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A Must-Know Money Approach if You Have a Dog

Melissa Brock

Remember when you got your puppy? He cost a bundle at the beginning, right? You may have been surprised by the costs of veterinary care, food, treats and much, much more. (Have you seen those cute squeaky toys?!)

How old is your dog now? Five? 10? Guess what? No matter how old your dog is, it’s never too late to get pet insurance.

Let’s break down the annual cost of owning a dog just so you know what you’re spending. (Have you ever kept track?)

Costs of Owning a Dog

A Forbes article listed lifetime costs of owning a dog anywhere from $17,650 to a whopping $93,520 (yikes!) Here’s how to examine the biggest costs of owning a dog and add those up.

Lifetime Expenses

  • Vet care costs: These costs (not including emergencies or medications) could be between $700 to $1,500 a year, depending on your dog breed.

  • Food: You might spend $120 per year to as much as $900 per year.

  • Grooming: Grooming can cost up to $1,400 per year for frequent professional grooming. (Do you have a furry dog?)

  • Toys and treats: You may spend $35 to $250 per year just on toys and treats.

Costs You May Not Expect

Surprise! You left the refrigerator cracked and Fido got into the cottage cheese, the leftover steak, milk and more...

  • Replacing your stuff: Dogs... Grrr...! Sometimes, unpredictable incidents occur. You might need to replace your stuff over time, like shoes and slippers, yard ornaments and any home needs.

  • Extra pet bills: These might pop up, from a broken leg to lyme disease. How well you care for your dog can also control the amount you spend per year. The more you feed your dog, the more your dog will be at risk for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, osteoarthritis, urinary bladder stones and more.

  • Chunky dog costs: Is your dog, Tessie, a frequent table scrap snatcher? Well, that may cost you more. You could get arthritis and cruciate ligament tears, which can cost about $2,000.

  • Certain breed-specific costs: Some breeds may be more expensive due to temperament, grooming requirements and common medical problems due to breed

How to Handle the Costs

SPOT Pet Insurance can help you out.

  • Step 1: Type in your pet’s name on SPOT’s website. Indicate that your pet is a dog, type in your pet’s breed, your ZIP code, first name, last name and email address.

  • Step 2: Choose the plan and coverage options that make the most sense for your pet — depending on your pet’s particular needs. This includes any pre-existing conditions your pet has.

  • Step 3: Scoop up all your dog’s medical records and treatment history from your veterinarian.

  • Step 4: Purchase your dog’s plan.

The Best Way to Handle Dog Costs

Choose SPOT Pet Insurance to cover more than just veterinary bills and routine vaccinations. You can get coverage for a variety of needs. Get a quick, free quote for your pet today.

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