Bringing a new dog into your home is a big decision that requires careful planning and preparation. One important aspect of dog ownership is financial preparedness. It's necessary to make sure you have the resources to provide for your furry friend. Let’s go through some easy tips to kick off the financial preparations for your new pup.
Research Breeds and Prices
When considering getting a dog, it's important to research different breeds to determine which one will be the best fit for you and your lifestyle. This research will also help you estimate the ongoing costs of owning a specific breed.
Larger dogs typically require more food and may be more prone to certain health conditions, which could result in higher veterinary bills. High-energy breeds may require more exercise and mental stimulation, which could mean investing in more toys and doggy daycare services if you need to go to the office every day for long hours.
When researching different breeds, consider the initial cost of purchase, which can vary widely depending on the breed and where you acquire your dog from. Some breeds may be more expensive due to their popularity or rarity.
Breeds such as Poodle and Bichon Frise may require more frequent professional grooming, while others may be easier to groom at home. Similarly, some breeds may require more training and socialisation to ensure they become well-adjusted members of your family.
To estimate the costs associated with a specific breed, consider talking to veterinarians, groomers, and other pet professionals in your area. They can give you an idea of the typical costs associated with owning a specific breed and can help you plan for the ongoing expenses of dog ownership. Additionally, online resources such as the relevant breed club in your state like the Labrador Retriever Club of NSW can provide valuable information on the costs and care requirements of specific breeds.
Budget for Ongoing Costs
The cost of dog food can vary greatly depending on the brand and quality, as well as the size and breed of your dog. You may also need to budget for treats to keep your dog happy and engaged. You can also choose between different types of diets such as kibble, raw and freshly cooked, depending on your budget and availability among other factors. Your breeder and vet will be able to guide you through this.
Regular check-ups and vaccinations are necessary to keep your dog healthy, and you may need to budget for additional veterinary expenses if your dog, unfortunately, becomes ill or injured. You must consider pet insurance, which can help cover unexpected veterinary costs.
Other Recurring Costs
In addition to necessities and veterinary care, there are other ongoing expenses to consider, such as grooming, training, and boarding if you need to go out of town. These expenses can vary depending on the breed and size of your dog. Before you get your pup, look up dog professional services in your area to get an estimate for this cost.
To budget for these costs, it's important to do your research and determine how much each expense will cost. Australians spent an average of approx. $3k in 2022, according to the Pet Ownership Report. You can create a budget that outlines your expected expenses and income to ensure that you can provide for your furry friend. It's also a good idea to start saving before you bring your new dog home to avoid unexpected financial stress and ensure that you are prepared to provide the best care possible for your dog.
Start a Puppy Fund
We know that emergencies can come at any time and starting a puppy fund can help you prepare for a rainy day. It can help cover any unforeseen expenses that may arise during the early stages of dog ownership before your pup is fully trained or for a medical emergency.
To start, you can set aside a small amount of money each month, such as $25 or more, depending on your budget. This can help you accumulate funds that can be used for unexpected expenses like replacing chewed furniture, replacing broken charger cables, or covering unexpected vet bills.
It's important to note that starting a puppy fund should not replace budgeting for ongoing costs, such as food, veterinary care, and supplies. Rather, it is an additional measure to help you prepare for any unexpected expenses. By starting a puppy fund, you can have peace of mind knowing that you have the resources to take care of your furry friend.
In Australia, there are also some financial assistance programs available for pet owners who are facing unexpected veterinary expenses. For example, the RSPCA and other animal welfare organisations may offer aid for emergency veterinary care for pets in need. It's worth researching these options in advance so you know where to turn if an emergency arises.
Get Pet Insurance
Pet insurance can be a great way to protect yourself financially in the event of unexpected veterinary expenses. When comparing pet insurance policies, it's important to consider factors such as deductibles, premiums, and coverage limits. Some policies may have lower premiums, but higher deductibles, meaning you'll pay more out of pocket before the insurance kicks in. Other policies may have higher premiums but lower deductibles, making them more expensive overall but potentially saving you money in the event of a major medical issue.
You should also pay attention to what each policy covers. Some policies may exclude certain conditions, such as pre-existing conditions or hereditary illnesses, so make sure you read the fine print before signing up.
It's worth noting that pet insurance can be more expensive for older dogs or dogs with pre-existing conditions. However, even if you have an older dog, it may still be worth considering pet insurance to help cover the cost of unexpected medical bills.
You and your new dog can enjoy a happy and healthy life together with careful planning and commitment. We urge you to speak with your breeder as well as family and friends to learn from their experiences.