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Raising a Puppy: Typical Expenses To Be Aware Of

Posted on March 4, 2022 by Chris Fleming

From new pet owners to those raising multiple pets, there have been several changes to our way of life during and after the pandemic. Things like more people are working from their own home which influences their decision about taking in a new pet, or even simply spending more on health products for the pet. Pet parents across the nation are focusing on their fur babies more than ever, including influencing their house buying decisions to make sure they have a better yard for their dog.

 Regardless if you are contemplating stepping to a life of pet parenthood or if you are planning on making additions to your pet family, there are important factors to keep in mind. Everyone knows that pets take up a lot of time and can be expensive, but what are those expenses? There are typical annual purchases that every new dog brings with them, so here is some information to help you better understand the cost involved with pet ownership.

Where Is the Money Going?

Food / Treats / Supplements

A growing trend among responsible pet parents is they are spending more on their pet relating to food and other items related to their pet’s health and wellbeing. More than ever, pet parents are carefully researching what goes into their pet’s meals while looking for the best types of ingredients that their pet needs.

Treats to place inside toys, pets vitamins, and supplements such as joint health supplements are also costs that need to be factored in. Keep in mind when you are looking for a forever friend that large dog breeds have a higher cost of feeding when compared to smaller dog breeds. Also depending on the breed of pup, they might have common health issues where they need a specially prescribed diet, which can lead to increased costs.

Veterinarian Care

As veterinarians are held to a high standard and are expected to have the skills and knowledge to take care of all your pet’s medical needs while doing everything they can for the safety of your pet, trips to the vet have become a large expense. According to AKC’s Current Trends Report “Routine veterinary visits make up the second-largest segment of a dog owner’s expenditures after food”. There is also an increase in interest and awareness of pet dental health, which some pet parents use their veterinarian for dental health checks. From annual and preventative treatment/medication to emergency trips and surgery, vet expenses can build up quickly. Other typical annual pet health expenses to be aware of include vaccinations and medical exams, which should not be skipped over.

Pet Insurance / Emergency Fund

According to AKC’s Current Trends Report, “One-fifth of dog owners have health insurance for their dogs”. Raising a puppy costs money even just starting out, pups will need booster shots, heartworm/tick medication, and if surgery to be done for becoming spayed or neutered, it is typically done at this age. On top of any normal vet expenses, if your pet becomes sick or gets seriously injured then your vet bill is going to escalate very quickly. Pet insurance acts as a safety net that ensures your pet’s needs will be covered to ensure that you won’t get into a situation of choosing between saving your beloved fur baby or going into a serious debt. 

While you may not end up needing pet insurance, it is almost certain at some point in your pet’s lifetime there will come a major vet bill. The cost of keeping your pet healthy is unpredictable which is why it is vital to have an emergency fund of at least several thousand dollars. So setting aside funds before you choose your new puppy and keep doing so every month will help you prepare for any unforeseen and unfortunate events.

Dog Daycare / Dog Boarding

Sometimes you can find a friend, family member, or neighbor who can walk or take care of your dog while you are away but other times you will need the assistance of the professionals. Pet parents take their fur baby with them on vacation all the time, but there is typically at least two times a year where you have to leave them at home. After people started returning to working in the office, dog daycares have seen a boost of interest and awareness as pet parents use their services. If you have started working again or even if you just work long hours, dog daycares help your pup get the proper amount of exercise and socialization around other pups and people while giving you a peace of mind.

Training Devices / Methods

Some doggy daycares, like All Dogs Dream, also offer training classes that pet parents are taking full advantage of. As people have stayed more at home after the pandemic, pet parents have realized more than ever that obedience and house training their pup is important. Every puppy needs to be trained in house manners and obedience commands as this helps you communicate with your pup and teaches him to trust your decisions in complicated (and possibly dangerous) situations. Dog training also acts as an exercise to keep your pup mentally and physically healthy while preventing the development of any destructive behaviors.

Miscellaneous Health, Maintenance, and Safety Purchases 

Other expenses can come from things like

  • Electronic tracking devices to protect and locate you pup
  • Leashes/harnesses to secure your pup during a car ride
  • Potty training pads and cleaning supplies for messes
  • Depending on the breed, your pup may require expensive, professional grooming or your own set of brushes, shampoo, trimmers, lint rollers and other grooming products

Pet-Caused Damages

Pets can rack up a damage bill quite easily from

  • Ruined carpets/need professional cleaning
  • Clawed furniture/scratched doors
  • Flowerpots pushed over/broken
  • Digging holes in the vegetable garden
  • Ripped window screens

How to Save Money On Pets

Good news is there are several ways to cut back on expenses without needing to cut back on quality or losing out on much needed services. Pet owners throughout the country are finding ways to save money while becoming even better pet parents, so here are a few tips to try yourself.

Do Your Own Research / Consult Your Veterinarian

Choose high quality food that fits your dog’s needs (not always the most expensive option). A dog’s diet is related to his future health, meaning a higher quality of food that costs more may save on future vet bills. In addition, with higher quality food your pup can eat less while receiving the correct amount of nutrition he needs.

Buy Online / Sign up for a Subscription Service

While pet parents typically are purchasing pet products at brick-and-mortar stores, online shopping has increased around 20% the last couple of years. Be sure to check for online sales as online shopping is typically cheaper, can be delivered, and available to set up a subscription for automatic monthly shipments. Typically a subscription service either takes a percentage off the purchase price or gives you a reward for purchasing a certain amount of product. Shopping online also offers a wider selection of pet products that might not be in a store.

Reuse / Recycle / Repurpose

Before shopping to buy new pet products and items, ask around your family, neighbors, and friends for any unused dog beds, leashes, toys. Dogs typically have their favorite toys and won’t play with others which allows you to find out what type of toys your pup likes the best. Also, think outside the pet store box and check for other pet supply sources like department stores, discount stores, and outdoor living stores as they will be typically cheaper. Don’t forget to repurpose any old furniture pieces such as porch chair cushions into beds or toys which can also help save money.

Pet Insurance

A healthy diet and proper exercise is the easiest and the best way to save money related to your pup’s health! Some pet owners don’t end up needing insurance but rather save by paying out of pocket. You will have to make that decision yourself depending on veterinarian rates in your area, your puppy’s personal needs, as well as if his breed has any common health issues. Keep in mind that the cheapest pet insurance might end up costing you more since some do not cover specific services. If you decide not to get pet insurance, start an emergency fund (or a pet health account dedicated for any vet bills). Set aside a certain amount each month before you adopt the puppy to ensure you will have the money when it is needed most.

Start Puppy Training Early

House training and teaching them manners will help prevent you having to replace damaged furniture, stained carpet, and chewed-up personal belongings. In addition, obedience training classes help your pup listen to you and trust your commands which can be critical in dangerous situations. Dog training also promotes mental stimulation and acts as an exercise regimen while preventing aggressive or destructive behavior.

Advice From The Professionals

This article is to ensure that you are stepping into the life of a pet parent with your eyes wide open so you won’t be blindsided by the cost of owning a pet. Responsible dog ownership starts with your own financial preparedness as it is a huge time and money commitment that should not be made on a whim. Make sure you are ready to be the best possible pet parent you can be for your forever friend and beloved family member. Take these financial details seriously when considering adopting or buying a pup, for you will become responsible for him every day of his life. If you have any questions or would like to know more about our daycare, boarding, or training services, we would love to hear from you! Reach out to us today! If you already have a pup then be sure to check out and sign him up for our upcoming events and challenges.

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