While the love and companionship that you receive from your dog are priceless, owning a dog has financial implications. Here, our San Angelo vets share some information about the average cost of owning a dog and how to manage it.

What does it cost to own a dog?

Knowing the different types of expenses is important when considering whether owning a dog is within your budget.

One-Time Expenses:

  • Purchasing your dog
  • Spaying or neutering your pup
  • Cost of breed-specific surgeries

Recurring Annual Expenses:

  • Annual or semi-annual routine exams
  • Vaccines

Monthly Expenses:

  • Parasite protection
  • Medications
  • Food

Emergency Expenses:

  • Accidents
  • Injuries
  • Chronic Illness (diabetes, cancer, etc)
  • Sudden Illness (Diarrhea, breathing difficulties, vomiting)
From the start, 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.

Calculating the Annual Cost of Owning a Dog

Of course, when it comes to estimating the average cost of owning a dog, the numbers vary wildly since there are so many factors to consider, including the size and breed of the dog, the health risks of your dog's breed, and the services needed to keep your dog looking and feeling their very best.

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, and possibly the price of hiring a dog walker.

Another variable to consider is where you live. Services from veterinary care to grooming and boarding 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.

How to Manage the Cost of Owning a Dog

If you want a dog for your family, there are ways to help make the annual cost of ownership more affordable.

Save Money for Unexpected Veterinary 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. Putting that money aside may help make veterinary emergencies less stressful when they strike.

Purchase Pet Insurance

Pet insurance may be right for you if you are concerned about the high cost of emergency care or caring for a pet with a chronic illness. Pet insurance can help 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.

Sign Up for Pet Wellness Plans

Many veterinarians offer wellness plans to help pet parents budget for their pet's annual preventive care. These plans divide the recommended annual preventive care cost into easy-to-manage payments.

Wellness plans for dogs include annual core vaccines, routine exams, flea and tick prevention, and heartworm protection.

Here at Western Veterinary Hospital, we don't offer wellness plans, but we do have financing options through Scratchpay and CareCredit to help you better manage the cost of veterinary care. Speak with us today to learn more.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you need to schedule a visit for routine and preventive care? Worried about the cost of the visit? Contact our San Angelo vets today to learn more about our financing options.