How Much You Might Spend on Owning a Dog

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Sparky Steps - How Much You Might Spend on Owning a Dog?

How Much You Might Spend on Owning a Dog

If you’re like most dog owners (95% according to a 2015 survey by the New York Daily News), you’ve added Dino to your Christmas list. A rubber squeak toy, a few treats, maybe a sleeve of tennis balls. Whatever the lucky pup gets from “Santa”, you’ve plunked down a few dollars for your doggie this holiday season. But Christmas presents is just a small percentage of what you’re likely to spend over Sheba’s lifetime. Add in vet bills, food, grooming, and other incidentals and you’re looking at an average of somewhere around $15,000 - $16,000. And in some cases, that’s conservative. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), in 2019 Americans will spend an estimated $75.38 BILLION on their pets. So, if you’re thinking of making a puppy a Christmas present for your kids who have been “hound”-ing for a dog all year, the $$$ aspect is certainly something to consider. Let’s take a closer look at what you could potentially spend over your dog’s lifetime.


Spending Money on Our Puppies

Routine vet care over a dog’s lifetime could cost you up to $1,500 a year alone, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). If Daisy lives for 15 years, that’s $22,500! And that’s just routine care. The total cost of your collie or what you’ll spend on your shih-tzu in vet bills really is dependent on a number of factors. For instance, some breeds are more prone to particular diseases and conditions than others; Golden Retrievers could develop some types of cancers, while Cocker Spaniels could suffer from repeated ear infections. Caring for anything above and beyond routine care will certainly drive up costs. Then there’s allergies. Some dogs have seasonal or food allergies. Skin testing to identify types of allergies can cost hundreds of dollars, and if you need a monthly injectable allergy vaccine you could spend well over $100 a month. And dogs can eat, as we well know. Fortune estimated that more than a third of the billions spent on dogs in 2015 was shelled out for food alone. Here, size will matter, of course. A mastiff is going to eat lots more than a toy poodle. Leashes, dog dishes, toys, collars, dog tags, dog beds, microchipping, pooper scoopers…it all adds up. In 2018, the APPA reported that just over $15 billion of the total $72.56 billion that dog owners spent on their furry kids went to supplies and OTC medications.

Can You Save Money When Owning a Dog?

The answer is yes. There are several ways you can avoid overspending on Roxie. Check out these money-saving tips:
  • Consider a cheaper brand of food: not all dogs need high-premium food. Consult with your vet. Don’t go TOO cheap, which could mean it’s low-quality
  • Spay or neuter: spayed or neutered pets might have fewer medical issues down the road
  • Do your own grooming: you have a tub. You have water. Go at it and save the money you’d spend on a groomer
  • Think about three-year vaccines: again, consult with your vet, but in some cases you could save some money by going this route
  • Learn to trim your own dog’s nails and brush their teeth: nail trims at the vet could cost anywhere between $10 - $18, and oral care could prevent tooth and gum issues later in your dog’s life
  • Exercise your dog: walks and play time now will help keep your dog fit and healthy, which will help avoid large vet bills later

Did you find this article helpful? Please share on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets. You could help some friends and relatives take a closer look at what they spend on their doggies and maybe even save them a few dollars!

Written by Harrison Howe

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