July 13, 2023 TVAH

How Much Does it Really Cost to Own a Dog?

If you’re considering adopting a dog, you might realize that you’re basically adding another member to your family. And therefore, you need to anticipate the potential expenses and prepare for them. This guide will break down the cost of owning a dog, so that you know what to expect.

One-time expenses. Purchasing a puppy from a breeder is almost always more expensive than adopting from a shelter. Therefore, this cost can vary widely. Then you need to consider spaying or neutering your dog, if it has not already been done (this is often included in many shelters’ adoption fees). You will probably purchase some basic supplies, such as a travel crate, leash, food bowls, collar, and toys.

Ongoing expenses. The cost of dog food will depend upon the brand and type of food that you choose. However, we would encourage you to weigh the cost of a well-balanced, high quality food against the potential cost of veterinary services in the event that your dog develops health problems. Often it makes sense to spend a bit more on food, and have a healthier dog.

Recurring expenses that you can expect. Your dog will need an annual checkup with your veterinarian. He will also need routine medical treatments, which may include vaccines, blood work and urine testing, fecal testing, flea/tick and heartworm preventives, and dental cleanings.

Emergency expenses. This is the part of dog ownership that often presents a challenge (and occasionally, heartbreak). Your dog could have an accident or develop a serious illness, for which he needs prompt medical attention. We recommend that you always anticipate this expense, and have a bit of cash stashed for emergencies. Otherwise, services like Care Credit or a regular credit card can help you fund treatment in a pinch.

Do consider the costs and ramifications of dog ownership carefully before bringing that cute new puppy home. And once you do, make an appointment with us first thing. We will examine your new pet, help you choose an appropriate food, and answer any other questions that you might have.

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