Bringing home a new furry friend is always exciting, especially for kids. Adopting a dog can be a great way to bring more joy into your home and a great opportunity to teach your kids about responsibility. However, the joy of having a dog can sometimes be eclipsed by the expenses that come with owning one.
To keep pet expenses from becoming a problem once you choose to adopt a new puppy, here are a few ways you can maximize your budget to make getting a dog and raising them a little bit easier.
Save for the first year of expenses
The first year after you bring home a new puppy, you’ll want to make sure that you have savings prepared. This is because the first year of taking of a dog can cost $1,500 or more. These expenses come from vaccinations, adoption fees, spaying or neutering, and buying supplies like toys, food, and a crate. It’s better to save up for a dog ahead of time so you can be prepared for these expenses.
Invest in a dog-friendly house from the get-go
If getting a puppy is something you’re planning on for the future after you a buy a house, make sure you’re keeping dog-friendly features in mind while you’re house-hunting. Think of features that would make owning a dog a lot easier. For instance, a house with a large or even a decent-sized backyard will make exercising your new furry friend that much easier than having to take your dog for regular trips to the park. The typical commission for a real estate agent is 3-6% of a home’s sale price and it generally takes between 30 and 90 days to close on a house, so make sure you run your needs by your agent from the beginning of your home search. It’ll always be cheaper to buy a house with a fenced-in yard than to install your own fence later on.
Save for emergency situations
Just like kids, puppies and even grown dogs can sometimes do something that’s dangerous like swallowing something that should never be swallowed or stepping on something sharp. It’s a good idea while you’re saving for your first year of expenses to also save for emergency situations in case your puppy suddenly needs to go to the vet. Of course, you can’t always plan ahead for emergencies. Consider getting pet insurance to help cover the cost of check-ups and surgeries. Pet insurance can also help to cover things like cremation and aftercare to help keep your pet’s memory alive.
Getting a dog is a big responsibility not just for your kids but also for you and your budget. However, by being as financially prepared as possible to get a dog before you decide to adopt or buy from a reputable breeder, you won’t have to worry about being taken by surprise by budget-busting bills and unexpected fees.