How You Can Prepare For The Financial Costs Of Looking After A Dog


A medium sized dog costs $695 a year to care for, according to a survey by the ASPCA. Adopting a rescue dog is a rewarding experience that requires love, commitment and preparation, and being sure that you’re ready to cover all the costs that they incur is something potential new owners are encouraged to do before they begin the adoption process. While there are schemes in place to help pet owners care for their companions, setting out secure in the knowledge that you can cover medical expenses, pet insurance and food is essential before taking a new animal home with you.

How You Can Prepare 

Even with a secure salary, it’s important to budget for the annual cost of a dog. If your household budget needs some adjustments before you can commit to rescuing an animal, there are tricks you can employ to help you save the money you need. You can make your money go further by making carefully placed investments, cutting back on your luxury spending, and reducing grocery bills. Bear in mind that your grocery bills will rise when you have dog food to factor in, so making savings on ordinary household items is a good way to prepare in advance. Pay attention to the cost of your utility bills: it’s easy to leave them ticking over, but regularly comparing the market can help you find cheaper deals, and the savings you make on energy can make a big difference to your annual budget. If you have had difficulty with your financial health in the past, improving your credit score is less daunting than it might seem, and can help to reduce your interest rates and access financial help when you need it. Making these preparations in advance will put you in the best situation possible when you’re ready to bring home your new friend.

The Costs You Can Expect

The cost outlined by the ASPCA provides a good estimate to work within, but it’s worth being aware of all the expenses you’re likely to incur. Paying for health insurance for your dog is a worthwhile investment, as you can’t predict what medical expenses might arise. The cost of health insurance varies wildly, but most pet owners can expect to spend between $30 and $50 per month. The ASPCA estimated food spending at $118 a month, but this could vary depending on the size of dog and any dietary requirements they may have. It’s important to feed your animal a high quality diet: while this needn’t mean buying the most expensive food available, it’s important to note that budgeting for the cheapest product you can find might not be the best move for your dog. On top of medical expenses and food, to keep your animal happy and entertained, you’ll need to factor in toys and treats. You’ll also need to invest in basic equipment when you first bring home your dog, so prepare to spend money on a leash and collar, bowls and bedding. Your dog will also need a license, so remember to factor this in to your initial outlay.

Accounting For A Rescue Dog’s Needs

As well as being an ethical decision, adopting a rescue dog generally costs less at the initial stage. However, it’s worth considering that their background may mean there are other expenses to factor in down the line. When you rescue an animal, you’ll be given as much of their history as is known, but it’s important to remember that there may be unknown health requirements, which could push medical expenses up. Some dogs have had difficult backgrounds, and you’ll need to devote more time to their training to help them out. Although free training groups are available and there’s a lot you can do at home, you may need to budget for intervention from a specialist trainer at the early stage of your life together in order to help you give them the best life possible. Talking to their foster families or to the rescue center will give you an idea of what might be needed for your dog.

Adopting a rescue dog is a rewarding and fulfilling experience for both animal and owner, but in order to make the process as smooth and enjoyable as possible, it’s important that new owners are financially prepared. Knowing that you can pay for everything your dog needs ensures peace of mind of you, and a secure and happy life for your dog.

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