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What is the true cost of owning a dog?

There is nothing in the world like the love and devotion of a four-legged friend! But that affection and loyalty comes at a very real price. Before welcoming a dog into your family, be sure to consider these points from our Greensboro vets.

Expenses to Consider

When you are considering whether owning a dog is within your budget it's important to remember that there are different types of expenses that occur when caring for your four-legged family member.

Right from day one, it is important to be prepared for each of these types of expenses and plan accordingly so that you don't face any unpleasant surprises along the way, or find yourself struggling to provide your pet with the care they need and deserve.

One-Time Expenses

  • Purchasing your dog
  • Spaying or neutering your pup
  • Creed-specific surgeries (ie: tail docking)

Monthly Expenses

  • Parasite protection
  • Medications
  • Food
  • Daycare or boarding

Recurring Annual Expenses

  • Once or twice yearly routine exams
  • Vaccines
  • Parasite prevention products

Emergency Expenses

  • Accidents
  • Injuries
  • Chronic Illness (diabetes, cancer, etc)
  • Sudden Illness (diarrhea, asthma, etc)

Calculating The Average Cost of Owning a Dog

It's important to remember that when it comes to estimating how much a dog costs the numbers vary wildly since there are so many factors to consider, including the size and breed of the dog, health risks of your dog's breed and the services needed to keep your dog looking and feeling top-notch.

Beyond veterinary care and prevention, to get to a realistic cost of owning a dog you will also want to look at the cost of food (based on how much your chosen dog breed will eat), grooming sessions, toys, treats, beds, collars and leashes, obedience training, boarding for vacations, and possibly the price of hiring a dog walker.

Another variable to consider is where you live. Services from veterinary care to grooming and dog sitting range widely in price between locations. For a true estimate of costs, you will need to consider the breed you are looking at getting, that breed's risk of chronic illness, and how much the pet services your dog will need cost in your area.

Ways to Make Dog Ownership More Affordable

If you have your heart set on having a dog as part of your family, there are ways to help make the annual cost of owning a dog more affordable.

Pick a Food That Meets All of  Your Dog's Nutritional Requirements

The quality of food that your provide to your pup will play a key role in their overall health. Choosing a high quality food that meets all of your furry friend's nutritional requirements (based on their breed, age, and lifestyle), could save you money on vet bills later.

Also, when choosing the food you want to provide to your pup, read labels carefully. Although some foods may seem much cheaper on the surface, if you need to feed more at each meal you may find that lower quality foods often cost nearly as much as foods that offer higher nutritional value and fewer additives. Compare serving sizes as a part of your research to ensure that you get the best value for your hard earned cash.

Enroll Your Furry Friend in a Pet Wellness Plan

Pet Wellness Plans for dogs and cats are designed to 'bundle' all of the annual preventive services your pet needs into 12 easy monthly payments, saving you money and helping your pet lead their healthiest life.

The services included in Wellness Plans for dogs vary from one hospital to another. At Guilford-Jamestown Veterinary Hospital our plans include:

  • 10% Discount on Service at Our Veterinary Hospital 
  • 2 Comprehensive Wellness Exams
  • Annual Core Vaccinations
  • Annual Fecal Exam - Intestinal Parasite Check
  • 12-Month Supply of Flea and Tick Prevention
  • Heartworm Prevention Medication for Dogs

Contact us to learn more or reach out to your veterinary clinic to find out if they offer money saving Wellness Plans to their clients.

Set Aside a Money Just For Pet Care

If you are good at saving and budgeting this may be a good solution for you. Whether you use a separate bank account or a jar tucked away somewhere safe. Calculate how much you would need if your pet suffered a veterinary emergency then work out a reasonable amount to tuck away each payday. Having that money put aside may help to make veterinary emergencies less stressful when they strike.

Pet Insurance

If you are concerned about the high cost of emergency care or caring for a pet with a chronic illness, pet insurance may be right for you. Pet insurance can certainly help to relieve the burden of emergency care costs, but it's important to understand what your pet's policy covers before signing on the dotted line.

At Guilford-Jamestown Veterinary Hospital we provide all the care and preventive services your canine companion needs to stay healthy and looking great. Contact us today to book an appointment for your cherished pet. 

Puppy on leash, sitting looking up at owner.

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