Will I be able to afford its routine health care, sterilisation and any unexpected veterinary costs?
Work it out… Depending on size and the quality of diet you offer, it costs at least $20 a week to feed a dog. That’s pretty good value to keep your best buddy going, but have you given much thought to the other expenses?
Assuming you prefer him not to have fleas, there’s about $15 a month right there for backline monthly flea treatments. At around $10 wormers aren’t small change either, and he should be dosed about every 3 months (bank on needing several for bigger dogs). If there’s heartworm in your area, add monthly medications for that to the list. Then consider the vaccinations he’ll need, plus the cost of sterilisation – which may be $100 or more depending on sex of the dog and who you go to.
The wild card in all this is the unexpected. What are you going to do if he gets hit by a car, catches a grass seed up his nose, or eats the string off the rolled roast and tangles up his intestines? Will you have the funds readily available to fix him up? There’s not many dilemmas much worse than having to decide between the life of your furry family member or financial survival.
If you are a little pressed for funds, definitely don’t go for a large breed – bigger always means more medicines to pay for, and more food. And be aware that some breeds are much higher maintenance due to poorer health outlooks than others, so use the Perfect Match Puppy Breed Quiz to help you trim your costs from the start by choosing a breed that better matches your situation. And make sure your budget stretches comfortably to cover pet insurance which is breed dependant and starts at about $20 a month.