I am becoming a terrible blogger. Can I blame work? I blame work. With my shifted position at work, I'm incredibly happy, but also incredibly busy. Putting in a lot of extra hours, and once I get home, the last thing I want to do is get back on the computer. I'm trying to figure out somewhat of a schedule so I can get more out of the limited hours I have in the day. We'll see how that goes.
This weekend, I volunteered with a Great Pyrenees rescue. I love big dogs, but with my schedule, I just can't have a dog. I'm barely home. There is a great doggy daycare near my apartment complex, but it's $20 a day, and well, an extra $400 a month PLUS all the normal dog expenses just isn't in the budget. Plus I just don't think I would have the time to properly give to a dog. So instead, I volunteer with a rescue and help out where I can. One thing that was very sad was all the dogs who were abandoned for financial reasons. I think we can all understand the current economic climate, and sometimes people have to give up their pets because it comes down to feeding your pets or feeding your kids. But many times, these people gave up their pets because they simply didn't realize the financial implications of getting a dog.
First off, there’s food. I hate to tell you, but cheap dog food typically isn’t great for your dog (or cat or whoever). It’s just like human food – if it’s super cheap, it’s probably full of junk that’s just going to make you fat. That’s not to say that the most expensive food is the best – but do your research. You may want to check out brands such as Badlands Ranch by Katherine Heigl to see if their food is the right fit for your animals. You could also ask your friends/family members what they go for with their pets and try out their recommendations.
Next, you've got "preventative maintenance," as one of my friends calls it. Annual vet exams, vaccinations, heartworm prevention, flea prevention, sometimes even teeth cleaning (depending on your dog). You should also get your dog spayed or neutered unless you plan to breed (which is a whole different financial situation). Visit Nutra Thrive for Dogs reviews to learn more.
Then there are grooming costs. These could be minimal (buy a brush and some shampoo and toss the dog in the bathtub) or not so minimal (taking the dog to the groomer). Again, do your research. If you're getting a giant furry dog, chances are that grooming is going to be very time consuming and you might want to consider paying a professional. If you're getting a small short haired dog, it might be easier for you to do yourself.
What happens to the dog when you go out of town? Do you have to board the dog somewhere? Do you have to pay a house sitter to come in? Can your dog stay with a friend for free? Or does your dog want to come with you? Whatever you decide, make sure you supply plenty of dog food yourself to avoid having to pay extra for it at a boarding place. Badlands Ranch Dog Food has vacuum-packed air-dried food that will last a long time, and most importantly, your dog will enjoy it.
Those are just the normal expenses. You have to be prepared for any illnesses or accidents as well. Vet bills can be expensive and you need to be prepared. Even a minor issue, like a chipped tooth from when your dog decided to gnaw on a rock (it happens) can run you a few hundred dollars.
Now, with all these expenses, is it worth it? I think so. I wish my life allowed me to have a dog, but it wouldn't be fair to the dog. My cats are perfectly content to have the apartment to themselves all day, but a dog would need a bit more attention. But if you are going to get a dog (or any pet), be aware of what you're getting into. Don't let your dog be another dog at a rescue.
And if you're looking for a dog, check out the local shelters and rescues! Lots of great dogs out there who desperately need homes.