The Cost of Acquiring and Keeping a Dog

While it's true that when you want something badly enough you will do whatever is necessary to take care of it, that emotion can often blind you to the very real financial commitment involved.

Another truth is that each dog is an individual, and as such it is difficult to generalize about the variable expenses relative to its care. For example, if you get a Poodle, you won't have to factor in the cost of an especially strong vacuum to cope with shed fur, but you will have to factor in regular trips to the groomer's to keep him or her from looking scruffy. The same is true for most terriers.

Another example is health care. You could have a pure-bred dog whose only visits to the veterinarian are for routine checkups or a mixed breed with a persistent problem — or vice versa. The kind of food you choose to feed will vary tremendously in cost, and the kinds and quantity of “stuff” you get for your dog will vary, as well.

This begs the question: Is it possible to determine the cost of dog ownership? Fortunately, there is an organization that helps with just that. It's the American Pet Products Association (APPA), and it regularly calculates and approximates the costs.

According to the APPA, Americans spend over $40 billion a year on their pets, with food and veterinary care consistently topping the charts. You can learn more about pet spending at their website and searching for Industry Trends.

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