Adopting a dog is no small matter. It shouldn't be treated lightly and decisions should not be made on a whim. Like all living and breathing creatures, dogs have needs. As dog owners, we have a responsibility to care for our best friends. There are expenses associated with doing that, which is why the following questions must be considered before adopting.
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Here are some things to ask yourself before taking the leap:
1. Do I have the disposable income to take care of a dog?
It costs between $580 and $875 annually to take care of a dog’s routine needs, depending on the size of the dog. That’s roughly $70 per month. If you don’t have that much left over at the end of every month, you will either need to get creative with your personal finances or cut corners in the care of your dog. Neither one of those options are fair — to you or the dog.
2. Do I have the upfront costs involved with adopting a dog?
If you scan through the puppy ads in a newspaper, you will find out quickly that puppies can be expensive. Even if you adopt from a shelter, the costs can be more than $100. Then there are the one-time costs for things like a crate, toys, license, and collar, which can add up to about $200. If the dog isn’t spayed or neutered, you will eventually want to get that done. That costs $200 (unless your dog only has one testicle, then it costs $400).
3. Do you have a savings account for unforeseen costs? If not, are you willing to start one?
We dog lovers want our pets to be active and happy. With activity, unfortunately, come accidents and injuries. Broken bones and ligament tears can cost hundreds of dollars to repair. You don’t want to put yourself in the position of putting off a needed repair for your pet because you can’t afford it right now.
You may want to consider pet health insurance for those unforeseen costs.
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