MCCU Advice: 5 costs to consider before getting a puppy

Can you afford a furry friend?

A puppy can make a wonderful addition to any person or family offering companionship and love. However, a puppy can bring a high price tag too. Of course, you can expect to spend anywhere from $50 to $2,000 to adopt or buy a puppy from a reputable shelter or breeder. However, the expenses don’t stop there. When you choose to get a puppy, you must choose to become a responsible dog owner. Here are 5 costs to consider before getting a puppy.

Budgeting for a Puppy

Health Costs

Similar to humans, puppies have health costs too. Whether you decide to spay or neuter your puppy, you can expect that cost to be anywhere from $100 to $700 depending on the vet and breed size. There are also those routine check-up costs to consider, vaccine boosters, preventative medications, special treatments, and those unexpected vet visits for injuries or illness which can get quite expensive. In this instance, you may want to consider purchasing pet insurance or signing up for a pet health care savings plan to help cover those unexpected costs.

Grooming Costs

Before you choose your puppy, consider how much it will cost to groom them each month. Some dogs require very little grooming, while others need regular grooming. On average, pet owners can expect to pay between $30 and $500 for standard grooming each year depending on the breed size and the amount of fur. Each puppy comes with their own level of grooming needs and should be considered when deciding which breed you are getting.

Food

The obvious cost for owning a pet. The bigger the breed, the more food they eat. The more food they eat, the bigger the bill. Also, consider the type of food you buy. Whether your puppy has a picky stomach, you may find yourself having to buy specialized food which can be more expensive. Don’t forget about those special treats for rewarding your puppy’s good behavior too, as the cost of treats add up fast.

Equipment

All puppies require some type of equipment whether it be food dishes, collars, leashes, enclosures, bedding and toys. The equipment list could really go on and a person could spend thousands of dollars on puppy gear. According to the American Pet Products Association, over $69 billion dollars was spent on pet industry expenditures in the U.S. in 2017 and this number continues to grow each year.

Travel

If you are one who loves to travel, then you must consider how costly travel arrangements may be. Whether your puppy is your travel buddy or not, it’s going to cost you money. If you don’t plan to take your puppy on travels, expect to pay for a pet sitter or to board them. If you plan to travel with your puppy, expect extra fees for pet friendly hotels and pet luggage passes.

Adding a puppy as a new family member is exciting, sometimes frustrating, and extremely rewarding. But you have to make sure you understand up front what kind of commitment you’re making. Puppies thrive on love, but they also come with a cost. Budgeting for your puppy ensures they will receive all the care they need and deserve for a happy, healthy life. You may be surprised at how much of a financial investment getting a puppy may be, but when you budget properly and make a solid commitment to provide a safe, healthy, happy home for your puppy, the rewards are priceless.

 “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself” –Josh Billings

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