Dogs can certainly steal our hearts away and become treasured members of our family, but that love and loyalty come at a very real price. Here our Suffolk County vets talk about the cost of owning a dog and what expenses you need to be prepared for.
Expenses to Consider
When you are considering whether owning a dog is within your budget it's important to remember that there are different types of expenses that occur with dogs.
- 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)
Calculating The Average Cost of Owning a Dog
Of course when it comes to estimating how much a dog costs the numbers vary wildly since there are so many factors to consider including the size and breed of the dog, the health risks of your dog's breed and the services needed to keep your dog looking and feeling their very best.
Beyond veterinary care and prevention, to get to a realistic cost of owning a dog you will also want to look at the cost of food (based on how much your chosen dog breed will eat), grooming sessions, toys, treats, beds, collars and leashes, obedience training, boarding for vacations, and possibly the price of hiring a dog walker.
Another variable to consider is where you live. Services from routine veterinary care to grooming and dog sitting range widely in price between locations. For a true estimate of costs, you will need to consider the breed you are looking at getting, that breed's 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 may be a good solution for you. Whether you use a separate bank account or a jar tucked away somewhere safe. Calculate how much you would need if your pet suffered a veterinary emergency then work out a reasonable about to tuck away each payday. Having that money put aside may help to make veterinary emergencies less stressful when they strike.
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 Deer Park Animal 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.