prepared to provide routine and emergency care, as well as determine if you have the time that a new pet requires. Depending on the breed you may need to consider factors such as grooming, medical expenses, and training. You also need to consider adjustments that you will have to make to your home to make it dog friendly.

By ensuring that you are prepared for the financial responsibility involved you are not only verifying that you can care for your dog but help it thrive. To do this, you will want to investigate the costs related to key areas of care. Day to day supplies, vet bills, and at-home investments are three crucial areas to consider.

Routine Care

There are some essential supplies that all dog owners will need, and you will want to make sure that you are ready to provide them. On a day-to-day basis, you will need to make sure that you can offer canned and dry food, in addition to any treats. Some standard supplies such as leashes, leaders, or harnesses, and boots if you live somewhere with harsher winters, should be expected, along with a possible need for professional training assistance.

Depending on the disposition of your dog, they may need behavioural training, and while this will require a time investment on your part, you may need a professional trainer to ensure continued success. House and crate training, walking, and basic commands are a necessary part of pet ownership and something that will help make your experience as an owner smoother. This is in addition to some breed-specific needs that may arise.

For some breeds, the cost of grooming needs to be seriously considered. While some dogs won’t need a professional’s touch, others will need consistent care. Dogs with especially thick, curly, or multi-layered coats will likely need to see a groomer at least a couple of times a year, and if you are not able to complete nail trimming and teeth cleaning at home, you should budget for this as well.

Emergency and Medical Care

Dogs require yearly vaccinations, booster shots, and checkups, just like humans. Vet bills are a considerable cost to assess as they are unavoidable even for the healthiest dogs. Most vets can do a multi-year rabies vaccination, but routine checkups are an important part of keeping your dog happy and healthy.

As dogs get older regular appointments are necessary to address normal ageing concerns, including eye, teeth, and dietary changes. You will need to anticipate increased care, medications, and specialized foods as they age. While ageing is an inevitable part of owning a dog, there are some situations that you aren’t able to anticipate, and you will need to be ready for those as well.

Emergencies can happen out of the blue, and making sure that you are prepared to handle any financial impact is a major factor in whether or not you are prepared to own a dog. This could be anything from your dog ingesting one of many household toxins to an injury from another dog. Emergency services come with hefty bills, and you need to be sure that you will be able to get your dog any help they may need.

Household Investments

Making sure that your home is ready is one of the final steps in preparing for a dog. You need to consider the age and associated needs that the dog will require, additional home maintenance, and creating safe and engaging environments. House training for young dogs and potential damage to floors or furniture both need to be considered, along with other more enjoyable expenses.

There are some expenses that owners will love investing in and that can help your dog thrive. Toys like Kongs and treat puzzles can help keep your dog mentally stimulated and engaged, especially if you have a smaller amount of space like an apartment, while toys that let you engage with them will help you bond and get them some much-needed exercise. Though these are more enjoyable expenses, they are still something that needs to be considered when deciding if you can afford to have a dog.

There are a few other household expenses that need to be considered such as crates, barriers, and the preparation and maintenance of any spaces that they will spend extended periods of time in. Crate training is an excellent tool if you are routinely out of the house, or even if you just want to give your dog a safe place that is their own. Giving them somewhere that they can be calm and safe, ensuring that they have the resources to stay engaged and mentally stimulated, and anticipating maintenance for your potential dog are all necessary expenses to consider.

Before You Bring Your New Dog Home

Financial stability is a core need for making sure that you are prepared for owning a pet. After gaining an understanding of what is required to own a dog you should educate yourself on other factors, such as understanding your credit score and how it could affect your financial future. Take a hard look at your finances before you commit to owning a dog, to make sure that your credit, savings, and income can support another member of the family.

Being knowledgeable about what financial commitments are involved is the first step in evaluating if you are in a position to become a dog owner. Anticipating routine and emergency care, as well as ensuring that your home is safe and prepared for a new occupant is critical. By knowing what you need to provide, you can take an educated, critical look at your finances.

When you are figuring out if you are ready to become a pet owner, it can seem like there is an unending list of factors to scrutinize. Routine care, house preparations, and vet bills are three of the major areas to consider when looking into your finances. By making sure that you are taking these into account before committing to a dog, you are ensuring that you are prepared to give them the best life you can.

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