Dogs are loyal, friendly and playful, and bring a lot of love to a home. They can also be a huge help on the farm. Before you rush off to buy a cute fluffball, however, you also need to remember that owning a dog can be costly.
A survey conducted by 188 118 Money shows that people in Bristol and London are spending an average of £99 a month on their pets, indicating that the cost can soon add up. If you’re thinking about getting a dog any time soon, there are many things to take into consideration before making such a big decision.
It’s vital that you be realistic about everything that comes with owning a dog, because once you own one, you cannot easily just take it back to the store. According to research carried out by Admiral, 43% of dog owners admitted to doing no research on the costs of getting a pet before picking up their pup. Ensure that you’re fully prepared for this commitment and find out what you’ll need to pay for once you’ve brought your new friend home.
Vaccinations are one of the most important things new owners should organise in the first few weeks after getting a dog. This will help to ensure that puppies grow into healthy dogs and protect them against infectious diseases, such as canine distemper. If you’ve purchased a puppy from a reputable breeder, it might already have its first set of shots. The breeder will advise you on what vaccines your new pet will still need.
If you’re not sure of the dog’s vaccination history, register with your local vets as soon as you pick up your dog. Your vet will be able to carry out the vaccinations it needs. The cost of these can vary, but it will be far less than the cost of the treatment for your dog if it gets ill.
While considerably less expensive to feed than horses, the cost of dog food can add up. Depending on the size and breed of your dog, that cost can be quite substantial. Similar to choosing horse feed, you’ll have to buy food that’s suitable for your dog’s age and activity level. If the dog has any allergies, you can expect to pay more for a special diet. Do your research and shop around so that you know you’re getting the best quality food at a good price.
Training and Exercise
Unfortunately, not every dog gets to run free on a farm. If you work full time and you’re often out of the house for hours at a time, you may also have to consider hiring a dog walker, as it’s unfair to expect your furry best friend to be stuck indoors all day. While dog walkers are extremely handy, they don’t always come cheap, so it’s best to ask people within your local community for their recommendations.
If you’re lucky enough to live in an area that has a reputable dog day care centre, that can be a fantastic alternative to a daily dog walker. Like dog walkers, this option isn’t always cheap, but if your dog comes home happy and tired at the end of the day, that can be well worth the extra expense.
Just like horse training, obedience classes can quickly ramp up the cost of owning a dog. If you have a high-energy dog or want to get into specialized sports like agility, factor that cost into your budget, as well. Clubs will all have fees and you can expect to pay extra for any training or events that you do.
Once you’ve considered all your financial options and are confident that you will be able to provide a loving home, you can get ready to welcome a new addition to the family. Rather than spending hundreds, or even thousands, on a pedigree puppy, you could save on initial fees and choose to adopt instead. Many beautiful animals are crying out for new owners, so be sure to reach out to Dog’s Trust or the RSPCA first.
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