Taking in a dog for your very own pet is one of life’s greatest joys! All pets have their own, unique pleasures. But there is something very special about the precious dedication that a dog gives its owners.
Of course, one should never rush into adopting a dog just for the sake of adopting a dog. Whether you’re taking in a puppy or a full-grown dog, you should expect a ten-year commitment at the very least. And once you’ve committed, there is no going back.
Aside from the physical and emotional promises you make when you take ownership of a dog, you also make financial promises to maintain the health and wellness of your pet for as long as he or she lives. In the first year alone, you should expect to spend $1,000 on your new pet. Beyond that, the cost increases each year.
Some of the costs of owning a dog are intuitive, like the cost of food and toys. Others are not so straightforward. Unforeseen medical bills and grooming are just a few to consider.
Here are unexpected costs of owning a dog you should consider before taking in a furry friend.
Back in the day, when our parents brought home a dog, it seemed like they just magically were trained into the perfect family pet overnight. Maybe we just didn’t see all of the work they put in, but don’t be mistaken: it does take work to help train a pet to mesh with your family.
When taking a puppy in, training will be imperative to make sure that your life can continue on with relative normalcy. Puppies are mouthy and energetic. If you have small children, you want to take care that they will not be harmed until your puppies grow into maturity.
Even older dogs can pose a problem for your family. They can carry unexpected baggage that you will want to discern before introducing them to children, other dogs, or small pets. Speaking of which, you want to be certain that you have the time and patience to slowly introduce your pets to one another without issue.
Do you have the time to dedicate each day to training a puppy or to assimilate your new dog? If not, you will want to invest in a professional dog trainer to do the heavy lifting.
Let’s face it: dogs don’t have the natural instincts regarding cleanliness that cats do, and they don’t mind getting smelly. In fact, they usually prefer it. But even your dog, just like your family, has a limit to how much stink he or she will tolerate.
Dog’s nails need to be trimmed regularly. Even though walking on hard surfaces like asphalt and cement will help file them down, the effect is minimal. You will still want to introduce your dog to the concept of nail trimmings. (If you have a puppy, the earlier the better.)
Likewise, all dogs should have their anal glands expressed on a semi-regular basis. This will prevent accidents if your dog goes overboard barking or getting excited. Un-expressed anal glands lend themselves to explosive accidents.
Certain breeds of dogs require more involved grooming. Long-haired pooches like German shepherds, chow chows, and saint bernards to name a few will require weekly if not daily brushing. Beyond that, taking them to an experienced groomer can help style their hair in a way which will minimize shedding and promote general hygiene.
Be sure to find a reputable groomer with ethical practices. Word of mouth is a good way to accomplish this, or finding reviews online. “Finding the best dog groomers is essential to keep your pet looking great and smelling fresh,” says Dog House grooming, a grooming and boarding company in Houston, Texas.
Owning a dog means that you do not have the freedom to just up and travel at a moment’s notice. Cats may have the flexibility to be left for a day with fresh food and water, but dogs demand more regular attention.
Dog boarding and kennels can cost a pretty penny. You’ll want to invest some time and energy comparing and contrasting not just the prices but their amenities. How much exercise will your pups get? What sort of socialization can they expect?
If you intend to take your dog with you, there is the added burden of finding dog friendly hotels. They may charge extra for the privilege of keeping your pooch with you, so be cognizant of the added cost. Plus, if your vacation has a demanding itinerary and you expect your dog to be cooped up for the bulk of the day anyway, it might be more humane to shell out for a kennel back home.