Point Check List: What cost should you expect while owning a Dog?

According to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the Pet Products Association,

67% of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet.

Numbering 63.4 million household dogs, the canine is one of the most owned pets in the country closely followed by cats.

Owning and caring for a pet isn't an easy job. It requires you to invest your time, money, and effort on a daily basis. And owning a dog doesn’t come cheap. You have to take into account their daily diet, exercise, yearly vaccinations, wellness checks, grooming, toys, accessories, etc.

Can you afford a dog?

This is a question every new pet owner must ask themselves before owning a dog. The cost of owning a dog is about more than just the expense of food. Unfortunately, many people do not take the time to budget for a dog before getting one, leading to trouble down the road.

Pet abandonment statistics globally is thought to be around six hundred million every year. Around 3.5 million dogs and 3.4 million cats are abandoned every year in the USA alone. Many of these end up in shelters, while many of them aren't able to find new homes. Hence, a lot of them end up being euthanized.

According to ASPCA.org,

Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats)

The good news is that approximately 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year. Although it may sound like a less number, it’s enough to bring about a change.

Dog Ownership Cost

In the year 2019 alone, $75.38 billion was spent on pet care alone.
The minimum basic annual expense for a dog is as such:

  • Items Expenses
  • Surgical Vet $426
  • Routine Visit $212
  • Food $259
  • Food treats $76
  • Kennel boarding $229
  • Vitamins $58
  • Grooming $73
  • Toys $48
    Source: American Pet Products Association.

INFOGRAPHIC MAGE: https://news.orvis.com/images/02-dogs/2014/10-oct/cost.jpg

The lifetime cost of owning a pet

The cost of owning a dog can be estimated at about $1,400 to $4,300 per year. However, the cost of owning a pet can be divided into two types: initial cost and general costs.
The initial cost basically includes buying or adoption cost, vaccination, ID tagging, training, etc. The general costs include expenses associated with a pet's lifetime including food, toys, vet care, routine visits, boarding, grooming, etc.
Here is the detailed list of expenses associated with owning a pet

Acquisition Costs

The acquisition cost refers to adopting or purchasing expenses. This is one of the most primary expenses related to owning a pet.
You can either purchase a dog from a breeder or adopt a pet from the shelter. Purchasing a dog from the breeder is typically influenced by the demand for that particular breed where a reputable breed will cost more. The adoption cost for each dog is fairly cheaper. They will only charge you for adopting a pet, microchipping, initial medical care and heartworm vaccination, and spaying or neutering.

The cost of all this care can be upwards of $800, but shelters rarely ask this much. The upper range of most adoption fees is around $500 but can be higher in some cases.

When buying from a breeder, you should be wary of buying from a backyard breeder. A backyard breeder often purchases from puppy mills. The dogs born and raised in puppy mills are ill-treated. While it may cost slightly more to buy from an ethical breeder, you can be sure that your new pet doesn’t come from a puppy mill.

Medical Costs

Medical costs associated with owning a pet is arguably one of the most expensive costs you’ll have to bear. The average vet visit can range anywhere from $50 to $400. The medical cost will include dental care, heartworm prevention, yearly vaccination, preventives, a wellness check, the surgical cost in case of any accidents, etc.

Vitamins usually cost around $100 per year, and preventative medication for fleas and heartworms are each around $20 per month.
Pet insurance is another expense that can be marked as a medical expense. If you haven’t considered buying pet insurance, you should do it pronto.

Grooming Costs

Pet grooming is a cleansing process that enhances your pet’s appearance and keeps it stay hygienic and clean. A recent study concluded that grooming helps to keep the pets stress free and comfortable, especially those with long or heavy coats.

Grooming a pet, either dog or cat accounts for a relatively minor cost. Long-haired dog breeds require much more grooming than short-haired breeds. Short-haired dogs such as German shepherds may require grooming every 5-6 months. Long-haired and double-coated breeds like Akita, Alaskan Husky, and Alaskan malamute require grooming more frequently.

You can save a lot of costs by practicing grooming at home. Brushing your pet’s hair daily and trimming their nails at home can save up to $50 per month.

Food Costs

Pet food generally accounts for the largest amount of pet care expenses. It takes up a large portion of your yearly pet budget. When it comes to pet food, providing a balanced diet should be the priority over providing expensive meals.

Price isn’t the determining factor in the quality of pet food hence you should make sure to do your research on what best fits your budget and pet’s needs. The annual cost of providing pet food may range anywhere from $250 - $500. This includes pet food, food treats, and supplements.

It’s true that the food for a smaller breed costs lesser than a larger breed. You should take pet food into account before purchasing or adopting a new pet.

Equipment and Housing Costs

You have to take into account the cost associated with creating a pup to building a kennel in your yard. An indoor pet wouldn’t require a different kennel except for a cozy bed and mattress. Along with these, you must take into account the use of equipment associated with owning a pet such as building a fence in the backyard, adding a doggy pool, buying a leash, food and water bowl, equipment assisting pet’s daily life, etc.
The expense of adding new equipment in your home may cost more. However, be assured that it’s generally a one-time cost.

Training Costs

Training is an optional cost. A dog owner can choose to hire a professional trainer to train their dog or they can do it themselves. Although it’s true, a pet owner must be willing to spend money on acquiring a professional trainer or training equipment.
The training for a dog may begin from the time you bring it into your home. The crate training, loo training, learning basic commands, and advanced training are often associated with training a dog. If you have no idea about training a dog, you must seek professional help.
Group dog training with a professional trainer costs $30 to $50 per class on average, while private training ranges from $45 to $120 per hour. Be ready to pay anywhere from $500 to $1200 for dog training classes.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the Best Doggy Daycare in Urbandale. With years of experience in pet care and medicine, grooming, boarding, and training, our Certified Veterinarian will ensure to offer you one of the pet cares in Urbandale.


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