You may find puppies to be cute and cuddly and you may want to buy one every time you see one on the road. But this is not a decision to make lightly. Among the many factors that you need to consider before getting a dog for yourself, is finance! Are you financially secure enough to get a dog and take care of it in the right way?
Here are some items and services that you will need to spend on once you get your cuddly buddy home.
- Purchase – Unless you are planning to get a dog from a shelter or adopt one that is being given away, you will need to dish out a fair amount of money for buying the dog. The amount of money that you pay will depend on whether you are looking for a pure breed or a mutt! Adopting a mutt is becoming extremely common these days. Indian dogs are far cheaper than other breeds like Labradors or Beagles and they are extremely smart and loyal too. So, if the show-off value is not of much worth and you would like to keep this cost down, choose an Indian breed. Among pure breeds too, Labradors and Pomeranians are cheaper than Beagles and Pugs.
- Supplies – As with anything that you do for the first time, there are initial supplies that you will need to buy.
- Collar and leash – Do not buy an expensive one to start with. Your puppy will outgrow these in a few months. At the age of about 7 to 8 months, your dog will be large enough for you to get a great collar and leash that can stay for as long as you want it to. You may also want to consider a harness so that you can avoid choking him while on a walk; in case he gets exited and starts to pull.
- Bedding – Giving your dog a snuggly little place of his own is a good idea. While you get great dog beds in the market, you can also throw in a large cushion or a thick floor rug for your puppy’s comfort. A kennel or a crate is an optional item that you can consider depending on how comfortable you are leaving the dog alone in the house without supervision.
- Food and water bowls – Some people try and save on the food and water bowls for dogs by using old food containers from home. Please understand that the food and water bowls that you get for dogs are stable and therefore less likely to topple over. Investing in this item will save you a lot of cleaning hassle.
- Grooming supplies – A good quality hard and soft hair brush, gloves for bathing, a tick collar and a winter coat (if you stay in a cold place) are essential one time buys for your dog. Brushing a dog at least once a day helps in reduced shedding in the house and a tick collar comes in handy during the tick season to keep them away.
- ID Tag – An identification tag is good idea to ensure that your dog can be found and returned in case of a runaway situation. There is a more expensive option of a GPS chip that is also available these days. If you have a naughty Beagle (they are a breed known for running off because of their heightened sense of smell), then you may want to make this one-time investment.
- Vet visits – Just as in the case of children, your visits to the vet in the first year will be frequent and almost every 3 months. This is because of the vaccinations that they need. After the first year, the visits can be reduced to once a year. Don’t forget however, that dogs also get sick like humans and you can have stray cases of infections that you may need to address. A lot of dog medicines are the same as human medicines and not too expensive though. If you decide to neuter or spray your dog, this will be an extra charge. While these will keep you away from the hassle of an extra-aggressive dog and a bitch that gets pregnant, these procedures can make your dog flabby, lazy and fat!
- Ongoing extra costs – Other than the one-time or annual costs, you will also need to account for an increase in your monthly expenditure and budget for dog food, treats, toys, dog shampoo and nutritional supplements. You can adjust some costs based on the kind of food you decide to feed your dog. However, it is important to remember that feeding only home food may result in an under-nourished and unhealthy dog. Check with your vet about the portion and type of food to give your specific breed.
- Home destruction – While this may not apply to all those who adopt a dog, almost all puppies resort to chewing on stuff at home in the first year. While you can try and control this urge and avoid destruction by making chew toys available, some level of destruction is inevitable. While some puppies will go crazy on shoes, there are others that have a penchant for your best furniture.
Getting a dog into your life can bring in a lot of love, happiness