Cost of Owning a Dog

Owning a dog involves time and money for every family. From supplies, to health care, to regular monthly expenses, you should have the whole picture in mind when you and your family make this decision. And rest assured, the reward you receive in return is priceless.

When preparing for a new member of the family, costs can vary from place to place and from person to person. Some people might want all the latest gadgets and conveniences. Others just want the basics. The following is a list of costs to keep in mind:

Startup Costs
• The cost of the actual dog, which will vary depending on where you obtain him (breeder, pet store, shelter, etc.)
• Vaccinations and first veterinary visit
• Spaying or neutering, if not done already
• Everyday supplies, such as a collar and leash, food and water bowls (stainless steel or ceramic are best because bacteria can thrive on plastic bowls), a dog bed or blanket and crate
• Grooming and cleaning supplies, including a brush, nail clippers, shampoo, waste bags for walking, etc.
• Dog Food, like Purina® Puppy Chow® brand puppy food or Purina® Dog Chow® brand dog food
• Chew toys appropriate for your dog's age and size
• Dog tags and training classes

Ongoing Expenses
• Every month, you will need to budget for food. Obviously, large dogs eat a lot of food. Plan accordingly.
• Veterinary visits. Puppies may need up to 6 or more visits their first year. Ask your veterinarian for an estimate of costs.
• Adult dogs should have an annual checkup unless your veterinarian suggests additional visits.
• Emergency cash. Like people, dogs can have accidents and illnesses that may require unplanned trips to the veterinarian or hospital.
• Vaccination boosters and heartworm checks are needed on a regular basis.
• Heartworm prevention and flea & tick prevention is needed in most areas year round.

Other Possible Expenses
Depending on where you live, you may consider the following:

• Fence
• Outside kennel
• Dog house
• Doggie door
• Gates, to block off certain rooms or staircases indoors
• Anti-chew spray

With a little research, you and your family could be able to find a way to make these expenses fit your budget. And once you have done your planning, before getting your dog, you’ll have more time to enjoy with the newest member of your family.

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