You are ready to buy or adopt your little canine fur baby and have been eagerly researching dog breeds online. You have checked with your landlord that you are allowed a pet. You've even purchased the dog bowl and chew toys.
But have you really calculated the cost of owning a dog? Here is a breakdown of the expenses that come with dog ownership. The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), advises that over the average life of a dog, Pet Owners spend more than $25,000 per animal, on average.
Costs in your Puppy's First Few Months: Roughly $1000
- Bed and/or dog house: $100-$200
- Collar, leash or harness: $40-$100
- Food and bowls: $800 each year depending on quality
- Name tag: $6-20
- Microchipping: $60-$80
- Council registration/permit per year: $23-$201 (depending if they are desexed or undesexed)
- Desexing: $200*-$500* depending on age, gender and size
- Parasite Prevention: $120-$300 Flea, tick, and worming (heart & gut)
- Puppy vaccinations: $170-$250
- Puppy training: $170* depending on provider
- Toys and treats: $50 upwards
- Car harness + seatbelt adaptor: $30 upwards
- Grooming $70-$90 depending on breed, frequency and size
Ongoing Costs Each Year: Roughly $1000
Annual vaccinations and veterinary check: $90
Flea and worming treatments: $120
Food: approximately $600 upwards
Grooming: $70*-$90* depending on breed and frequency
Toys and treats: $30 upwards
Total for consecutive years: $910 minimum
Puppies and dogs need vaccinations and later spaying and neutering. They can also incur unexpected costs if they get sick or have accidents needing medical treatment. This cost is hard to estimate and can be nothing one year and big bucks another year. Some breeds are more prone to illness so research well from the beginning. Pet insurance is highly recommended.
Dog Food and Treats
If you give your dog a choice of many brands and flavors you can guess they will lap up the most expensive one on the market. Save yourself some dollars and try the cheaper brands first. Buying in bulk can also save a lot. Just make sure you seal the food well after each feeding so it stays fresh. Don't forget you need dog bowls for food and water.
Pet Necessities and Toys
You do need a dog leash to take it for walks in public and maybe a rug for car trips so your seat isn't covered in fur. Dogs seem to have as many toys as children with pet shops full of all kinds of entertaining items from chew toys to jingly balls to soft toys. A small collection is enough for some play time. On the other hand, some dog toys might be deemed necessary, especially if it stops your pooch from chewing the corner off your expensive sofa. If you plan on getting a big dog or want it sleeping outdoors you might also need a kennel or cage. Who knew a dog needed so much?
Grooming and Hygiene:
To keep your dog clean and smelling fresh on a budget you will be washing that pooch yourself with dog shampoo and will also need to invest in 1 or 2 good quality brushes to keep it's coat looking nice and in great condition. If you want to let someone else do the job, you can pay a professional pet groomer to take care of the job. How often your dog needs bathing depends on the season, where you live and the breed of dog you choose. Your dog's nails will need to be trimmed every 4-6 weeks. Some dogs don't like nail clipping so it's often easier for a vet to do it.
When it's time for a holiday you will need to seek out the services of an experienced and trustworthy pet sitter who can take care of your dog. Using an agency to hire a pet sitter might cost a little more but the peace of mind that your pet is safe and properly cared for is invaluable.
Add up the costs listed and you can calculate the yearly cost of owning a dog. Keep in mind owning a dog is a lifetime commitment and most dogs live to be at least 12-15 years old. Once you know your budget is fine you can go ahead and invite that adorable little pooch into your family.