You have a job, your own flat, your own ride and now, finally, you are ready to get yourself a puppy. Dog ownership in India is on the rise, today. And why not? Dogs are loyal, loving companions. Every time you step into the house they welcome you like as if they haven’t seen you in years. However, before you start getting ready to walk over to the nearest puppy shelter to adopt your new pooch, think about the pet care cost. If you are considering getting a dog, check first if you can afford one.
Here are some things you need to keep in mind:
The first year of a puppy’s life is really expensive. You need to spend on vaccines, puppy food, bedding, a leash, bowls, and other pet care items. In the first year of your pup’s life, you will be spending nearly Rs. 5000 to Rs. 6000 a month.
Dogs fall sick too, especially young dogs. Young pups chew and swallow anything and their little digestive systems can’t take the strain. You have to account for veterinary charges and that can really pile on, especially if you need to neuter or spay your dog (which is highly recommended for your dog’s health).
If you love buying shoes, your expenses will drastically rise. Dogs of all ages love shoes, especially pups. Your dog is going to use your expensive shoes like cheap chewing toys. In fact there is some unwritten understanding among dogs – the more expensive the shoe, the tastier it is. If not shoes, your dog might take a fondness to the legs of your expensive chairs and sofas, your cushions, your bed linen… you get the picture. So apart from spending on pet care, you will be spending on either repairing or replacing all the damage your dog has done in your house.
The continual costs. Even after the first year, when pet owners tend to spend the most on dogs, the expenses continue, although a little cheaper. If you are using dog food, expect to spend around Rs. 2000 per month at least on pet care.
Also: Try this interesting QUIZ to see if you are ready for a dog?
Dogs need grooming. Most pet owners don’t really think about grooming costs before getting dogs with long shaggy coats. But dogs go to dog salons where they get pampered a lot more than most of their owners ever will. Of course, you are paying more than you pay for your own haircut.
Vacation costs increase when you have a dog. If you are travelling with your dog, you need to account for any extra expenses you might incur while travelling (not to mention inconvenience). If you plan to leave your dog behind, you either need to pay for a kennel on a per night basis (which is between Rs 400 and Rs 1000 per night depending on the facilities) or pay a maid or helper who will keep your dog company, walk it, play with it and feed it in your absence.
Puppy day-care. It might sound ridiculous to some, but it is a great facility for pet owners who have to leave their dogs alone while they work. Pet owners begin to love their pooches like one would a human family member and they want the best facilities. More and more dog owners do not want to leave their dogs home alone, especially if their dogs get anxious or cry loudly in their absence. Doggy day care can be a little expensive but if your dog hates being alone and if you have fussy neighbours, you might find yourself having to shell out for it.
Your pets’ health. Dogs age much faster than humans and with age come a whole host of new problems. It is awful to see dogs suffer and health care for senior dogs can be quite expensive. Dog medication, like any form of medication is expensive, as are the tests that many dogs are put through to diagnose their ailments.
At the end of the day, once you bring a pet home they are part of your family. Would you deprive your child good quality food, medical care, clothes and shelter just because it was financially inconvenient? Of course not.
Similarly, once you have a pet you will find that you cannot escape many of the expenses that come with being a dog owner. So if you really do want to get yourself a dog, apart from making sure you have the time for it, make sure that you are financially prepared as well.
In case you are looking for financial assistance to take care of your current pets or to add new members to your pet family, you should consider getting a personal line of credit!