So, you’re thinking of getting a new pet – welcome to the club! There is nothing quite like having a furry dedicated friend welcoming you home every day after work. But do remember, it is, like every other relationship, a 2-way street. Your dog will need you and want you, probably more than you need or want it. Moreover, the costs involved with having a dependent pet should be accounted for before you ever bring one home. In fact, it might be better not to get one at all, if you feel you cannot afford the expenses involved. This article will help you decide…
The Size of the Dog
Some dogs require more expenses than others. In general, larger breeds like German Shepherds, Great Danes, or even Retrievers need more shampoo, soaps, serums, and other dog grooming products – simply because of the larger surface areas and more fur – the same goes for long-haired breeds like the delicate Poodles and Lhasa Apsos. Basically, the more the hair, the more the grooming required. Also, some of the larger breeds like German Shepherds – as tough as they might look, are not accustomed to Indian conditions and weather/climate. While they may be quite fit enough to handle themselves on their own in the Alps, the Mumbai climate requires them to be taken care of like toddlers – so, the size and breed of your dog is a direct indicator of the costs involved with grooming, for a start.
Indies for Low Budgets
Surveys of the Economic Times show us that the cost of owning a breed like the Labrador, with a life span of 10-13 years, can be up to 10 Lakh rupees! That’s apart from the cost of buying the puppy. If you are low on budgets, we strongly advise you to adopt a stray, which is obviously used to the climatic conditions it was born in and will be less prone to infections.
The basic idea is this – if you take an animal away from its natural habitat, it will need extra care and protection, directly resulting in extra expenditure.
Again, this is directly related to the breed. While Indies can be fed scraps, you’d want to give any pet the best you can – a 10 KG pack of Pedigree dog food can cost close to 2000 rupees. Are you willing and prepared to spend that kind of money once a week? Puppy food can be cheaper, simply because they eat less than their older siblings. Scraps just are not enough for dogs – you need to give them enough of the right nutrients just as you do for your own self.
At the very least, even if you go for home-cooked foods, you’d need to invest in chicken or eggs, plus a few kilos of rice every month. It comes down to either the money on dog food or the time you put in for cheaper home-cooked food.
Every dog needs regular trips to the vet. It needs to get its basic shots for rabies, distemper, and other diseases – and regular deworming. Vet visits can cost anywhere between 500-1000 rupees every time, not to mention the additional toys and treats you’d spend on, while at the vet shop. The costs of vaccinations can range from 1000 to 2000 every time, which is more when the dog is a puppy (more frequent). Deworming can cost 200-400 bucks at a time, every 3 months.
Apart from these basic medical expenses, your dog could get other infections from time to time, that would need medical intervention. And then, part of medical needs can also include hygienic shampoos and bedding for pups. Yes, again – Indies can accommodate themselves to rougher conditions than delicate breeds.
Do you Have the Time?
This is not a factor directly related to the cost of owning a dog, but it IS related. Time equals money, as they say…do you have the time to take care of your puppy, train it and take it for walks every day? Or do you have the money to hire a dog trainer/assistance to take your dog on a walk and play with it every day? This defeats the very purpose of owning a pet, doesn’t it, if it is not you who's going to be handling the everyday needs – your dog will get more attached to the hired help (even if you can afford one) in this case, than to you! This COULD work – if you want to own a dog only for reasons of security or breeding…
While it is a priceless feeling to own a pet, the process also requires some practical expenses. Different dog breeds and sizes might require more or less care, attention, and money than others. The least expensive would be to just get a stray, as it is a tough guy already acclimatized to its surrounding weather and climate.