Furry Finances - Can You Really Afford A Dog?

So, you’ve decided to get your family a cute new pooch. That’s a great idea for so many reasons. For instance, a friendly puppy will be a great playmate for your kids, and taking the new dog out for daily walks is a great way to ensure that you and your family get plenty of exercise. You will also find that all dog breeds are very loyal and will be an excellent sidekick for you as well as your kids. However, owning a dog isn’t always this rosy. There are a few downsides to being a dog owner that you will also need to bear in mind when you are trying to decide whether or not to get a dog. One of the biggest disadvantages of a new dog is the overall cost. First of all, you will need to be able to afford the dog in the first place. But once you have bought your new pet, there will be a lot of one-off, monthly, and annual costs that you will need to be able to afford as well. Not too sure if your finances will stretch to all of this expense? Here are all the main costs you should expect.

Buying The Dog
First things first - you will need to buy a dog. If you have your heart set on a particular breed then you should expect to pay at least few hundred pounds for it. This is especially the case with popular breeds, such as pugs and French bulldogs, as there will be a big demand for them and the breeders will be able to charge whatever they want. If you are set on a pedigree but aren’t too fussed about the breed, it’s worth looking for one that isn’t quite as popular so that you don’t end up parting with too much cash. But your cheapest option is to stay well away from the pedigrees and get a cross-breed or a mongrel. In fact, you might want to visit a dog shelter to rescue or adopt a dog. This will be a lot cheaper for you, and you can be happy knowing that you are doing a good deed!

Training Classes
If you get a puppy, you will need to teach it a lot of things. For instance, it will need to be house trained and taught basic commands such as “sit” and “stay”. It can be very tricky trying to train a puppy, but it is really important that you persevere to eliminate any future behavioural problems. If you don’t think you are getting anywhere, you can always take your dog to training classes. You will be able to find a wide range of classes that you can enroll your dog in, including obedience training and agility classes. You will need a number of commands that your dog can understand, as well as toilet training or your dog will ruin your house. If your dog isn't properly trained and hurts a person or destroys property you could end up with criminal charges against you. You could even hinder your chances of moving house, landlords are wary of renting to tenants with pets. However with some solid training you can make sure your dog is calm and obedient. 

Dog Food And Treats
One of the biggest costs that any dog owner faces is the price of dog food and treats. After all, this is something that you can’t really skip! As with pretty much anything else that you can buy, there will be expensive brands of food and there will be some cheaper ones. So, you should be able to find a brand of dog food that suits your budget. However, if your dog has any special dietary requirements, then you might have to pay for some expensive food. This is often the case for dogs that suffer from food intolerances. If that’s the case with your pooch, you should speak to your vet as they might be able to prescribe your dog some speciality food at a lower cost. It’s also important to get your pet some Betsy Farms duck jerky for dogs and a few other treats. These will come in handy when you want to reward your dog for good behavior, such as during training, but they are also nice to spoil your dog with every now and then when it has been a good boy or girl.

Toys And Other Necessary Equipment
There will be quite a few bits of equipment that you will need for your dog to be comfortable in your home. These include things like a dog bed. It’s also a good idea to get a dog grooming brush so that you can keep your pet’s fur in top condition. Don’t forget the dog shampoo for those times you need to wash your pup! You will also need a few pet toys as well, especially if you get a puppy. These will help your puppy entertain itself and also gives you and the kids something that you can play with it. It’s really important that you make the time to play with your dog as all that playing counts towards its daily exercise! You will also need to get a dog lead so that you can take your new hound out on plenty of walks. Ideally, get a high-vis one so that your dog is visible if you ever take it out in the evenings.

Vet Bills And Insurance
Hopefully, you won’t have to take your dog to the vet too regularly, but whenever you do, you might be very surprised by just how expensive it is. It can be especially pricey in the first couple of years of your dog’s life as you will need to get it vaccinated and spayed or castrated. There is one way you can keep these costs down, though - you just need to invest in pet insurance. Some owners choose not to take out pet insurance as they think it is very expensive. But the truth is that the vet bills you will have to pay without any insurance will be a whole lot dearer than the insurance premiums, that’s for sure! It’s worth shopping around for a pet insurance policy as you should be able to find some really good deals on the market out there.

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