My wife and I recently got a new puppy. Her first few days with us were spent in a house full of packed items, and the next few were spent driving across the country to our new home. Now that we’ve settled in, we’re focusing on training and caring for her the best we can.
When you purchase a dog, there are many things to take care of, and along with those things, many costs that are incurred. Among these, providing the right grooming, veterinary care, and food are the most important.
Our new puppy is a non-shedding breed, which means she needs to get haircuts. These can get very expensive if done professionally, so I’ve decided to take on the challenge. With the same buzzer I use to cut my hair, I cut our new puppy’s coat. Doing a little bit at a time, I was able to trim the long spots and save some money.
Clipping toenails is a part of grooming that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Though this can also be done by a professional, I decided to try myself. This was a bit more difficult, but it was worth the cash we saved. If you plan on doing this, you’ll need to buy a dog-specific nail clipper and some cauterizing powder.
Dog washing is another step of the grooming process. For this, we purchased dog shampoo and conditioner for about $10, and we gave her a bath in our tub.
We decided to do all the grooming ourselves, which saves money, but also takes time. Some people don’t have enough time to do all of the grooming themselves, so they bring their dog to a professional.
Veterinary visits in the first year are very important. Dogs need a number of different shots and must be checked by a professional fairly frequently.
We have been to the vet twice — once for an initial checkup and once for a series of shots. This will be followed by another series of shots and, in the future, spaying.
Vets often recommend a host of shots and pills for dogs. Make sure to do your research and decide whether you want or need all of them for your dog. The vet is usually only trying to do what’s best, but finding out what’s necessary can make a big difference financially.
What you feed your dog can have noted effects on their health and overall well being. There are a ton of options out there, though in general, you get what you pay for. If you don’t know what food to buy, talk to someone who is familiar with the options. A worker at the pet supply store helped us to pick out a good brand. Don’t skimp on this; your dog’s diet is vital to its health.
How to Balance the Costs of Dog Care
These decisions come down to what you feel is important. If you don’t have time to groom your dog, and you want him or her to look a certain way, you should go to a professional groomer. This is the area where you can save the most money, however, as you don’t want to cut back on other areas. To save money on veterinary care and food, do your research!
What other costs does do you incur while caring for your dog?