Dogs can certainly steal our hearts away and become treasured members of our family, but that love and loyalty comes at a very real price. Before taking on the responsibility of making a dog part of your family, be sure to consider these points from our Vancouver vets.
Expenses to Consider
It's important to remember that there are different types of expenses that occur with dogs when you're considering whether owning a dog is within your budget
- Purchasing your dog
- Spaying or neutering your pup
- Cost of breed-specific surgeries such as tail docking
Recurring Annual Expenses
- Once or twice yearly routine exams
- Parasite protection
- Chronic Illness (diabetes, cancer, etc)
- Sudden Illness (Diarrhea, breathing difficulties, vomiting)
It's important to plan for each of these types of expenses and be prepared so that you don't face any unpleasant surprises.
Calculating The Average Cost of Owning a Dog
When it comes to figuring out how much a dog costs, the numbers vary a lot because there are a lot of things to consider, like the size and breed of the dog, the health risks of the dog's breed, and the services needed to keep your dog looking and feeling good.
Owning a dog can be expensive, so you will want to look at the cost of food, grooming sessions, toys, treats, beds, collars and leashes, obedience training, boarding for vacations, and possibly the price of hiring a dog walker.
Another thing to consider is where you live. Prices for services such as veterinary care, grooming, and dog sitting vary widely depending on the location. To get a true estimate of costs, you will need to consider the breed you are looking at getting, its risk of chronic illness, and how much the pet services your dog will need cost in your area.
Ways to Make Dog Ownership More Affordable
If you have your heart set on having a dog as part of your family, there are ways to help make the annual cost of owning a dog more affordable.
Set Aside a Money Just For Pet Care
If you are good at saving and budgeting, this might be a good solution for you. Whether you use a separate bank account or a jar that is hidden somewhere safe, calculate how much you would need if your pet suffered a veterinary emergency and then work out a reasonable way to tuck away each payday. Having that money put aside may help to reduce the stress of veterinary emergencies.
If you are concerned about the high cost of emergency care or caring for a pet with a chronic illness, pet insurance may be right for you. Pet insurance can certainly help to relieve the burden of emergency care costs, but it's important to understand what your pet's policy covers before signing on the dotted line.
Many veterinarians offer wellness plans to help pet parents budget for their pet's annual preventive care. These plans take annual of recommended preventive care and divide that cost into 12 easy-to-manage payments. At Mountain View Veterinary Hospital our pet wellness plans for dogs include annual core vaccines, 2 routine exams per year, your dog's Bordetella vaccine, 12 months of flea and tick prevention and 12 months of essential heartworm protection.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.