It is always a wonderful thing to decide that a new dog will be a great addition to the family, but before you go and pick her out from your local shelter (remember – adopt, don’t shop!), have you considered the costs associated with getting her? Have you made room in your budget for the extra expense?
An adoption fee, spaying, neutering, microchipping and initial veterinarian visit are all things to think about right away. Many shelters will include the other items along with the adoption fee, however. Mixed-breed dogs between 10-20lbs are considered the least expensive in terms of cost of ownership. They are not prone to some of the purebred diseases that others carry and have a lower cost of ownership due to their sizes. Other things you will need right away are a dog bed, a leash, treats and potentially training. One way to save on training is to adopt a dog that’s older. They are likely already housebroken and have some basic training already from their previous owners. Extra training, with some patience, can also be taught by you using books and online videos as a point of reference to save some money.
This is an area you do not need to skimp on. Feeding your dog a high quality food throughout her lives will not only increase her lifespan but potentially lower your veterinary bills as it will keep her healthy longer.
Did you get a breed that requires consistent grooming? If so, this can potentially run you around $500 per year. A cost-effective way to lower this bill would be to learn how to do the grooming yourself.
Dental cleanings can run upwards of $200 and wellness checkups will be from $100-$300. Veterinary costs can be helped with pet insurance which is sometimes offered at work. Look into options and this may save you money in the long run if and when your dog runs into a more serious health problem. Emergencies are not cheap and surgeries can run into the thousands. If that is not in your budget, consider whether or not you are ready to make a difficult decision if necessary.
Do you have a plan for when you and your family go out of town? Consider that boarding starts around $30 per night on the low end, but if you worry about putting your dog in a loud kennel environment a pet sitter will likely cost more.
Something that money cannot buy is the absolute joy that exists when a pet is part of your life. Dogs have shown to lower blood pressure, reduce depression, cause owners to be more active and generally happier – all of which will save you money in the long run. Our list is in no way meant to be a deterrent as we all love our animals here at Last Chance Ranch Sanctuary, but we hope that this aids you in your planning to bring your new addition into the family.