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Costs of Owning a Dog

When we first consider bringing home a dog to join our family we are usually only thinking of how much we'll enjoy cuddling and playing with them and less about how much they will cost us. Here, our Charlotte vets lay out some of the expenses to consider when thinking about the cost of owning a dog.

The Cost of Owning a Dog

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 such as tail docking

Recurring Annual Expenses

  • Once or twice yearly routine exams
  • Vaccines

Monthly Expenses

  • Parasite protection
  • Medications
  • Food

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.

What is the average cost of owning a dog?

Of course, when it comes to estimating the annual cost of owning a dog, 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 their 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.

You should also consider location when it comes to the cost of owning a dog. For a true estimate of costs, you will need to consider the breed you are looking at getting, that breed's risk of chronic illness, and how much standard care is in your area. This means asking questions like 'How much is a wellness exam for a dog at your vet clinic?'.

How can you make owning a dog more affordable?

If you plan on bringing a dog into your family then you will likely know how you can help make costs manageable. Here are some tips:

Save For Unexpected Costs

If you are good at saving and budgeting this may be a good solution for you. Whether you use a separate bank account or a jar tucked away somewhere safe. Calculate how much you would need if your pet suffered a veterinary emergency then work out a reasonable amount to tuck away each payday. Having that money put aside may help to make veterinary emergencies less stressful when they strike.

Get Pet Insurance

If you are concerned about the high cost of emergency care or caring for a pet with a chronic illness, pet insurance may be right for you. Pet insurance can certainly help to relieve the burden of emergency care costs, but it's important to understand what your pet's policy covers before signing on the dotted line.

Check Out Our Wellness Plans

At Providence Animal Hospital, we offer wellness plans to help pet parents budget the annual cost of routine care when owning a dog. These plans take annual recommended preventive care and divide that cost into 12 easy-to-manage payments. 

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.

Would you like to learn more about making the cost of dog ownership more manageable? Contact our experienced Charlotte vets today.

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Providence Animal Hospital has been providing comprehensive veterinary care for your cherished pets in Charlotte since 1993.

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