No doubt about it, owning a dog can be costly. In fact, some sources show that owning a dog can cost anywhere from $27,074 to $42,545 over the course of the pet's lifetime, depending on the type and breed of dog. That's a lot more money than many dog owners expect to pay!
While many dog lovers will continue to own dogs regardless of the expense, limiting cost is important to many people. These tips can help you reduce the cost of owning a dog.
Choose a Small Dog
It makes sense that smaller dogs eat less food. In fact, dog owners with small dogs spend almost half what large dog owners spend on food, on an annual basis. Choosing a smaller dog can dramatically reduce feeding costs over time.
Keep Up With Preventative Healthcare
Healthy dogs go to the vet about once annually for preventative care, but an unhealthy dog may need to go to the vet frequently for tests, surgery, medicines, and follow-ups. Therefore, keeping up with your dog's health is a good way to limit annual veterinary expenses. You can do many things to keep your pet healthy and prevent chronic conditions.
Brush Your Dog's Teeth
Dogs need their teeth brushed almost as frequently as people do. If possible, brush your pet's teeth once per day, or at least once per week. Brushing your dog's teeth with special dog toothpaste and a proper dog toothbrush can help prevent problems like cavities, gum disease and plaque buildup.
Keep Up With Vaccinations
Vaccinations can protect your dog from costly, unpleasant medical conditions. Dogs need to get a series of vaccinations and regular booster shots to ensure that they're protected from disease. Your dog's veterinarian can tell you more about which vaccinations are best for your dog.
Be Heart Healthy
Obesity can lead to problems like heart disease and diabetes. Exercising your dog regularly and feeding your dog a nutritious diet can help keep your dog's weight down.
Reward Your Dog With Play, Not Treats
Dog treats are costly in multiple ways. First, dog treats can lead to weight gain, which in turn could correspond to higher medical bills. Treats are also non-renewable: you have to keep buying them in order to give your dog regular rewards. Playing with your dog is a more affordable way to show your dog that he or she has done a good job.
Train Your Dog Properly
Some dogs develop a nasty habit of destroying furniture, peeing in inappropriate places, and engaging in destructive behaviors. Making repairs and replacing items around your house can become costly, especially if these behaviors are common. The best way to prevent this from happening is to train your dog when he or she is young.
Shop Around for Medications
Medications can be expensive, especially if you buy them from your pet's veterinarian. Buying medications from online sources can reduce your expenses. Shopping around is especially worthwhile if your pet needs regular medications for a chronic condition.
Purchase Vet Insurance
Veterinary insurance pays for a variety of veterinary services, thus limiting the amount of money that you spend on veterinary bills. There are different levels of veterinary insurance for pets who have different needs, so you can pick the policy that makes the most sense for your dog. Check with your pet's vet before purchasing a policy, to ensure that your pet's vet accepts that type of insurance.
Do you want to know more ways that you can save money on pet expenses every year? Contact Eli's Friends today! We're happy to answer any questions you might have, and give you more suggestions that can help you reduce costs!