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What is the True Cost of Owning a Dog?

Stories from HART

What is the True Cost of Owning a Dog?

Sarah Myers

Dogs are man's best friend, out faithful companions and treasured members of our families. However, for those considering buying a dog for their homes or as a children's gift should be aware of the full cost of owning a dog.

One of the most ethical ways to get a dog is to adopt from us here at HART for Animals. In most cases, this only involves a one-time $195 fee to take home the dog of your choice. This fee does include the dog already spayed or neutered; however, you may be surprised to learn that the first-year cost of owning a dog can end up being over a thousand dollars.

Having your new dog examined by Dr. Jessy or Dr. Weimer, buying a new leash and collar and getting dog food can all add up.

Also, if you include training costs, getting a license, treat and toys, and an annual checkup, the costs can become higher than you had planned for. High-quality food can also make dog ownership rather expensive. This means that on top of your first-year costs of a thousand dollars, you can easily expect to spend at least five hundred dollars a year.

We don’t say this to scare you away from adopting your next family member, but, to let you know exactly what you’re signing up for!

If you decide to buy a purebred dog rather than adopt, you should know that a single dog could cost anywhere from five hundred to two thousand dollars. If your mind is made up, make sure to buy your dog from a reputable breeder who offers a guarantee on the dog's health. Legitimate sellers will also offer to replace your dog if it should pass away within your first two or three years of ownership.

Due to the inbreeding required to produce purebred dogs, many of them suffer health problems. These include a greater chance of developing hip dysplasia or constant knee dislocations along with an increased risk of hereditary diseases. All dogs will cost you more money as they age, but purebred dogs often require more medical attention, which can be very costly.

Also, any emergency medical expenses can cause dog ownership costs to grow. Pet insurance can help offset any sudden health scares or injuries, but the monthly premiums can be anywhere from ten to a hundred dollars a month. That may seem like a lot, but without pet insurance, your dog's medical needs could easily exceed several thousand dollars.

To have a realistic idea of whether you can afford to get a dog, it helps to keep a few things in mind. You should figure out a monthly dog budget, consider pet insurance and think about the prospect of facing a vet bill you can't afford.

To speak with someone about the detailed costs of owning a dog, please contact us at HART today.