Feeding Your Four-Legged Friend
It’s commonly joked that teenage boys can eat someone out of house and home, but a large breed of dog can often seem like a bottomless pit of hunger. Most dog food are fine, however, you should always do your research and purchase the healthiest food for your canine family member, even if it costs a premium. In a 2010 article from the New York Times, the author looks at different types of dog food, both premium and non-premium, and demonstrated that the first five ingredients were all essentially the same. This is because pet food must meet certain guidelines before it can be sold. The primary difference between the two types of pet food is that regular food uses more grains and poultry, meat, and fish byproducts as filler.
That’s not to say you should let your guard down. There have been multiple dog food recalls, including seven in 2017 so far, because of issues with the contents of the food. One recall (from a brand-name pet store, no less) was because some of the food contained bits of metal.
Regular dog food is sometimes called “nutrition food.” A serving of the pellets should contain all the nutrients a dog needs to stay healthy and able, provided they’re on a proper diet. Premium dog food contains the same nutrients, but the source of those nutrients tends to be different. Some premium dog food is billed as all natural with no synthetic chemicals. Feeding your pooch with regular food will run you around $120 per year, while a premium-only diet can be as high as $500. Some dogs will require specific diets as a result of health problems, which can increase the food cost for the year.
Necessary Dog Equipment
There are only a few pieces of equipment that dogs absolutely need: a food and water bowl, a leash, and a crate. Beyond that, much of the equipment available for dogs is a luxury. However, this cost can increase drastically if you need to make changes to your home. Living in a cul de sac or a neighborhood might mean fencing in your yard so your dog can play outside unsupervised, an expense that can quickly soar over $1,000. A food and water bowl should run you no more than $40, while toys start at less than $5 and increase in price from there. A standard leash can be as little as $10, while a crate can cost up to $250 or more depending on the size of your dog.
Dog Training Costs
Training is an absolutely vital part of owning a dog. Whether you train Fido yourself or pay for a professional to do it, training helps keep your dog safe. Knowing he will stop when you tell him to can mean the difference between your dog running into the road or some other danger.
Group Training Costs
Training your dog with a group of other dogs can be doubly beneficial. Not only will your pet learn to listen, but the socialization it gains from being exposed to other dogs will help. Group training costs can range from $40 to $125 and sometimes higher, although puppy training classes will cost less than adult training classes.
Private Training Costs
Private training is ideal for dogs that have behavioral issues or need particular care. A trainer will spend one-on-one time with your dog and help to correct whatever behavior needs correcting. The cost can be anywhere from $30 to $100 for an hour-long session.
Premium Training Costs
Premium training is the equivalent of puppy boarding school. Your dog will live in a boarding facility for two to four weeks and receive hours of individual attention each day. This is one of the most effective training methods available, but also one of the most expensive; expect to pay anywhere from $950 to upwards of $2,000.
Remaining General Dog Care Costs
Life happens. Sometimes you’re not able to take your dog with you when you travel, or you have to work late for a few weeks in a row. During this time, you might not be able to give your dog the attention it needs. Hiring a dog walker can alleviate this problem and ensure your pooch gets the right amount of exercise. A half-hour walk averages around $22 per dog. If you need to board your dog and ensure it gets the right amount of care (for instance, before an extended vacation somewhere), you can expect to pay from $25 to $45 per night.
This article was provided to Pet Guardian Angels of America by Jessica Carter of The Simple Dollar © 2017 TheSimpleDollar.com