Getting your first pet is an exciting endeavor. Even if you had a family dog growing up, you don't really have a full grasp at what pet ownership entails. It's important to do your research to make sure you can afford your new best friend. That free puppy won't seem so economical when you add the cost of food, training and veterinary care. Research the costs of these specific things before you commit to taking care of a dog for its lifetime.
According to Petfinder, the average owner can spend up to $2,000 at the veterinarian per year. When you first get your dog, you'll need to pay for an exam, shots, sterilization and parasite preventative. Your dog may also need some other treatments, like a deworming. This is just the normal gamut new pet parents go through – the bare minimum. You should be prepared for emergencies. To offset potential costs throughout the years, consider purchasing pet insurance. Talk to your veterinarian to see which plan they recommend for your needs.
Unless you plan on taking your dog to work with you, and on every vacation you take during your pet's lifetime, you'll want to calculate the cost of pet care in your region. The price per pet sitter visit, dog daycare and overnight stays at a boarding kennel can vary depending on where you live and the quality of care. Interview potential caretakers for your pet, and ask if they offer discounts for prepayment to save. Contact a local boarding kennel if you have questions about pet boarding services in your area.
At a bare minimum, you'll want to take your new dog to puppy class or basic obedience. This is an important step to help your dog's long-term behavior, and it will help you bond with your new buddy. According to Newsmax, puppy school costs $50 to $125 for group classes. Keep in mind, if your dog exhibits behavioral issues it will be important to contact a trainer to get help.
Grooming costs wouldn't seem so bad if you didn't have to do them so often! Some dogs, like those with longer hair, require regularly scheduled trips to a groomer. You could save some cash by learning to do this in your own home, otherwise, you'll spend up to $120 each time, depending on your dog's size and temperament.
Food, Toys, Treats & Other Fun Stuff
Don't forget you'll have to continually replenish your dog's food and treats, which can get pricey. You'll also want to occasionally spoil your pet with a toy. While these miscellaneous items may not seem like much, they can add up.
Having a pet can get pricey, but it's worth it. They pay you back with unconditional love.