Any dog lover knows there is no greater relationship than that between dog and owner. We love our dogs! We love playing with them, cuddling with them, and having them to come home to everyday.
Owning a dog, however, is no easy responsibility. While owning a dog will be filled with love and happiness, it's also a serious commitment to care for an individual who will rely on you completely—for food, shelter, health, and more.
So before you start thinking about a new puppy or dog, remember this: Owning a dog is expensive. Money isn't something we all like to think about, but a recent article from the Chicago Tribune reminds us that it's a necessity—especially when it comes to owning a canine companion.
The article reminds us that getting a dog is more than just the upfront cost of dog food, a collar, and a leash. Besides these initial necessities, remember that a dog requires regular veterinary care as well as other things like licensing, possible fencing, crates, training and obedience classes, dog-walking, grooming, treats, toys, flea, tick, and heart-worm meds, microchips, and more.
Also, if you're renting a house or apartment, many agencies require a deposit or monthly fee for owning a dog.
The Tribune article sites the American Pet Products Association's annual cost of owning a dog as $1,641. The first year of owning a dog is even more.
Additionally, the American Pet Products Association says "Americans spend $23 billion every year on pet food, $15 billion on vet care and $2 billion on the initial purchase of all pets."
That's a lot to consider. And it's a reminder that caring for a dog is a constant responsibility and a constant cost.
Furthermore, as your dog ages, there might be other medical considerations and costs. This is why, the article says, that it's important to make sure your dog is healthy from the beginning.
Health-testing is essential. Any responsible breeder should perform health tests on the parents and puppies in their care. You will want to know that puppies have received proper vaccinations and that the breeder is knowledgeable about their breed.
This way, you know the puppy you are receiving is on the right track to a happy and healthy life (and will save you in costs in the future).
So remember, if you're thinking of getting a dog, it is definitely a worthwhile, but costly venture. Make sure you are totally prepared before taking the plunge. To learn more about the steps to finding the right dog for you, check out our helpful article: How to Find the Perfect Puppy.