The love and companionship, the loyalty and protection; how you do put a price on owning a dog? They’re priceless. There isn’t a dollar amount you can put on them. Or can you?
Everyday across the country people are being forced to think about their finances in relationship to dog ownership. It’s a ad fact but it’s true.
So what if you’ve thought it through and you really want a dog, you just can’t live without one. What do you do?
Well, you start by doing your research and learning what it would cost to first adopt a dog and then maintain up-to-date vaccinations and medications, to provide quality food and treats, grooming, collars and leashes, some fun toys and obedience classes. Once you have an idea of what everything will roughly cost take a look at your budget.
If you’ve looked everything over and you’ve decided you can afford to get the dog you’ve been dreaming about you can start your search. A few ways to save some money in this area is to consider getting your new companion from a shelter or rescue. Most of the time the dog will already have the initial vaccinations, be spayed or neutered and microchipped.
Also consider adopting an older dog versus a puppy. They’re usually more laid back, some are already housebroken and sometimes they know basic commands. An added plus is that their adoption fees at times are reduced.
Once you get your new dog it’s best to make a trip to the vet to have a general check up and get up to date on any needed vaccinations. A lot of vets will offer a free exam within a certain number of days of adoption. And, at this time they’ll usually give any remaining vaccinations your dog may need. Longmont also has several low cost clinics* so check them out as you’re working on that budget!
At that first vet visit is a great time to speak with your veterinarian about nutrition and exercise, both of which are very important for your new dog. A talk about dental care and proper tooth brushing would also be advised at this appointment. Something to remember is that preventative care is going to be cheaper in the long run than an expensive treatment or surgery further down the line. So don’t forget to talk about high quality nutrition. They may cost a bit more than mainstream store brands but cup for cup will cost you less.
Another way to keep costs down when you own a dog is to do your own grooming. Obviously you’ll have to invest in pet-friendly shampoo and a brush or two. But, if you don’t want to dirty your towels and bathtub you can always take your dog to a self-serve dog wash. At places like this you’ll have to pay a fee but they will have shampoo, brushes, towels and smocks available for your use. And, this is a much cheaper option compared to full grooming services! A place that we’re fond of here in Longmont is Paws 2 Groom.
In addition to being microchipped, providing your dog with proper identification is very important. While no one wants to think about it sometimes dogs get out of the house or get loose while out on a walk. So it’s very important for your dog to have a good sturdy collar with your contact information visible.
Just like us dogs get bored so having some fun toys around is a must. Again, this is another situation where you have plenty of options. There are all kinds of toys out there and if you look you can find some pretty good deals on some of them. Whether its a puppy or a senior dog you bring into your home, there are a wide variety of choices with stuffy toys and interactive mind games for your new pooch.
One more thing to think about is obedience classes. These classes will help you build a better relationship with your new dog in addition to them learning manners such as come, down, sit and stay to name a few. And, if you find that you really enjoy the classes together you could progress to higher levels of obedience and even try for your CGC (Canine Good Citizen).
As you can see it’s possible to find ways to still have a dog on a budget from lower adoption fees to well-made toys, from self-service dog washes to sturdy collars, etc. You can make it happen!
At Zoom Room, we understand having a dog is a bite (pun intended) to the budget. We offer a wide variety of foods, training tools, treats and toys in all price ranges yet still offer great long lasting quality. As for toys, we’ve got you covered from small to squeaky to extra tough and bound to keep your dog entertained for a very long time. We’re also proud to offer a variety of classes to any dog from 8 weeks old through their senior years.