The Hidden Costs of Dog Ownership: Owning a Dog Comes with a Pricetag

Owning a dog is a wonderful experience. There are cuddles and unconditional love, but pet ownership in not something that should be jumped into lightly. Owning a dog can cost more money than one thinks. When considering whether to buy a dog or not, it is important to know all the facts and make an educated decision.

The cost of owning a dog goes well beyond the purchase price and food. Dogs require annual vaccinations, a dog license, a good dog collar, a leash, and a place to sleep. Add to this any additional cost of grooming, dental care, injury or illness and the costs can soar.

Pet Insurance

To help with the cost of healthcare, many new pet owners opt for pet insurance. Pet insurance can cost the customer anywhere from $25 to $40 a month and can help offset the costs of the yearly vaccinations and benefit the pet owner tremendously if the dog is injured or has a serious illness. However in many cases the insurance does not cover everything. According to the article, “Is Pet Insurance Worth the Price,” in July 2013 Consumer Reports, fine point terms in pet insurance contracts can end up costing the pet owners thousands of additional dollars.

On the pet education website, it is estimated that owning a 50 lb. dog over the course of its lifetime, approximately 14 years, will cost the pet owner anywhere from $5,000 at the low end to $38,000 on the high end. That is a huge monetary investment.

In addition to the monetary cost, there is the cost of your time and energy. All dogs require daily care. This means time spent feeding, exercising, playing and grooming your dog. The value of time is hard to put a price tag on, but pricing it is important. The benefits of owning a dog can either enhance your quality of free time or can detract from it significantly. The difference is in the individual.

Don’t Bargain Hunt

However when searching for a dog, the American Kennel Club (AKC), strongly advices against bargain hunting. If searching for a purebred dog, look into the breeder and make sure he/she is responsible and has a good track record. Hidden health problems such as hip dysplasia, eye problems, skin allergies or a host of other genetic diseases can be a painful consequence of purchasing a purebred dog on the cheap.

Buying a dog from a shelter can be a wise choice. Careful consideration and research into the type of dog and that dog’s behavioral characteristics should be evaluated prior to adopting the dog.

Dog ownership equals responsibility. Considering this and weighing all the benefits and costs is an important first step towards a happy life with your dog.

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