Can You Afford a Dog - Costs of Dog Ownership
By Alana Johnstone
Are you thinking about getting a dog? Dogs can be good companions and valued members of the family. You might have thought about what type of dog you want and where to get him or her from. You might even have thrashed out who's doing the walking, cleaning, and feeding. But what about the costs of dog ownership? Have you actually considered that owning a dog might end up costing you about as much as having a child! Before you get carried away planning your life with Fido, can you afford a dog? Don't make the mistake of not budgeting for your dog and later facing the prospect of having to give up a much loved family pet because you simply can't afford to keep them. This article examines the costs of dog ownership.
It's thought that the average dog costs its owners up to �15,000 over its lifetime. That sounds a lot right? It's even more shocking when you consider that feeding a child, up to the age of 18, costs only a little more at about �17,000. Depending on your dog's size, age, health, and individual needs, you could end up spending even more.
The first thing you'll have to budget for is the dog itself. You should choose a dog from a reputable breeder, which could cost anywhere from about �200 to �2000. Don't be tempted to save money by going to a backyard breeder, it could cost more in the long run if the dog has health problems as a result of poor breeding. To save some money, you could get your dog from an animal shelter. Be aware that you'll still have to pay an adoption fee and possibly some initial vet's bills such as vaccinations.
When thinking about getting a dog, most people think of buying the dog, food, and vets bills. The actual costs of dog ownership could include much more. There is food, treats, pet insurance, cleaning products, grooming, a dog walker if you're out all day, a collar and lead, a bed, toys, modifications to the house or garden, clothes and accessories (for those pampered pooches) and the all important vet bills. Then you'll have to think about holidays. If you're taking your dog, most transport operators will charge more for your pooch. So will campsites, holiday cottages, and hotels. And if you're not taking Fido? Then expect a hefty bill for his holiday at the kennels. So when you start to add it all up, is there room in your budget? Can you afford a dog?
Dog Ownership – Pet Adoption, Is it Right for You? 7 Things to Consider Before Getting a DogAuthor: Les Marx
Deciding whether or not to get a dog is a big decision that should not be taken lightly – Read and consider these 7 questions to help you figure out if bringing home a dog to be a part of your household is right for you. Answering the following 7 questions will help you make an intelligent decision that will be mutually beneficial to you and your new pet.
1) What type of dog would be best suited to you? Look to your personality and lifestyle for insights to what type of dog would be a good fit for you. If your favorite pastime is reading a good book, get a dog that likes to curl up next to you on the couch. On the other hand, if like outdoor activities such as jogging or hiking, you may want to consider a larger, active dog with a higher energy level.
2) Where should you get your dog? There are many options, including private breeders, pet stores, animal shelters and rescue organizations. We feel the best choice is adopting from an animal shelter or from a rescue organization. Each year 10's of thousands of dogs are euthanized at animal shelters.
3) What kind of housing do you live in? If you live in an apartment or condo, there are several important things to consider. Some apartments and condo units do not allow dogs; or, if they are allowed, there are often size or weight restrictions in place. Also, if there is no access to a yard, you will need to be able to take your dog outside regularly, both for exercise and potty breaks.
4) What type of lifestyle do you have? If you spend most of your time away from home, either at work or play, this probably is not the right time to get a dog. Dogs are very social animals and need to spend time with their family. Also, if you are one to worry about dog hair on the furniture and an occasional mess in the house, a dog would probably not be the best pet for you.
5) What about the financial obligations? Keep in mind there will be the cost for food, veterinary services and grooming. In addition most cities require yearly licensing fees. Don't forget the toys, treats, and other supplies, too.
6) What is the time commitment? Dogs live an average of 12-15 years, so know that whatever life changes or events happen during that time, you will have a dog to consider and care for. Also, on a daily basis, dogs need your time and attention. They need time for exercise and play, and for just hanging out.
7) Will you be able to train your dog? Training your dog is probably the most significant aspect of dog ownership. You need to have considerable time and patience to fully train your dog. Otherwise, you may end up with potty in the house, holes in the yard, chewed furniture, and Granny getting knocked over at the door. It's not a pretty picture.
There are many things to consider before adopting a dog. These 7 tips are a great jump start to help you decide if getting a dog - right now - is right for you.
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