Dogs are not only man’s best friend, they are also our oldest companions with the domestication of the dog dating back 11,000 years. Dogs were domesticated before any other known animal and have remained loyal companions ever since.
Both humans and dogs get a boost of oxytocin, the feel-good hormone, when they look into each other’s eyes.
While the physical and mental benefits of owning a dog are well-known, it is important to know that there is a cost associated with having four-legged friends in your home. Understanding the cost of having a dog is essential before you and your family make the decision to adopt or buy one.
In this blog post, we will highlight the average cost of having a dog. We look at the costs associated with food, grooming, veterinary care, training, medication, dog supplies, and other factors to help you understand if you can afford a dog.
We will also highlight some of the undoubted benefits of adding a dog to your family.
The breed of dog that you are interested in can impact the initial cost of getting a dog. Of course, you have the option to adopt a dog which can cost as little as $50. If you choose to purchase a purebred dog, the price will likely be somewhere in the region of $500 to $2,000.
When you do have your new dog, one of the first steps that you should take is to schedule a veterinary appointment. The first visit can cost in the region of $50 to $200 depending on the need for preventative medications, vaccines, and special treatments.
If your new dog is a puppy, they will require more frequent visits to the vet (until they reach the age of 16 weeks), so a young dog will increase your costs at this stage.
Food and Treats
You should feed your dog high-quality food and healthy treats. Depending on the size and breed of the dog, your annual costs here will cost somewhere between $250 to $700. There is a big difference in the amount of food that a Pomeranian and a Saint Bernard eat!
Healthy treats for your dog come with a number of benefits including better digestion, strong immunity, lower risk of disease, and increased activity and energy. Your vet may also advise on special foods or diets that can affect your dog’s food bill.
This is an expense that will only be required every few years. You should purchase a good quality and durable dog house for outdoors and have a few cozy beds inside the house so that your dog can relax in comfort.
The larger and better quality the bed, the higher the cost—though paying more today will likely save you in the long run. Estimated annual cost: $50 to $200.
The benefits of having your dog professionally groomed include taking away old and damaged hair, ventilating their coat, helping it to grow, ensuring that their skin can breathe, and keeping down the amount of grease in their coat.
The grooming needs of dogs differ depending on the breed and their type of hair coat. Therefore, grooming costs per year could be anywhere between $30 and $500.
Routine veterinary care is essential to maintaining your dog’s health and well-being. One or two wellness checkups per year are recommended, at a cost of between $200 to $300.
When other costs are factored in, including dental cleanings and lab work, the annual vet costs for a dog can be between $700 to $2,000. As your dog ages, it is likely that its veterinary care costs will increase.
Preventative Medications and Supplements
Your dog will require medications to prevent ticks, fleas, heartworms, and other types of parasites. Your dog may also require certain vitamin supplements, such as omega 3s and glucosamine, depending on your vet’s advice. The annual cost here will again depend on your dog and their specific needs, but the costs will range from $100 to $500. Getting pet insurance for your dog can help you save money on these costs.
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This is another expense that will generally only be required in the first year or two. It is also not an obligation for pet owners. Costs here can range from $100 to $1,500 or more.
The benefits of obedience training for dogs include better control, making your home safer, fostering a bond with your dog, and making public dog walking easier.
Dog Walking and Petsitters
This is another expense that may be $0 for pet owners. If you are in a position to regularly walk your dog, there will be no additional costs. However, if you require the services of a professional dog walker, the average cost per walk is $20 (one walk per weekday would result in a monthly cost of $400).
The same goes for pet sitters or boarding kennels. If you frequently travel and need to arrange for your dog to be cared for, there may be an expense here. On the other hand, you may be able to leave the dog with another family member or friend while you are away.
The Real Cost of Having a Dog
The bottom line here is that the annual cost of owning a dog depends on a whole range of factors. Costs are typically higher for puppies and older dogs. A rough estimate per year is anywhere between $1,500 to $10,000.
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