There’s room in your heart, and there’s room in your home…but is there room in your budget for a furry new family member?
The Basic Costs of Owning a Dog
Over the course of their life, an average dog will cost about $8,000 for everyday expenses such as:
- Food, treats, & water
- Accessories such as bowls, toys, leashes, & poop bags
- Services like training, kennels, & dog-sitters
- Checkups, shots, & vaccinations
To put it in perspective, that’s almost half the sticker price cost of a brand-new Honda Civic.
And when you break it down, that works out to approximately $750 to $1000 per year, or roughly $60-$80 per month.
(Which is probably in the neighborhood of what you might be paying for your cell phone plan.)
And remember—this is just for the everyday expenses.
The Hidden Costs of Owning a Dog
The cost owning a dog doesn’t stop there. There are other, hidden costs that arise out of situations that may or may not happen.
While you can minimize the chances of these situations by taking good care of your dog and being responsible, you can never fully prevent these events from springing up (seemingly often at the worst possible moment).
Damage to Your Home or Possessions: $$$
Spot may be a lovable creature, but even the best-trained dogs act out once in a while.
What happens if your new dog ruins the rug…goes to town on your couch…or chews up a brand-new pair of shoes?
Those are expensive items that you’ll have to replace. (And unfortunately, there’s no such thing as “Doggy Insurance” to cover them.)
Damage to Other Dogs: $$
You may have to pay for vet or other health care bills if your dog hurts someone else’s pet in a fight. While it’s a rare situation, it’s definitely something to keep in mind…especially if you’re wondering, Should I let me pit bull off its leash at a dog park?
Vet Bills: $$$$
Ask any seasoned pet owner and they’ll tell you: a sick pet get can get real expensive, real quick.
This doesn’t even have to come from a virus or disease. It could be all sorts of things—such as your dog eating a corn cob, a big bar of chocolate, or a sharp object.
Of all the expenses you’ll face from your dog, vet bills are probably going to be the biggest and hardest to pay…
But because of the deep love you feel for your dog, they’ll also be the hardest bills not to pay.
What If You Can’t Afford Your Dog?
What happens if you or your spouse lose your job? If money get tight? If the economy takes a downturn?
Many dog owners claim they would never give their pet away, or let their pet go hungry…
But depending on how tight money gets, it could be a situation you might have to face.
It goes without saying that you should always put the health of yourself, your children, and your family ahead of your pet.
And if you don’t have the money to care for everyone, then you might have to start thinking about getting help.
The first step would be to look for foster care for your dog. Maybe you have friends, parents, or family who would be willing to take care of them for a while. Or you could seek help from a breed-specific rescue group or a no-kill shelter.
(Petfinder is a good resource for these kind of groups.)
Or, depending on how dire your situation is, you might have to give your dog away for good.
Giving away your dog might seem like something you’d never do…but if you were faced with poverty, you might not have a choice.
And as you can probably imagine, it would be much more difficult to give your dog away (after you’ve developed an attachment to it) than simply never getting a dog in the first place.
Be a Responsible Owner
Don’t get us wrong: we love dogs.
In fact, here at Bully Max we’ve dedicated our working lives to helping improve the health & happiness of dogs all around the world!
If you can afford to have a dog, you’ll find that they’re wonderful, loyal, loving pets that can provide a unique and meaningful type of companionship.
Just don’t get a dog if you can’t afford it.
When you get a dog, that animal becomes your responsibility. It’s up to you to make sure that dog is healthy, warm, well-fed, and happy.