You may recall that a labradoodle puppy joined my family earlier this year. Adding a dog to our household has brought many changes. Some have cost us money. Some have saved us money. Some just serve to demonstrate that it is easier for us to spoil our dog than it is for us to spoil ourselves.
For example, our puppy definitely eats better than anyone else in our house on a consistent basis. Because he is so small, he does not require a lot of food. That allows us to buy him better quality food than we would otherwise have purchased if he had been a larger breed. At every meal, I look over at the fresh meat and vegetables that my puppy is eating and remark to my wife that he eats better than we do. To that, she always reminds me that he deserves it more.
When purchasing a dog, there are a lot of things that you will need to consider. As I look back on six months of pet ownership, here are the financial considerations that never crossed my mind when I was looking for a puppy:
s I mentioned, our dog is small. Unlike most of the humans I know, who seem to eat about the same amount of food regardless of their size, size does matter when it comes to portion control for dogs. Our dog is almost fully grown and he eats about 2 cups of food per day. As a result, it takes us a long time to go through his dog food. If you buy a large dog, you can expect to spend a lot more money on dog food.
Dogs Need Toys, but not Too Many
Do not go crazy buying toys for your dog. Dogs are like kids, they will probably only play with one or two of the many toys that you might buy them. Purchase a size appropriate ball and a piece of thick rope, and you should have enough to keep your puppy busy for a long time. Any other toys will likely get lost before you need them.
Puppies and Babies Have Much in Common – Part 1
Whether you add a baby or a puppy to your house, marketing departments want to know and they want you to try their products in the hope that you will get hooked on them. Before you bring your puppy home, contact the food providers that your veterinarian recommends and ask for samples. They will probably send you a few days worth of food. I received a two week supply from one provider and a one week supply from another. Although it is not good for dogs to switch from one food to another (hard on the stomach), we were able to use the samples to identify the best food for our dog and thus avoid having to buy a lot of different brands until we found the right one.
Puppies and Babies Have Much in Common – Part 2
When puppies go to the bathroom, you have to clean up after them. I have a neighbor who actually buys special bags for her dog”s waste because she likes the texture of the bags. I cannot bring myself to do that so I ask my local grocery store to give me extra plastic bags when I shop. It seems odd to the store because I use reusable bags for my groceries, but I explain that I still need about twenty plastic bags per week for dog waste. It is not environmentally sound but I do not think I have any other alternatives.
If Your Dog is Overweight, You do not get Enough Exercise
This is very true. Especially as your dog grows, it needs exercise and you will need to be the facilitator. This is where a dog can save you money in the long run because having a dog will force you to walk every day.
What other ways can dogs cost you money and save you money? Does the breed or size of dog matter?