The Cost of Owning a Dog
Let’s look at some of the expenses you can expect when you pick a pooch.
- Food is usually the largest regular expense associated with pets. Feeding a small dog may not cost more than $20 a month, but larger breeds can cost more than five times that amount. While expensive is not always best, you can expect to pay a little more for balanced nutrition and/or organic blends. You will also want to pick up some biscuits or other treats.
- Most municipalities require that you purchase an annual license for your pet. Annual licensing fees for your dog can run anywhere from a few dollars to a hundred, and you can expect to pay more if your pet hasn’t been spayed or neutered. Penalties for unlicensed dogs can be steep – usually between $250 and $500 in Western Canada.
- Pets get sick and injured just like people. Most vets will recommend an annual checkup for your pooch and put it on a vaccination schedule with a frequency between one and three years. These annual checkups can run between $150 and $300 dollars. Some breeds are prone to certain medical conditions like arthritis, seizures, and hip dysplasia that will require regular treatment and/or medication. Many owners opt to buy pet health insurance to mitigate any additional or unexpected health costs.
- Unless you are planning to breed your pet, you should have it spayed or neutered – a one-time procedure that is sometimes included when you purchase a puppy from a shelter, but will otherwise cost between $200 and $500.
- Some pet owners opt to ‘chip’ their dog by having an RFID microchip inserted under its skin. Chipping usually costs less than $60, and in the event the dog is lost or stolen, the chip proves indisputable ownership.
- Pets also need food and water bowls, leashes, collars, beds, brushes and shampoo. Prices on these necessities vary depending on personal taste.
- Because dogs are social animals, you may need to look into doggie daycare if your lifestyle means your dog will be left alone for long periods of time throughout the day. In Canada, you can expect to pay an average of $32 a day for this service.
These are just some of the costs associated with dog ownership, but if you have the financial resources to be a responsible pet owner, your pup will shower you with unconditional love… and that’s priceless!