We all know, or should know, that welcoming a dog into the household is a big responsibility, and it can be difficult. It can be both physically and emotionally trying. However, for most of us, the sacrifices we sometimes make is more than worth it for the pups we love.
It can also be financially trying, too, however. There are a lot of costs that simply can’t be avoided as a dog owner and some that shouldn’t be. Here, we’re going to look at what you can do to cope with or reduce them.
Making New Friends
Let’s take a look at the very first costs you have to take on. The first year of dog ownership is often the most expensive, only eclipsed by major health scares. You have the costs of vaccinations, microchipping, and perhaps spaying and neutering. Then there’s the price of acquiring them to begin them.
Buying from dog breeders is rarely inexpensive and, if it is, you should be concerned whether or not you might be inadvertently supporting a puppy farm. The reduced costs of ownership is just one more reason to consider adopting from a shelter rather than buying a brand new dog. It’s worth noting, however, that it can be hard to find a recently born puppy at a shelter as they tend to be the first to get adopted.
Don’t Spend More Than You Need To
Besides the costs of acquisition and the initial medical costs, you have all the initial equipment that you have to shell out for as well. This includes a leash, collar, bowl, bed, crate, some toys, a dog brush, and a few other bits and pieces. While you want to make sure that you’re getting high-quality equipment, there is no reason to pay more than the average here.
Save $50 on Furbo Dog Camera. Now only $249.00.
You should take a look at the average dog ownership budget and make your own shopping list out of it with all the recommended prices for the different bits and pieces to buy, making sure you’re not going too far above the average.
When it comes to grooming, do it yourself
The costs of dog grooming can creep up over time and, if your budget is stressed, it can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. However, there’s an easy way to skip paying for it entirely. Simply groom your dog yourself.
There are plenty of dog grooming tutorials that can teach you how to clip their nails, trim their hair, and ensure that their coat gets all the care they need. You only need to make a little investment in the grooming gear instead of paying a professional again and again for their time.
Coping with those sudden costs
Like all major purchases, dogs can sometimes come with major unexpected costs. The most immediately recognizable is the medical emergency, especially if it falls outside your pet insurance. Create an emergency fund to deal with those little costs or borrow the money if you have to.
Even those who get turned down by most traditional borrowers can use loans with no credit check to ensure that they are not endangering their dog by not having the necessary funds at their disposal.
Other sudden costs might include having to put them in a doggy day-care for some time if you have to travel unexpectedly. When they’re younger and not yet properly trained, you might even have to pay to replace furniture that they have damaged.
Be smart about pet insurance
Pet insurance is not a purchase you should seriously consider skipping. Most dogs are going to have a need of the vet at some point in their life. Full-bred dogs are even more likely to have congenital health issues that can crop up time and again. However, you can make sure that you’re not paying too much for your health insurance.
Be careful of “wellness” plans that can offer some coverage for vaccines and preventative healthcare but none of the cover you need for when your dog needs immediate care and treatment. Similarly, you want to take a closer look at what is and isn’t covered, avoiding any policies that don’t cover dogs in the event pre-existing conditions.
Being over-insured can see higher monthly, premiums, but being underinsured can see your finances being hit by much bigger costs when your dog actually needs help.
How training can help reduce your costs
Unless you’re willing to learn how to train your dog yourself, they are likely going to need some professional help. Training them yourself can be a big responsibility to take on, but the costs of leaving your dog untrained can far outweigh the time you put in or the money you spend on a professional trainer.
The costs to your own home and furniture of an untrained dog, as well as the potential legal fees if they end up biting another person or pet can be more than you can bear. A socialized dog that responds to your commands is much less likely to get you in hot water.
The saving benefits of dog ownership
Dogs come with costs, there’s no denying that. However, they can also help you save a little money. For instance, one of the easiest ways to save on your own healthcare costs is to take preventative measures against chronic conditions, such as exercising, which your dog can help with.
Depending on the dog and the reasons you have them in the first place, you might even be able to deduct them from your taxes. If you are fostering a dog, if it helps on a farm, if it’s a medical service dog, or it competes in pet shows, they could offer some tax help.
When possible, one should always take a closer look at their finances and make a dog ownership budget before buying or adopting a new member of the family. Not only for the sake of your own finances but to ensure that you do have room for another pup in your life.
Doggy Daddy Responsibilities That Never Go Away
A pet is for life, not just for Christmas. It’s a played out cliché which we’ve all heard a million times before yet it still rings true. Having another life in your hands is a privilege that you need to treat with respect.
Most doggy daddies are responsible adults yet we all make mistakes. Sometimes, we do things which aren’t in the pooch’s best interests without even realizing. All it takes is one moment of not focusing or being overly indulgent.
To help you remember, below are some of the traits of owning a pet that never goes away, even after Christmas.
In the beginning, it’s easy to show love and affection because the relationship is new. Like any bond, the passion starts to change after a few months. It’s essential to make time for your pet during the day even when you’re busy.
Coming home at lunch and taking it for a walk will stop it from feeling neglected and unwanted. So will regular exercise. Exercise not only helps your pooch get rid of energy; it also creates a connection between animal and owner.
Safety And Security
And not only the dog’s… Yes, it’s obvious that you need to keep your pet secure at all times, whether against thieves or other canines. What isn’t as apparent is the danger it can cause other people and animals. Because of your love for the dog, it’s hard to see the danger signs.
Think about the steps to take if someone gets bitten or files a lawsuit. In this case, the basics matter. Keep your pup on a leash if it’s getting too rowdy. Don’t let it run wild around small children. Avoid other dogs. Accidents can and do often happen.
Invest in a Dog Camera
Companies like Furbo are offering amazing online dog cameras so you can keep an eye on your pooch while at work or away. A high quality dog camera will allow you to view, talk and even give your doggies a treat remotely on a computer or mobile device. Wow, have times changed or what?
There will be times when you need a vacation. Let’s face it – not everyone wants to take their pets on vacation. Sometimes, the hotel won’t allow it anyway so you’ll need a contingency plan.
The dog can’t look after itself which is why the arrangement needs to be well thought out. Asking a friend or family member to drop by to feed it twice a day isn’t enough like a cat; a dog needs attention because it isn’t a goldfish. If they can’t move in with someone, there are kennels and pet sitters which provide 24-hour care.
Good Pet Health
We all want the best for our pets; however, sometimes what they need is hard to give. Yep, this is a reference to old-age and disabilities. When the animal’s health is causing it distress, the owner has to decide what actions to take. Expenses can add up quickly. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices for our beloved four-legged-kids…
Being a pet owner means sometimes putting the pet’s best interests before yours!
Joe is a friend and contributing Author to Lifein12keys.com. He lives in Longwood, Florida with his wife Bethanne and sons Patrick and Joe Jr.