Owning a dog is a big responsibility. Not only will it change your lifestyle, but it will also change your budget. Dogs are expensive to own, and before you invest in a dog, it's very important that you understand just how much it's going to cost.
Unfortunately, when most people create a budget for owning a dog, they tend to only think of the obvious: food, collars/leashes, ID tags and annual vet visits. But there are more expenses to owning a dog than most people think, and the following are four dog ownership costs that you probably haven't considered.
1. IDs and/or Microchipping
While you hope that your dog never runs away or becomes lost, it's always a possibility, and in order to provide yourself with the best way to find your dog if he or she becomes lost is to give them an ID tag and/or microchip them. Creating a custom ID tag for your do that attaches to his or her collar can be done at most pet stores, but they will still cost you between $10 and $20. In most cases, you may be able to make the ID tag investment once, but if your dog loses it or if your contact information changes, you'll have to replace it.
Microchipping is another great safety measure to take for your dog. A microchip is inserted into your dog with an ID number, and this chip can be scanned at most veterinarian's offices or police departments. It's up to you, though, to visit the website and place your contact information on the chip, and it's also important for you to update this information if your contact info ever changes.
Microchipping your dog can be expensive, about $100-$150. Thankfully, this is something you will only have to do once. If you want to try and cut the cost of microchipping, you should contact some local animal shelters, as they may offer this service for a cheaper price.
2. Emergency Vet Visits
It's very important that you put money aside (or create room in your budget) to account for emergency vet visits. Your dog may become injured, and this may require emergency trips to the vet. Plus, as your dog ages, he or she becomes more susceptible to common illnesses or disease, such as canine hip dysplasia or deafness, and this will require more trips to the vet. Every time you visit the vet, you will have to pay for it, and if your vet prescribes your dog with medication, this vet visit can become more expensive.
3. Replacement Toys
You will probably buy your dog toys when you first bring him or her home, but it's important to understand that these toys will have to be replaced at some point. Toys will break or simply become so dirty there's no way to clean them anymore. It's important to create a place in your budget to replace your dog's toys on a regular basis.
4. Preventative Medications
Your dog is at risk of many different illnesses, so it's important that you give them preventative medications to help keep them healthy. Give your dog flea and tick medication and heartworm medication to keep them healthy against popular diseases. Since these are typically given monthly, you need to account for these in your budget.
Dr. Susan Wright, DVM shares her love of dogs through freelance writing on topics that teach owners how to be better caregivers and friends to their loyal companions.
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