According to statistics, more than 98 percent of pet owners underestimate the long-term costs of having a dog.
Which is why it might come as a surprise that owning a pet can add up to about $1,200 and $2,000 the first year alone for a new puppy and anywhere from $15,000 or more over his lifetime. And if you’re like us, you love dogs. That’s why it’s important to know how much money actually goes into taking care of your four-legged friend – before you adopt.
Consider this: experts say that larger dogs can often be more expensive than smaller ones. These pets will probably eat more and cost more maintenance-wise at the vet.
Just to get a better idea, The Barking Lot ran the numbers and came up with some of the most common costs to consider before buying a pet.
The First Year
Chances are, you’re planning to adopt your four-legged friend from a rescue or shelter. Adoption fees could cost anywhere from $250 to $450 – sometimes more. This amount usually includes things like a vaccinations, a wellness visit and exam, spaying or neutering services, flea and tick treatment, deworming, microchip, a collar and ID tags.
The good news is you’re saving more in the long run by paying the fees up front.
But your new pooch will probably need other things before he settles into his new home such as a leash, food and water bowls, a travel carrier, dog bed, treats and toys.
If you plan to train your pup, you’ll be looking at roughly $100 to cover the expense of an experienced dog boarding facility for training.
Say you’ve made it through the first year and want to get a notion of what to expect from here. A few of the most common expenses that pet owners see each year are exams and medication, health insurance, travel expenses, dog boarding costs and deposit fees for an apartment or rental. This could bring the yearly amount to an estimated total of about $650 or more.
Now that you know some of the annual costs, here are a few ways you can save some cash on caring for your four-legged friend long-term.
Have An Emergency Fund
Set up an emergency pet fund. This is important for all dog owners because there will most likely be some kind of medical emergency in his lifetime. Having money set aside could help in a tough spot.
Groom Your Pooch
Nail trims, hair cuts and dog baths, can add up quickly. You can cut down on the grooming expense by doing these things yourself in between visits to the vet.
Food is just one of those basic life necessities. So it’s nice when you can save a little when you need it. Instead of purchasing smaller bags here and there, try buying dog food in bulk. You could see savings of up to $50 a year. And signing up for your local pet store’s buyer rewards program could earn you a free bag of dog food after so many purchases.