The Cost of Owning a Dog - Feeding - Pet Health Insurance
Based on a dog with a life span of 11 years it is estimated that the cost of owning a dog is $13,550. To calculate the cost of a new dog include the purchase price, health care, feeding and dog essentials such as collar and leash etc. Estimating how much the weekly food bill will be a good start to assessing the economics and could affect your decision as to the type of dog you choose - small dogs are obviously less expensive than large dogs. Make enquiries about the price of Pet Health Insurance - 85% of dogs visit an animal doctor in a year.
Process of Elimination
The best method for choosing the right puppy or dog is to adopt a process of elimination. Just consider all of the elements will enable you to create a 'blueprint' for your perfect dog. This process can start by taking the Choosing a Dog Quiz!
Self Test to Find the Right Dog for you - Choosing a Dog Quiz
Choosing a Dog Quiz
|Why do you want a dog?||Pet||Hunting||Showing||Working|
|Do you want an adult dog or puppy?||Puppy||Adult||Don't Mind|
|How much money can you spend on the purchase?||$20||$100||$500||$1000|
|How much money can you spend on weekly feeding?||$10||$20||$30||$35+|
|Male or Female Dog?||Male ||Female||Don't mind|
|Size of dog?||Toy||Miniature||Standard||Large|
|Length of Coat ?||Short||Medium||Long||Very Long|
|How much weekly grooming?||None||1 hour||2 hours ||3 hours+|
|How much daily exercise?||None||15 mins||30 mins||1 hour+|
|How active are you?||Disabled||Not Very||Quite Active||Extremely|
|What people live in the family home?||Babies||Children ||Teenagers||Elderly|
|Medical Considerations?||None||Asthma||Allergies||Back Pain|
|Important to tolerate?||Children||Strangers||Dogs||Small Animals|
|How much space in the home?||Limited||Medium||Spacious||Very Spacious|
We have developed a fully interactive, picture based, Dog Quiz which you can access via the Dog Names and Breeds Index. It's fast and fun! If your knowledge of dogs is high and you complete the Quiz you will be entitled to enter the Winners Hall of Fame! Give it a try!
Reason for wanting a dog
The reason for wanting a dog will help in the process of elimination. Do you want a dog purely as a pet? Would you like the pet to be a good watchdog? Do you want the dog to be involved in any hunting activities? What size quarry will the dog be required to hunt? Do you want the dog to do any work ? Your reason for wanting a dog will already be steering you in the right direction for your choice of dog.
Practicalities of Choosing the Right Dog - Large Dog or Small Dog?
The practicalities of choosing the right dog must be taken into account. Your surroundings and environment but also whether you are experienced with dogs and whether you will be able to easily control the dog. Dog control naturally leads on to the subject of Training - a huge subject which is covered in our section on Puppy Training. Always check out the adult size that the dog will eventually reach.
Choosing the Right Dog - Puppy or Adult Dog
Do you want a puppy or and adult dog. Puppies are appealing but adult dogs have many advantages. Adult dogs are generally house trained, have been immunised against many illnesses, any health or hereditary problems will be quickly evident. A final consideration is that puppies are the first to go at rescue centres - adult dogs are often left to an inevitable fate if they are not chosen.
Our tips on calculating the cost of a dog should have provided you with an understanding of the expense of owning a pet. But you need to assess exactly what your initial budget is. How much are you willing to pay for the dog? How much will need to be spent on necessary equipment for the dog? What can afford to spend? This is your budget - don't exceed it!
Choosing a Pure breed or a mongrel?
Difficult to offer constructive advice on this subject as many people only want a pure breeds. The pure blood dog will have inherited specific traits from that breed, so you will generally know what your are getting. Mongrels make wonderful pets - check out their background and the traits that might be inherited from the sire and dam.
Choosing the Right Dog - Fitting in with the family
Which family members will come into immediate every-day contact with the dog? Its imperative that a dog fits in with the family. Any young children in the family should be a factor in selection. A dog for a growing family must be able to stand rough treatment such as a Labrador. A small, toy dog would be a poor choice as its fragile bones might break if it is handled roughly. Conversely the small, toy dogs would be a great choice for some one who is elderly or disabled. Small dogs need less exercise and control and many have been bred as companion dogs.
Grooming requirements - Coat length and Type
The length of a dogs coat is indicative of the grooming requirements. How much time will the grooming take? Will grooming be a daily or weekly requirement. How often will the dog need clipping? Will a professional dog groomer need to be involved? Long haired dogs also make more of a mess in the home with frequent moulting. Dog hairs can be annoying over clothes and furnishing and will therefore require additional cleaning routines. It is also worth considering that a dog whose coat is waterproof, such as a retriever, will possess a doggy smell due to the water proofing oils present in the coat.
Home Environment - Space Inside & Outside
The home environment is extremely important. Are the living quarters suitable to big or small dogs? How big is the yard? Could the dog be securely left alone in a yard? How often would you need to leave your dog on its own?