Welcoming a new dog is an exciting process, and pet ownership comes with a lifetime of ups, downs, and cherished moments. For folks who are new to pet parenthood, diving headfirst into adopting a dog can come with a surprising amount of unexpected costs. While the adoption fees for your new best friend may seem like a drop in the bucket, there are plenty of other expenses that pet owners face throughout the lifetimes of their companions. If you are budgeting for a new dog, consider the costs associated with adoption, medical care, and daily care and feeding.
Costs of Welcoming a New Pet
When most people prepare to adopt a dog, they think of adoption fees and the costs of a new bed, toys, and other pet accessories. However, there are plenty of other expenses that are not as obvious, and the total cost for your new companion can add up more quickly than you’d think. Buying a dog from a licensed breeder can cost thousands of dollars. While adopting a pet from a shelter is often the more cost-effective choice, there are still vet bills and supply costs to consider. Things like vaccines, spay/neuter procedures, and microchips can get expensive, so be sure to account for these costs when budgeting for a new dog.
Recurring Costs of Dog Ownership
Once your new pooch has settled into life with you, the expenses keep coming. Annual vaccinations and preventative care are critical, and many dog owners choose to have their dogs groomed regularly. Supplies like food, dog shampoo, and other expendables should be part of your monthly budget throughout the life of your pet. Some dog owners also enroll in things like doggie daycare, obedience courses, and boarding while they travel.
Budgeting for Medical Complications
Unfortunately, not every pup lives a long and healthy life. Part of pet ownership is preparing to provide adequate care for your companion in the event of a medical emergency or illness. Many pet parents choose to purchase a pet insurance plan to offset potential veterinary costs. Things like traumatic injury, allergies, cancer, and orthopedic problems are startlingly common. Prospective pet owners should also keep in mind any breed-specific conditions that their new family member may develop. Pugs, chihuahuas, and other brachycephalic breeds tend to develop breathing and dental problems, while some breeds are prone to hip dysplasia or other orthopedic conditions. Be sure to extensively research potential health problems and veterinary costs in your area when budgeting for your new dog.
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