Dog ownership is hugely rewarding. Dogs provide companionship, loyalty, and unconditional love. They offer tangible mental and physical health benefits, not to mention being bundles of fun! Any pet is a big responsibility, though, and some of that burden is inevitably financial. Here are the biggest expenses to consider for first-time dog owners.
#1 Vet’s bills
Undoubtedly the biggest financial outlay you’ll have to deal with, vet’s bills can be costly. They range from paying for vaccines and routine checkups to (if you’re unlucky) costly operations. The latter can be extremely expensive, and some dogs also require long-term medication to deal with underlying health issues. All of this can add up quite quickly, especially with older animals. Vet’s bills are, though, a part of life. When you bring a dog into your home, that animal becomes your responsibility. Caring for their needs and ensuring that they have the best possible quality of life is your top concern.
#2 Pet insurance
If the idea of paying regular vet’s bills sounds alarming, there is a way to spread the cost. Many dog owners opt to make regular, smaller insurance payments to cover their trips to the vet. This certainly makes bills more manageable (plus, it’s easier to budget for recurring insurance payments), but it’s not perfect. Insurance payments will rise if your dog has an underlying condition and also creep up as the animal ages. As such, it’s important to use a comparison website and regularly switch your insurance provider to ensure that you’re getting the best rate.
#3 Food and water
Just how much food your dog needs is determined by breed. Big dogs like German Shepherds naturally consume more than pocket-sized French Bulldog, but this is one ongoing financial commitment that you’ll need to budget for. High-quality, nutrient-dense food is important for your pet’s mental and physical wellbeing. Feeding a dog cheaper, low-quality food is a surefire way to send them directly to the vet. Pet stores in Arizona will be able to make recommendations on the type of food your dog needs. Similarly, if you rescued the dog from a shelter, you should be able to learn about your dog’s dietary preferences and any specific needs.
#4 Leashes and collars
One of the smaller expenses on the list, you’ll nonetheless need to pay for a good quality leash and collar. A retractable leash is a good choice and makes it easier to control your dog in the park, but beware. Not all dogs should be walked on leashes (Chihuahuas, for example, have fragile windpipes) and require a harness instead. Some dogs will chew through or tangle their leases, making a harness the best option. Do your research and, again, seek advice where you can. You’ll probably have to replace the leash and collar many times during a dog’s lifetime, and some dogs simply take against certain leashes and won’t walk on them. It’s a small expense, but one that should nonetheless be taken into account.