Dogs are members of the family, but they aren’t cheap: the average cost of caring for one can reach $1,500 a year for basic pet wellness. Your dog needs the recommended nutritional food for his or her breed, a leash and collar, toys, grooming, and one-time expenses such as puppy training can add another $500-$1,000. Unfortunately for pet owners, this figure does not include unanticipated health expenses, which are on the rise as the cost of veterinary care increases.
Banfield Pet Health reports the average lifespan of a dog has increased by 2+ years over the past decade. As pets age, they often cost their owners more in medical bills.
Due to their age, breed, and genetic makeup, dogs are prone to health conditions that other pets may not get. If you have a miniature poodle or terrier, he or she might be more likely to develop knee problems or breathing problems. Meanwhile, a larger dog might be prone to hip dysplasia and arthritis. These are all treatable conditions, but they can hurt your pet’s quality of life if they are not addressed.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), below are the most common chronic health conditions that dogs may develop:
- Breathing difficulties, usually in small-breed dogs and dogs with short noses, can require emergency trips to the vet;
- Arthritis is common in older dogs, especially larger breeds. The drug Adequan can cost $70 per vial;
- Hypothyroidism, especially in large dogs, should be treated with medication in order to prevent more serious complications;
- Benign skin growths can require removal. Surgeries under local or general anesthesia can exceed $1,000;
- Cancer, unfortunately, strikes one in three dogs and is the leading reason for economic euthanasia. Therapies range from $2,000 to $6,000 on average, but can far exceed that cost. Even otherwise healthy pets can unexpectedly get sick or injured. If your dog socializes with other dogs or plays at dog parks, he or she may also be prone to these communicable diseases. Though an issue may only occur once, treatments are costly. Let’s compare what these issues might cost you.
|Kennel cough||Communicable||$300 for antibiotics|
|Canine parvovirus||Communicable||$500 to $2,000 per dose|
|Ringworm||Communicable||$100 for medication|
|Pancreatitis||Schnauzers, poodles, cocker spaniels are at higher risk||$200 to $1,000 per episode|
|Vomiting / diarrhea||May be communicable||$80-$300 for blood tests|
|Ear infections||Up to $800 for diagnosis and meds|