For all the love and companionship that dogs provide—think of all the locked-down people who have adopted them during the pandemic—they all come with a less-adorable characteristic: bills.
Expenses often are the last thing many people think about when they order their pup from the breeder or choose one from the local animal shelter. Some 58% of owners don’t budget for their dogs, says Kate Jaffe, a trend expert at Rover.com, an online service that connects pet owners with sitters and walkers. And that can lead to some nasty surprises.
Ms. Jaffe says that when she does her family budget each month, she factors in expenses for Oso, her border collie and Husky mix—typically about $70 to $90. “But in a more normal year, we’d also budget for pet care as part of the cost of vacations,” she says.
Of course, how much you end up spending depends on where you live, what breed of dog you have, how healthy it is and how much you pamper your pet, among other things. The annual cost of a dog’s basic needs ranges from $610 to $2,115, Rover estimates. But a 2020 survey of dog owners conducted by Rover found that 47% spend far more than that—about $3,400 a year.
So whether it’s your aging pooch or pandemic puppy, how much can you expect to spend—and how can you reasonably reduce those expenses? Here are some things to consider.