The idea of getting a new puppy is very exciting. You imagine welcoming this new dog into your home and all of the good times you are going to have together.
While getting a new puppy can be a great experience, you need to make sure you are financially ready to welcome a dog into your home. Beyond the purchase price for your new dog, there are several expenses that go into raising a puppy and helping it to grow into a healthy adult dog.
Unfortunately, many people buy dogs without being fully prepared for the financial responsibilities. For some people, it means they have to make certain sacrifices to provide the necessary care for the animal, but in many cases, it ends up with the dog not getting all of the care it needs or with the owner having to give the dog up.
To avoid these less than ideal outcomes, you should make sure you are aware of the costs that come with dog ownership and be prepared to handle those financial responsibilities. With this post, we are going to cover some of the basic financial obligations that come with getting a new puppy.
Providing Healthy Food
In the same way that a human child needs a nutritious diet, so does a puppy. You don’t need to break the bank buying the most expensive food out there, but a dog does need enough calories to meet his or her daily needs and they need the right nutrition to maintain their health.
The dietary needs of a dog can vary considerably depending on the size, age and breed of the dog. When you are getting ready to welcome a new puppy into the home, you should talk to the breeder, shelter or veterinarian to get advice about dog food. They should be able to recommend types of food and how much the dog should be fed.
You should also plan on keeping a variety of treats around the house for your new dog. Treats can be good for rewarding positive behavior and they can be valuable for training your dog.
As for the cost of feeding a dog, it depends on a few factors. In general, you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars a year on dog food. If you are planning to get a new puppy, there are dog food calculators that can help you estimate the cost of feeding the type of dog you plan to buy.
Fun and Exercise
Dogs need exercise and mental stimulation. They not only need to go on their walks, but they also need toys to play with. A lack of adequate exercise and mental stimulation can lead to serious behavior issues.
To start, you will need at least one leash and collar so you can walk your dog. You should also buy your dog an assortment of chew toys and things they can bat around and chase. Just getting some of the basics will probably run you at least $50. With that said, you will need to replace some of this stuff as your dog grows and as toys and other items get worn out.
In addition to exercise and fun, you should also think about providing your dog with a comfortable place to sleep and rest. Your dog should have a comfortable bed that is the appropriate size. If you want your dog to sleep in a crate, you will need to factor that in with the cost of getting a dog bed.
When You Are at Work
If you are like most people, you are probably going to need to leave your dog while you are at work. While this is acceptable, you have to recognize the fact that your dog’s needs will not go on hold while you are away.
To provide your dog with a little company and a mid-day potty break, you should arrange for someone to stop by to walk the dog while you are at work. If there is someone else in your house who can handle this when you work, it might come at no added cost. If not, you should consider hiring a dog walker to come visit your dog when you are at work.
Having a person stop by to walk the dog will offer a lot of value. First, it will prevent any accidents involving pee or poop. Furthermore, it will give your dog a little companionship and allow them some exercise during the day.
The cost of a dog walker will depend on where you live and how long you want the person to take your dog on a walk. To get a better idea of the price, find a few services in your area and call around to compare prices.
Dogs need healthcare services just like humans. If you are planning to get a new puppy, you should find a vet beforehand and schedule a checkup. The breeder or shelter should be able to tell you which shots the puppy has already had and you can use this information to coordinate care with the veterinarian.
Depending on what care the dog has already had, you may need to take a new puppy in for a few visits within the first year. The cost of this first year of care will vary depending on your veterinarian, the care the dog has already received and any health issues that may be identified.
Once the first year is done, you will need to bring your dog back for checkups and get some of the shots updated. In general, most veterinarians would recommend a yearly checkup. This is to give the dog an examination and to detect any health issues that may need to be addressed.
As your dog gets older, the cost of healthcare may go up. Dogs can develop health conditions that may require medications or special foods. They can also experience health emergencies that may require urgent care or surgery.
Training and Behavior
Training should be a priority when you get a new puppy. It is not just about getting them to do things like sit on command and perform cute tricks; obedience is also important for the safety of your dog and those who may come in contact with the animal.
If you are an experienced dog owner, you might be able to do much of the training yourself. However, professional obedience training has significant benefits. Obedience training will help your dog learn all of the necessary commands and it can also help to socialize your dog to different situations.
The cost of dog training can vary considerably. It depends on the trainer, the level of training the dog needs and a wide range of other factors. A single lesson can cost upwards of $30. You also have more expensive options like private lessons at your home or an obedience school that will board the dog for a few weeks of intensive training.
Selecting the right type of training will depend on what you want to get from owning a dog and what you plan to do with the dog. If you just need the dog to be good around the house and behave when people come over, that is relatively simple and inexpensive. However, if you need the dog to learn special skills or you need to have the dog certified to live in your apartment building, you might have to spend a little more.
Owning a dog can be one of the greatest experiences of your life, but it does come with a lot of responsibilities. A dog relies on its owner for its food, healthcare and for its happiness. If you plan for the expenses, it can be manageable for most people, but you need to enter dog ownership with an awareness of the costs that come with owning and caring for a dog.