Considering a puppy consider these expenses, too

Owning a dog is undoubtedly a rewarding experience, and also one that requires a high level of commitment and time. Part of that commitment is financial, so whether you can comfortably cover the expenses associated with dog ownership for years to come should be determined prior to bringing your puppy home.

The cost to care for a dog can be divided into two categories—one-time expenses and ongoing expenses. One-time expenses are those that will only cost you one initial investment. Some examples of one-time expenses are:

-Cost of the dog. There will likely be some cost associated with acquiring your dog, whether you are selecting from purebred puppies for saleor paying an adoption fee to an agency or shelter.

-Appropriately sized kennel or crate: When purchasing a crate for your puppy, be sure to consider her anticipated size as an adult to avoid another crate purchase down the road. Some kennels come with dividers that allow you to adjust the enclosure size as your puppy grows.

-Food and water bowls: A set of sturdy bowls in which to serve food and water to your dog will likely last throughout her lifetime.

-Leash: A high quality leash should last a long time. Purchase a quality leash of the appropriate length that is comfortable to hold to maximize this investment.

While the above products could be considered ongoing expenses if you replace them regularly, the following ongoing expenses will make up a bulk of the cost of caring for your puppy:

-Veterinary visits: The cost of health care is probably one of the largest financial commitments you will take on by bringing a puppy into your home. In addition to regular vaccinations and tests, you must also be prepared to take your dog to the veterinarian unexpectedly should she become ill or injured.

-Medications. Even when your dog is healthy, administering heartworm and topical flea medication is a must in many areas (ask your veterinarian whether they are necessary in your region). Most heartworm and flea medications are administered on a monthly basis, so staying stocked on these necessities is an expense that should not be overlooked.

-Training. Investing in training classes will bring long term benefits to your relationship with your dog. Starting training for your puppy at an early age is recommended, though a dog of any age can benefit from training classes.

-Dog Food: Obvious, but dog food is a true expense that should not be underestimated. Purchasing dog food over time can certainly add up. Be sure to consider the anticipated adult size of your dog in evaluating this expense, since large dogs typically consume a larger quantity of food than do smaller ones.

-Travel expenses. As a dog owner, you must arrange for your dog’s care while you are away. Even if your dog is traveling with you, there will most likely be costs associated with dog care while traveling. Consider how frequently you travel and what arrangements you will make for your dog in your absence when calculating the cost of dog care during travel.

-Toys and bones: While toys and bones are not necessities, most dog owners love to give their dogs these luxuries on occasion. When purchasing toys, aim for those that are practically indestructible to get the most from your investment.

Making an honest assessment of the financial responsibilities of dog ownership prior to bringing home your new puppy is essential. While there are many costs to consider in caring for a dog, most dog owners consider their canine companion to be well worth the time and expense.