Owning a dog is not only fun, it can also be good for your physical and emotional health. Their unconditional affection and loyalty boosts your spirits after a long day, and their active lifestyle helps you get out and stay healthy too. And that’s just with ordinary dogs! Specially trained dogs can be therapeutic after an accident, sniff out health problems and serve as guide dogs for the disabled. However, dogs, like any other pet, require special care and attention. Whether you’re considering adopting man’s best friend to keep you company or your kids won’t stop asking for a puppy, it’s important to budget for the cost of owning a dog.
The annual cost of owning a dog
Before you make a decision about owning a dog you should understand what goes into the costs of maintaining your pet. According to the ASPCA, the cost of owning a dog in the first year is around $2,000, while the average annual cost of owning a dog is a bit lower at around $900. If you’re planning to adopt a dog, make sure you take the time to create a budget and start saving so you can manage the following expenses:
- Adoption and licensing costs
- Obedience training
- Dog food, food and water bowls
- Boarding expenses whenever you go out of town
- Dog walkers or other daycare services
- Toys (Frisbee, bones, chew toys)
- Leads, fence or electrical fence for the yard
- Collars and leashes over time
- Veterinary expenses and health insurance
- Medications for fleas, ticks, heartworms, etc.
- Replacing items damaged by your pet like floors and furniture
Ways to cut back the cost of owning a dog
If $900 seems a little steep for you, don’t worry, there are many things you can cut back on to make owning a dog more affordable. This first is to consider where you will be getting your pet. Adopting from a shelter can often be more affordable than buying a pet from a private breeder or pet store. Researching the breed you’re considering can also save you money as some breeds are more expensive or need special medical care and grooming. Buying bulk dog food and ordering prescriptions online can also cut back on the cost of owning a pet. Finally, learn how to groom your pet at home and make sure you go to your vet for preventative check-ups to save money on larger medical problems.
Prepare for the annual cost of owning a dog
Once you’ve decided you want to get a dog, consider opening a high-yield savings account to help you save for the first few years. Savings accounts with a higher interest rate like a money market account or certificate of deposit will make it easier to reach your goal and grow your savings once you have the dog. You may also want to open an emergency savings account dedicated to medical care for your pet, especially if you don’t want to pay for pet insurance. Try to save enough to cover the annual cost of owning a dog for three years of care before you adopt a new pet.
Sponsored content was created and provided by RBS Citizens Financial Group.
photo cred: pretendtious