As a new dog owner, you may be overwhelmed with the responsibilities that come with owning a furry friend. One of these responsibilities is the financial commitment you’ll be taking on to ensure your pet lives a happy, long life. Vet visits (both planned and unexpected), food, supplies, and services are just a few of the costs that are associated with owning a dog. These costs often pile up on the pet owner, leaving you stressed.
To learn more about the costs related to adopting or purchasing a dog and how to get the most out of your investment long-term, keep reading.
Before Adoption: Plan
Before your new dog comes home with you, spend some time making a general budget to plan for any expenses that may come along with your dog. You need to have a full understanding of how much your dog will cost you every month and year before deciding on a dog, as it’s unfair to adopt a dog without being prepared for the costs.
Many supplies you should be able to budget for and obtain ahead of time, such as a crate, toys, and leash. Other expenses (such as veterinary visits, medicine, and food) may be hard to budget perfectly for as you won’t get those bills until the dog comes home with you. In this case, do some research on average costs for dog food and vet visits to give you a general idea of how much you’ll need to budget for health reasons.
There will be expenses that you don’t plan ahead of time for, so leave some wiggle room in your budget. Your dog may need special care or a certain diet that could inflate the costs of supplies.
Know the Breed
If you know which breed of dog you are adopting, research common breed-specific costs. Some breeds may need a much higher food budget, such as a Golden Retriever needing a higher volume of food compared to a Chihuahua. Other breed-specific costs may include the frequency of vet visits or other supplies needed.
In addition to supplies, the cost of adopting or purchasing a certain breed can range from free to thousands of dollars. If you’re adopting from a shelter, it’s unlikely you will have to pay much outside of any adoption fees. If you’re purchasing a dog from a breeder, such as a French Bulldog, you’ll probably need to plan to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars to buy your pup.
Getting the Right Hands-on Care
The first thing new dog owners need to do is to find the right veterinarian. Doing so means comparing different veterinary clinics. New dog owners must consider the different services and payment plans on offer. Cost may be an important factor, but it is not the most important one to remember. Finding out the estimates for every health service the new pup needs will give you an idea of which veterinary clinic can help most.
Practicing Preventive Health Measures
Veterinarians stress the importance of preventive care for new pups. This includes preventive health care examinations, vaccinations, and dental exams. Removing or reducing the new pup’s risk of health issues can help save the pet parent on costs for health treatments in the future. Regular health exams cost a fraction of what treating possible future diseases would.
Routine health monitoring can also detect any signs of serious ailments and infestations, such as heartworm. Updating your new pup’s vaccinations can even save its life. Some breeds need more checkups than others. They might be more prone to developing specific diseases than other dogs. The veterinarian will know how frequently they should have health checks.
Getting Pet Insurance
Dogs covered by pet insurance have access to more affordable care. Even untoward accidents like swallowing some Lego bricks can cost thousands of dollars to correct. Without pet insurance, new pet owners could find themselves in financial and emotional distress. Having new dogs covered by pet insurance provides peace of mind and readiness for such unexpected medical costs. That is why new dog owners must learn what they can about pet insurance.
Regular wellness checks and unexpected veterinary treatment bills can be overwhelming for some pet owners. A new dog parent can prevent this by getting pet insurance to cover these costs. There are several types of coverage to choose from.
- Routine care and wellness plan. This is a type of add-on for a pet’s preventive care. It can help new pup owners look out for their dog’s health with the preventative health maintenance we mentioned above. The cost per month will vary, depending on what kind of coverage you get. This coverage can include deworming and microchipping.
- Accident-only plan. This type of coverage does not cover diseases. It is less expensive because of this. An accident-only plan can cover hospitalization and medications, like in a situation where the new pup breaks a bone while playing.
- Illness and accident plan. Most dogs covered by pet insurance have this type of plan. New pup owners can have coverage for various serious and chronic illnesses like cancer. They can also have help with the costs of any hospitalizations and accidents. This is a great option for new dog owners.
Pet Insurance Can Help New Dog Owners Save Money
Pet healthcare for new dog owners can be overwhelming on top of all the other costs that come with owning a dog. Maintaining a furry companion’s health is often the bulk of these costs, but with pet insurance, you can keep your payments in that sector of care low and regular. Getting your new dog covered by pet insurance can save you a significant amount on healthcare in the future, as well as helping you stress less about the well-being of your pup.
By thinking about money before bringing in a new companion, you are setting yourself (and your dog) up for success. Dogs are not cheap in any sense, but by knowing the costs associated with your breed and staying on top of your new friend’s health needs, you both will be better off in the long run.