With the Westminster Kennel Club dog show coming up, it can be tempting to add a puppy to the family.
Before you head to the shelter or start looking at breeders, it pays to consider the full cost to own a pet. Estimates from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals put the “start up costs,” if you will, at $1,314 in the first year for a small dog, and as much as $1,843 for a large dog. That covers the initial supplies and training, plus food, toys and vet care.
But there’s more. A lot more. It’s important to weigh, and budget for, less-expected pet costs, including veterinary emergencies and damaged personal items from teething puppies. Did you know that the average vet bill for a dog eating something it shouldn’t, like candy wrappers or tinsel, is $1,284? (I have two cats, and I can tell you, they’re not exempt from the unexpectedly expensive pets category. Tobey has incurred $1,200-plus in bills for urinary tract blockages and infections; Jack has shredded a $500 carpet.)
To read more at CNBC.com, click here.