Why does it matter what it costs to own a dog? After all, we love our pets and we would not put a price on their health and happiness. Despite that, the cost of owning a dog is an extremely important consideration. Thousands of dogs are put to sleep each year or end up in rescue because owners no longer want them or cannot afford them, especially with unplanned emergencies. At Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue, we want our dogs to find their forever home with responsible families. We hope you agree and are prepared!
Start-up Veterinary Care ($50-300)
Regardless of where you get your dog, the very first thing you should do is get that dog to a good veterinarian. Aside from a thorough physical exam, you want to make sure you are monitoring and getting the appropriate vaccines, preventive medications and special treatments for your dog and lifestyle.
Routine Veterinary Care ($500-$1000/yr)
Routine veterinary care is a huge part of keeping your dog healthy. Plan on going to the vet for wellness checkups once or twice a year. Annual blood work and dental cleanings can also add to the cost. Of course, vet costs will be higher if your dog develops a health problem. This is especially the case as your dog grows older.
Preventive Medications and Supplements ($100-$300/yr)
Prevention of heartworms, fleas, ticks and other parasites is important for a dog’s health. Some dogs will also benefit from vitamins and supplements.
Emergencies and Other Unexpected Expenses
No one can predict the future – the unexpected occurs in life all the time. As a good dog owner, you should be prepared so you never have to make decisions based on money alone – but on what is best for the dog. Emergencies, chronic illnesses, disasters and other unplanned expenses can amount to hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year. The best way to stay prepared is to set aside extra money in savings or purchase pet insurance.
A word about Pet Insurance
Consider purchasing pet insurance, at least to cover emergencies or serious conditions. Plan coverage and costs can vary so do your homework. SCGRR can provide a code that will give you a 10% discount on PetPlan. (Source: PetPlan)
These include dog food, leashes, collars, beds, toys and so on. You may also want to plan for obedience classes and/or training resources. Bottom line – the first year with your new dog can cost twice the typical annual cost of subsequent years, so be prepared.