It doesn’t get much sweeter than a happy greeting every time you open the front door.. Even when you’ve only been gone 5 minutes! Becoming a pet owner is one of the most enjoyable experiences, but it comes at a cost. Pets aren’t cheap, and there are a lot of factors to consider before deciding to adopt a furry family member.
Daily Necessities For Pet Care
Food / Water: Not only do you have to decide which brand of food your dog needs, but you also have to look at what stage of life they’re in. There is puppy food, adult food, and mature dog food. Large breed food is typically more expensive due to the size of the bags. Don’t get us started on how much better raw diets are in comparison to the average pet food brand at local chain stores.
Bedding / Cages: Your pet needs to have a safe zone. Cage training is commonly used to teach potty training, but it can also serve as a dog’s safe zone. Cats need a place to feel comfortable as well. Bedding and cages vary by size and price.
Grooming: Long-haired dogs have to be groomed more often to prevent hair matting. An typical groom can cost anywhere between $30-$100, depending on your dog’s size and specific grooming needs; however show grooms can sometimes be much more than that. If you’re in the Bellmore, New York area, you have to schedule an appointment with Posh Paws Grooming and Boutique. Like the majority of groomers, they offer services that include bathing, trimming hair, cleaning ears, filing nails, and expressing anal glands - all of which are important for your pet's overall health and will increase the longevity of their life. Cats can also benefit from a good bath even though it might make them a little angry.
Toys / Treats: Toys and treats are a great way for training your pet as well as keeping them in shape. Exercise is a necessity for your animal’s health. After a long walk, consider giving them Salmon Stix as a reward! Hard treats like James Naturals Salmon Stix can help prevent plaque build-up and an expensive cleaning bill from the vet. Yes, oral care is important for cats and dogs too!
Veterinary Care Costs
Puppy / Kitten Visits: They’re often weekly during the first few months to establish your pet’s first shots and what they require for baseline care.
Medicine: Heartworm medicine and flea and tick medicine are two common monthly medications. Your pet’s monthly medications are one example of preventative care. Preventative care works to decrease the chances of administering emergency care.
Dental care: Dogs need dental care just like people do! Keeping their teeth clean and plaque-free prevents them from needing to have their teeth pulled. As mentioned above, dental treats are great preventative care.
Spaying / Neutering: Near your pet’s first birthday you will need to consider spaying or neutering them. Not only does it prevent babies, but there are a number of other health benefits like a decreased risk of certain cancers.
Unforeseen Costs for Pet Owners
Accidents: Of course, you don’t want to think about them, but accidents happen. Your dog can eat your sock while you’re cooking dinner, and the next thing you know you’re taking a trip to the emergency vet! Emergency vets are expensive, especially if you have to go after hours.
End-of-life care: Another sad factor that you don’t want to think about, but you really need to consider is end-of-life care. It costs money for any medicines needed to help with pain management. There may come a time when you have to make the decision to put your dog down. You do not want to see them suffer. Choosing to have your dog cremated costs approximately $50-$150.
Allergies: Unfortunately, you cannot plan for your cat or dog to be allergy-free, otherwise no one would choose to go through it! Skin allergies are pretty common amongst dogs of all breeds. Some pups have a rash that you can treat with an ointment, and some require shots. Allergy care ranges in price.
Joint issues: There are breeds that are notorious for joint issues, but that does not mean your dog won’t experience them! Joint issues often arise in older age pets, but there are x-rays that can be performed during your pet’s younger years if the vet suspects they will have joint issues. X-rays are not cheap.
We haven’t even touched on all the extra expenses like investing in one-on-one training or boarding your pet. Do you have the financial means to care for your pet during any unforeseen situations that may arise? If you’re adopting a pet, then you need to be ready to care for them for the extent of their lifetime. There are a lot of cost factors for having a family pet, and that is why it is always recommended to do your research before you commit.