As the person responsible for our family finances, I have to think ahead and be on top of every possible outcome for everything we do. When my husband and I decided to get a dog, we knew there were going to be expenses, but there was no way we could prepare for what was to come. This is how our little dog costs us about $1000 a year.
When we decided to get a dog the cost of her food was the last thing that concerned me. I knew we would have to purchase food, but most dog food brands aren't that expensive. I was prepared to pay about $15 a month for her food; however, I wasn't expecting her to have special needs. At age four she suffered from pancreatitis, which changed her dietary needs forever. She now requires a prescription dog food that costs us $50 every two months. The yearly costs of her food went from $180 a year to nearly $300.
No one can prepare for their dog to need medication each day for the rest of its life. My dog is nearly six years-old and is expected to live until she is 14 or 15 years-old. That is a very long time to have to take a medication. Nonetheless, after having surgery to repair a torn ACL injury, she now requires daily medication. Her prescription costs us about $30 a month, or nearly $360 a year.
These are some of the expenses I expected, but they still add up at the end of the year. Veterinarians everywhere recommend that dogs take a monthly heartworm preventive, and they are costly. My dog's heartworm medication costs about $85 a year. Dogs also need protection from fleas and ticks each month, and for my dog those cost nearly $170 a year. These together add another $255 to our yearly out-of-pocket expenses.
Yearly checkup and license
These things are normal costs and are required by law in most places. My dog goes to the veterinarian for a full checkup and shots every year. This isn't usually too expensive costing about $100 a year. Our state requires us to licenses our dog. For us this isn't expensive because our dog is spayed. It costs us $9 a year for our dog's license. Just these two things alone cost around $109 a year.
Looking at the numbers it may not seem like a lot, after all many people waste $1000 a year. However, when your family isn't prepared for additional cost it can be a big deal. We've had to cut back on some luxury purchases to cover the additional cost, but for us our dog is worth the sacrifices.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.
More from this contributor: