Most people ask this when they are thinking of adopting a puppy. How much does it cost to own a dog? The assumption is that you can add up the cost of dog food, occasional visits to the vet, and regular grooming, and come to a simple answer. The reality is that it is not nearly this easy.
The problem is not that the expenses of caring for a dog are not predictable, but that different dog breeds have vastly different needs. These range the gamut from food to health care to training, and more.
To help you understand why different breeds have different expenses – and what to expect – here is what you need to know.
It will surprise no one that feeding a Great Dane costs more than feeding a Chihuahua. By virtue of the sheer size difference, it is obvious that the two breeds eat vastly different amounts. However, the differences don’t end there.
Different dogs have different dietary needs. Some are more finicky than others, and this does not always mean small dogs will cost less. For example, certain small dogs can put on weight very quickly. Because of their size, this causes a lot of stress on the body. Feeding them less and giving them more exercise is not always the answer. You may have to buy them expensive food that is specially formulated for their needs.
Furthermore, your particular dog might have different needs to most of its kind, simply because of its own health issues. Look into the dietary needs of the types of dogs you are considering, as well as common complications.
Vet fees are another factor that is influenced by size and weight, but not necessarily in one direction. Many of the biggest dogs are prone to health issues and live shorter lives and therefore require more vet visits and medications. However, small dogs have their own complications, especially if they need surgery of some sort.
There are also specific chronic illnesses that afflict some breeds of dogs more than others. This may be due to inbreeding practices or simply have to do with the fact that certain dogs are prone to these issues.
Do some reading on the most common health issues different breeds of dogs face and what it costs to treat them.
Pet insurance is a cost many new dog owners do not think of. While we are dealing with insurance in every other aspect of our lives, we forget that vet bills can be crippling. In the case of an emergency, you may find yourself having to pay thousands of dollars to keep your precious dog alive and well.
Pet insurance premiums are another cost that varies depending on the breed of dog. Lifespan makes a difference, as well as the likelihood of certain conditions. If your dog is diagnosed with a common chronic condition like hip dysplasia early on, you may struggle to find an insurer willing to cover the condition.
Pet insurance is crucial to keeping your dog healthy and happy without breaking the bank. It is, however, yet another cost you may not have considered in your calculations.
Grooming your dog is another consistent cost you may have to consider. If you get a low maintenance dog, you may be able to do the majority of its grooming yourself. However, if you go for a long-haired or curly-haired animal, you will find the professional grooming bills adding up. Grooming is not something that can be ignored, as a lack of this care can lead to severe discomfort for your dog.
Find out what grooming rates you can expect at companies near you. Being more expensive does not necessarily mean they are better. Be sure to ask about their pricing when it comes to different breeds of dogs. They can also give you a good idea of how often you need to send these breeds for grooming.
Owning a dog can be expensive, but all dog owners agree that it is well worth it. That said, you should be prepared for the potential costs, understanding that what you pay every month will depend on the type of dog you own.
Enjoy this article? We've covered more topics like this one on the Fauna Care pet care blog!