Owning a dog is one of the most personally-rewarding experiences in life. There is nothing like the unconditional love of a dog.
Dog ownership is also a financial responsibility. From the Synchrony Lifetime of Care Study, the first year of dog ownership can cost you about $1,270 – $2,803. With a monthly cost of dog care as high as $308, owning a dog over the average lifespan of 15 year+ ranges from $19,893- $55,132. This cost is true as I experienced from having a Golden Retriever that lived for 15 1/2 years.
“Our pets give us so much love, we owe it to them to be prepared for when they need us the most. This is particularly important for the millions of Americans who choose to share their life with a pet, but who might underestimate the cost of their pet’s care.” — Jonathan Wainberg, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Pet, Synchrony
Here are some tips on how you can be financially responsible for owning a dog.
5 Tips To Be Financially Prepared For Owning A Dog
1. Knowing the “True” Unexpected Costs for a Dog
Besides the initial cost, owning a dog means recurring expenses, and you need to be prepared. According to veterinarians surveyed in the Synchrony Lifetime of Care research, 32% of pet parents are unprepared for routine care. Accidents, illness and surgery costs can add up quickly. In fact, according to Pets Best claims data*, some of the most common unexpected costs associated with veterinary care include:
Urinary Tract Infections – $400
Diabetes – $2,700
Cancer – $4,100
Accidentally ingesting foreign object – $3,500
Animal hit by a car
2. Have a Budget – Save a Dog Fund
There are expenses involved in owning a dog. Plan to create a budget for dog care expenses. Some of these expenses might include pet supplies, vaccinations, training, and boarding. Also, consider starting a monthly dog fund to account for medical expenses.
3. Consider Pet Health Insurance
Most likely, you would consider having health, car, and homeowner’s insurance, and your best friend deserves that same protection. Consider purchasing pet health insurance.
Veterinary care treatment can be expensive. By having pet insurance, you can potentially save a considerable amount of money – potentially thousands – as it also safeguards your dog’s health by granting coverage for procedures you might not otherwise be able to afford.
In addition to offering medical insurance for unexpected illnesses or accidents, many pet health insurance companies, including Pets Best, offer plans for routine care.
4. Planning for the Unexpected = Emergency Fund
If you have pet insurance, unexpected dog care expenses can be partially covered (until your deductible is met). However, if your emergency fund is not enough, this could mean thousands of dollars and be a financial stressor. Some of these unexpected expenses are emergency vet visits, accidental illness, surgery, medication, and long-term treatments.
According to Pets Best Pet Insurance “4 out of 5 pets will have a medical emergency in their lifetime. Pet insurance reimburses you on eligible veterinary bills when your dog or cat gets sick or injured, allowing pet parents to provide their pet the best course of treatment—while protecting against major financial setbacks. It’s hard to put a price on the peace of mind pet parents have knowing they’re covered in the event of an unexpected veterinary expense, thanks to their pet insurance policy.”
5. Consider a Credit Card for Pet Care Expenses
From Synchrony Lifetime of Care research, more than 53% of pet owners who thought they were financially ready for unexpected pet expenses, were not, and would consider a financial solution dedicated to financing care for their pet.
Another financial option to consider is CareCredit. For more than 30 years, CareCredit has been a valuable financing option for all types of veterinary services, treatments, and diagnostics, giving pet owners peace of mind that they are ready to care for their pets throughout their lifetime. CareCredit is recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association and is a Preferred Partner for the American Veterinary Medical Association. CareCredit is currently offered in more than 24,000 veterinary practices across the U.S.
You can also use your CareCredit healthcare credit card for things like:
Care of chronic pet diseases and conditions
Pet food and nutrition
Veterinary surgery & emergencies
Spay and neutering
Hip dysplasia surgery
a financial solution, like CareCredit, can help cover the cost of care.
Are you financially prepared for your dog’s dog care needs and unexpected expenses?
Would you consider a financial solution dedicated to financing care for your dog?
*Pets Best claims data from2017 – 2021 for average 1st year condition costs.
Pet Insurance coverage offered and administered by Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC and underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company, a New York insurance company headquartered at 6100 4th Ave. S. Suite 200 Seattle, WA 98108. Please visit www.americanpetinsurance.com to review all available pet health insurance products.