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The Cost of Owning a Dog

Dogs can certainly steal our hearts away and become treasured members of our family, but that love and loyalty come at a very real price. Before taking on the responsibility of making a dog part of your family, be sure to consider these points from our All Creatures Great and Small Animal Hospital vets about the average cost of owning a dog.

Expenses to Consider

When you are considering whether owning a dog is within your budget, it's important to remember that different types of expenses occur with dogs.

One-Time Expenses

  • Purchasing your dog
  • Spaying or neutering your pup
  • Cost of breed-specific surgeries

Recurring Annual Expenses

  • Once or twice yearly routine exams
  • Vaccines

Monthly Expenses

  • Parasite protection
  • Medications
  • Food
  • Grooming

Emergency Expenses

  • Accidents
  • Injuries
  • Chronic Illness (diabetes, cancer, etc)
  • Sudden Illness (Diarrhea, breathing difficulties, vomiting)
From the start, it is important to be prepared for each of these types of expenses and plan accordingly so that you don't face any unpleasant surprises along the way.

Calculating The Average Cost of Owning a Dog

Of course, when it comes to estimating how much a dog costs, the numbers vary wildly since there are so many factors to consider including the size and breed of the dog, the health risks of your dog's breed, and the services needed to keep your dog looking and feeling they're very best.

Beyond veterinary care and prevention, to get to a realistic cost of owning a dog you will also want to look at the cost of food (based on how much your chosen dog breed will eat), grooming sessions, toys, treats, beds, collars and leashes, obedience training, boarding for vacations, and possibly the price of hiring a dog walker.

Another factor to consider is where you live. Prices for services such as veterinary care, grooming, and dog sitting vary greatly between locations. To get an accurate cost estimate, you must consider the breed you want, the breed's risk of chronic illness, and the cost of pet services in your area.

Ways to Make Dog Ownership More Affordable

If you have your heart set on having a dog as part of your family, there are ways to help make the annual cost of owning a dog more affordable.

Set Aside a Money Just For Pet Care

If you are good at saving and budgeting, this could be a good option for you. Whether you use a separate bank account or a jar stored somewhere secure. Calculate how much you would need if your pet had a veterinary emergency, and set aside a reasonable amount each payday. Having that money saved may help make veterinary emergencies less stressful if they occur.

Pet Insurance

If you are concerned about the high cost of emergency care or caring for a chronically ill pet, pet insurance may be a good option. Pet insurance can certainly help to alleviate the burden of emergency care costs, but you should know what your pet's policy covers before signing on the dotted line.

Wellness Plans

Many veterinarians offer wellness plans to help pet parents budget for their pet's annual preventive care. These plans take annual recommended preventive care and divide that cost into 12 easy-to-manage payments. At All Creatures Great and Small Animal Hospital, our pet wellness plans for dogs include annual core vaccines, 2 routine exams per year, your dog's Bordetella vaccine, 12 months of flea and tick prevention, and 12 months of essential heartworm protection.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Contact our experienced Fairfield, NJ vets today to learn more about our services and pet wellness plans.

Welcoming New Patients

All Creatures Great and Small Animal Hospital is now seeing new patients! Our Fairfield, NJ vets are trained to provide care for a wide range of companion animals including cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, rodents, and more. Contact our veterinary clinic today to schedule your pet's first appointment.

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