Five often overlooked financial costs of dog ownership

owning dog
Rens Hageman
Rens Hageman

Everyone knows that owning a dog of any size does not come cheap, even if your dog came to you free of charge in the first place!

The lifetime costs of dog ownership for a dog of any size rarely come in at less than £10,000, and that figure covers only the basics such as run of the mill standard food for a small to medium dog, and does not take into account things like nonstandard veterinary treatments and other unexpected costs. The true cost of lifelong dog ownership can easily run to well over £20,000, and in some cases, a whole lot more!

However, even if you do your sums carefully to ensure that you can afford to own a dog and take care of them for life, including any unexpected costs and a buffer for error, there still remain several additional costs that can soon prove expensive, but which the vast majority of dog owners don’t factor into their sums in advance at all.

In this article, we will look at five of the most commonly overlooked financial costs of dog ownership.

Grooming and other professional services

Some dogs will go through their whole lives without ever visiting a grooming salon, but for others, trips to the canine coiffeur are a regular part of their lives. However, even if your dog has short, single-layered fur that does not require high maintenance and regular baths, the chances are, your dog will need to go to the groomers at some point, for a bath if they get particularly mucky, or for help if they are hard work to get cleaned up.

Added to this, there are a whole gamut of other professional services that your dog might need throughout their life, such as minor treatments performed by groomers or veterinary nursing staff such as nail clipping and anal gland expressing, or even in some cases, behavioural therapy, and many other incidentals besides.

Personal liability and damage repair

When you own a dog, it is your responsibility to ensure that your dog is not a danger to other dogs or people, and also, that your dog does not damage other people’s property. This is not just a moral responsibility but a financial one, and if your dog does do something terrible, you will be directly financially (and possibly, even criminally) liable for their actions.

Ensuring that your pet insurance covers third party liability is the best way to avoid any unexpected costs, as is of course ensuring that your dog is kept under control at all times.

But remember that if your dog decides to dig up someone’s garden or otherwise causes damage to another person’s property, the bill will ultimately end up with you.

Alterations and housing costs

Dog-proofing your home is an important part of preparing for dog ownership, and this may involve making changes to your home and garden to either restrict your dog’s access to certain areas, or ensure that they can get around comfortably and safely. You may need to replace or reinforce your fencing to keep your dog contained, or install ramps and other fixings and fittings before your home is truly dog friendly.

Added to this, if you rent your home or are tied by the rules of certain leasehold housing agreements, the cost of living with a dog may be more than that of living alone, as many landlords and management companies will charge a premium or damage deposit for pets, and check carefully to ensure that your dog is not becoming a problem.

Wear and tear

Dogs can be destructive, and there’s no getting around this fact! Even quiet, well behaved dogs are likely to damage something during the course of their lives, and the general wear and tear caused to your furniture and home by the dog can soon add up financially, and mean that it will cost you more to maintain your home with a dog than without one.

Chewed furniture, ripped up carpet, a dug up flowerbed and much more are just some of the potential delights of dog ownership that await you!

Additional help and care

Obviously part of your planning process when deciding to get a dog will involve carefully reviewing your lifestyle, working hours and free time to ensure that you have enough time available to devote to keeping a dog. But even if you are at home for the vast majority of the time, there will still come occasions when you will need some help to take care of your dog, such as if you go on holiday without your dog, are out all day, or are otherwise unable to walk or spend time with your dog.

Dog sitters, walking services and kennelling can all be costly, and even taking your dog on holiday with you generally invites an extra financial premium, so ensure that you have some funds put by and a good idea of what you will do when you do need some help!

(Article source: Pets 4 Homes)

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