When you think of adding a furry, four legged friend to the family, you are usually so wrapped up in the excitement that you forget just how much your best friend is going to cost. Along with the companionship, loyalty, commitment and unwavering love that comes with having a dog, there are also financial responsibilities that you must consider in order to give your furry best friend the love he deserves in return. Some things to consider for the bank balance, before bringing him home are:
- Upfront costs – Depending on where and what breed you are looking for; the price of pooches vary. Buying from breeders could set you back thousands so always do your research! Adopting a dog is considerably lower in cost and comes with a lot of other advantages. See our Rescue Dog. Buying from pet stores or back yard breeders (boo) can set you back hundreds, along with uncertainty of any health related issues later on. (another cost). Otherwise you are also looking at the upfront cost of de-sexing, worming, flea treatment, vaccinations, registration and microchipping.
- Food – Whether you are planning to put your pooch on an all organic, home grown diet or just simply the dry dog food from your local pet barn. Either way his food will cost you about $800 per year for premium dog food, PLUS treats. This obviously varies per household along with size and type of fluffy you bring home.
- Vet Care/insurance – According to RSPCA, pet insurance costs on average around $350 a year. It is one item that pet owners are progressively looking at including in their annual pet owning costs. A contributing factor of this may be that Australians spend over $1 billion on vet bills. So to avoid any nasty surprises, getting the right cover for your best friend is paramount.
- Health products – Piggy backing off of insurance for your best friend is the obvious factor of health products that your beloved may need. Dog’s obviously have shorter life spans than we do (sad I know, if only they lived forever) so coming across any health related issues in their life time will come sooner than you may like. You will want the best care for your dog so getting any medications that may be needed is obviously a no brainer, so be prepared for these costs.
- Grooming – All dogs have different coats, so grooming costs vary significantly per household. A long fur breed may need a lot more trips to the groomers than his shorter haired friend. So working out what your particular dog needs and how often, all depends on which breed you are lucky enough to bring home.
- Boarding – Boarding can be another pricey factor in the ownership of a dog. Not everyone can be so lucky to have family members babysit your pal while you are away and unable to care for your dog. In cases like this you will need to look at boarding options for your pet, this can vary dramatically in price. Depending on the kind of board you are looking for, for example length of stay, quality of board and any luxuries you may want to include because the guilt of not bringing him with you is overwhelming.
- Miscellaneous – When you are loved so deeply by your slobbery best friend you obviously want to repay them back with the same love and affection. How do you do this, you ask? Shower them with unnecessary gifts of course!! You may disagree now but once you bring your fluffy friend home you will want him to have the best ball (because he deserves it of course!) the latest and greatest Frisbee, the best chew toys any dog could ask for and don’t forget the outfits! This is just the beginning, we haven’t even started on the comfiest dog bed for your very best friend and his thermal jumper to keep him warm! Just a fun fact to convince you, did you know? $12.2 billion was spent on pet products and services in Australia alone! The list goes on…
Now that you have an idea of just how much your new housemate may cost and the factors you need to consider, you are much more informed to make that life changing decision, because ultimately he will be worth every cent.
Check out this cute diagram from Money Smart to summarise the costs involved in owning your dog.