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The Cost of Caring for Canines

We are in the middle of the dog days of summer! They are called “dog days” because the star Sirius begins to rise at the end of July or early August. Sirius is the brightest star of Canis Major, the Dog Constellation. Since there are over 89 million dogs in the U.S., we want to give you some financial advice on caring for canines. After all, food, veterinarians & kennels rack up a bill. Usually, the annual cost of owning a dog is $695.00. It’s important to know the best way to take care of your canine, so that each moment with them doesn’t feel like a dog day of summer. Knowing what kind of expenses to expect will also help you budget accordingly, so you don’t wind up with credit card debt.

ACCC outlines the total cost of caring for canines.

ACCC outlines the total cost of caring for canines.

1. Food

How much you spend on dog food can vary depending on your dog’s size and age. Small dogs have high metabolisms that burn through calories. The smaller your dog, the more calorie dense food they need throughout the day. If you have a puppy, feed them puppy specific food. The cost is ultimately up to the owner. Some brands are be more expensive than others, but as long as they have the right nutrients, the most expensive brand isn’t necessarily better.

2. Medicine/Vet

When you get a dog, find a good veterinarian in case your dog gets sick or injured. Asking friends and family, breeding clubs and checking websites are great ways to look. Doing so gives an idea of what options you have and what you can afford.  If you have pet insurance, see if it covers your veterinarian or the dogs prescriptions. Caring for canines means knowing that your dog will get the medical care they need, so make sure you include this in your budget.

3. Kennels/Day Care

Sometimes you can’t take your dog on vacation, and you can’t leave him/her at home alone either. The most cost effective way is to leave them with a friend who can house sit. You could also check reviews for different kennels near you. Kennels can cost up to $25-$45 a night, so you will want to incorporate this cost into your vacation budget if you don’t have friends and family that can take care of your dog while you’re gone.

Caring for Canines Conclusion

Taking care of your dog and your finances take time, patience, discipline, and can sometimes be difficult. With dedication, they become much easier to handle!

If you need to speak to a credit counselor at ACCC, sign up for a free credit counseling session today. 


Andi is a Marketing Assistant at ACCC. He is passionate about supporting financial literacy efforts and helping to educate people on the Talking Cents blog!

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