Budgeting for a pet adoption is much more than just the weekly cost of food, a few toys, and a bed. Dogs require long-term care and, much like having children or owning a home, can come with surprise expenses. An emergency, such as injury, illlness, or health problems that come with aging, could arise for your dog at any time. Treatments, medications, and surgeries can add up and will be necessary for you to take care of as the dog owner. Here are some expenses for you, and your wallet, to keep in mind before adopting a dog.
Dogs experience seasonal and food allergies just like humans do. If you see your dog sneezing, coughing, or developing hives, it’s time to take a trip to the vet for a diagnosis. That vet visit and any prescription that comes with it, commonly antihistamines that will become a regular refill during allergy season, are potential costs to keep in mind.
Every dog comes with its own set of needs, some more severe than others. These needs can be unexpected, for example, if your dog suffers an injury or gets diagnosed with a medical condition, and may result in surgery bills. Some needs may be expected if your dog has already been diagnosed prior to the adoption.
For example, dogs with anxiety may require medication or a calming jacket for when they are over-stimulated by thunder or other triggers. A blind dog may need accommodations, like a bumper, to prevent them from walking into what’s in front of them. A deaf dog may need professional training to become accustomed to being called or sign language commands. Training, and possible equipment or accessories that come with it, are expenses to consider for dogs of all needs.
Adopting an older dog comes with different costs than adopting a puppy. A senior dog may need special medications to help them keep an active lifestyle. Routine vet visits are a recurring cost for all dogs, especially elderly ones, and can come with the added expense of prescription medication. If you welcome an older dog into your family, you want to avoid making drastic changes to the lifestyle your pup has become accustomed to. If this dog is used to eating a certain brand of food or has a specific diet to stick to, this can be a much different expense than if you were planning to buy whatever kibble is on sale.
Adopting a dog means making it part of your family, and taking care of it when times get hard. Make sure you have a financial plan or savings put aside for the health and safety of your pup.