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Hidden dog expenses


       Have you contemplated the thought of getting a family pet?  Many people want to get a dog for the companionship, and just another "person" to play and cuddle with.  I mean, who wouldn't want a  friend for life?  Someone to love you no matter what, always eager for you to get home, and always wanting to play or cuddle with you.  Many times though, most people don't think about all the costs of having a dog before they make the decision.

There are lots of things to think about, and I listed them here.

INITIAL COSTS - First of all, when you get a dog, there are things you will need to buy right away.  Food, bedding,  a leash, a collar, water and food bowls, and maybe a pooper scooper and kennel/cage.  These items add up, so don't expect it to be a cheap initial investment. Also, depending on where you get the dog from, you will have to pay a fee for him.  If it's a purebreed, be prepared to hand away a small fortune ($800+).  Even if you get him from the pound though, you will still have to pay a fee, usually under $100.

FOOD - I know I mentioned food in the initial costs, but it's also a recurring one.  Depending on how big the dog is, or is going to get, you could be going through a lot of food.  Also, if your dog ends up with any medical issues, then you'll have to buy him special, more expensive food.

BOARDING - Do you plan on ever going on vacation?  Even if it's just for a night, the dog needs to be looked after.  If you're lucky enough to have a family member or friend do this, then disregard this fee.  Most likely, though, you will need to pay someone.  Whether it be a dog sitter, the vet, or an actual kennel, you could be paying at least $15 PER NIGHT.  Trust me, that adds up.  We went on a 10 day vacation and ended up paying about $200 just for the dog to be taken care of.  

HEARTWORM - If you don't want your dog to get sick, then you will need to buy heartworm.  It usually comes in a pack of six, and you give one pill every month.  It's not a huge expense, just one more to add to the list.

VET VISITS - Your dog will need to be taken to the vet to get certain shots, yearly.  That's the guarantee.  Then there are all the times when your dog may become sick, or breaks something.  He is just like a small child.  You will need to take care of him and bring him to the doctor as needed.

TOYS - Again, your dog is like a small child.  It will need to be entertained.  An easy way to do this is to buy toys and treats for your dog.  Our dog, for example, really likes to chew bones, but the regular rawhide ones are gone in a day or two, no matter how big!  So instead of buying those by the casefulls, we by her elk antlers.  They are a lot more expensive (usually $30-$40), but they actually last her a couple of months, and she loves them.

GROOMING - This one really depends on the type of dog you get.  Its obvious that some dogs require a lot more grooming than others.  Just remember, if you get a long haired dog, it will probably need a monthly visit at the groomers.

OBEDIENCE CLASSES - Finally, obedience training.  You will be extremely lucky if you end up with a dog that will listen and do exactly what you say from the start.  If you do not have the time to train him yourself, or do not have the know-how, then you may need to take him to some classes.  They will help you with what you need to do to teach your dog certain skills like sit, heel, lay down, no jumping, no barking and more.  A lot of these can be done at home, especially with little training treats, but be prepared to spend a lot of time with him, if not a lot of money!

     If you have thought of all these, then great!   Having a dog is a fantastic mood booster.  They are always there to make you feel loved.  Just make sure you can love them properly, by giving them everything they need to have a good life too!