After much debate, pleading, and even a little whining, your kids have almost succeeded in convincing you it’s time to get a dog. But before you say yes to a new four-legged family member, you have some financial considerations to mull over.

After all, a dog is another mouth to feed and creature to care for, and this comes with a price tag. To help you understand and prepare for the cost of dog ownership, here’s a financial checklist to peruse.  

Children playing with a dog.

Consider Where You Purchase Your Dog

If your kids have a specific breed in mind, you might be tempted to purchase your dog from a breeder. However, this is the most expensive way to add a dog to your family.

Adoption, in comparison, is far cheaper. Most adoption fees are a fraction of the price of a purebred, and it covers things that pedigrees don’t come with, such as vaccinations, tags, neutering/spaying, and deworming. 

Price Out Their Daily Needs

Owning a dog can be surprisingly expensive, so you won’t know if a new pooch is within your budget without listing your expected costs. Food, toys, vet visits, medication, grooming, and even doggy daycare are monthly considerations you must price out. 

If you’ve never had a dog before, many of these costs are unfamiliar. Visit the humane society or to find out more about the average monthly price of a dog.

Prepare for Hidden Costs

Even when you try to budget everything, it’s easy for your pet care costs to balloon unexpectedly. Fido can eat some chocolate and require emergency vet care. You might have to leave unexpectedly for a funeral and need to put your pup in a kennel for a week. 

Things like this can be hard to handle on your normal budget, and you may have to dip into your family’s savings to cover these costs. 

If you don’t have enough savings, a lender like Fora may give you an alternative way to pay for unexpected pet expenses. If approved, a Line of Credit from Fora provides a convenient way to bridge the gap between your savings and unexpected expenses in an emergency. 

Start a Dog Emergency Fund

While pet emergencies may be unpredictable, they aren’t improbable. Almost every dog owner runs into something at least once, and it’s usually expensive.

While a line of credit is a great backup when you’re caught totally blindsided by your emergency, it’s better for your budget to handle these expenses with savings. 

Sit down with your budget to see how much you can set aside in savings. Every month you contribute towards this fund, your savings will grow. Eventually, you’ll be able to take on even the biggest expenses on your own. 

Research Pet Insurance Policies

The goal to pay out of pocket for all your dog’s health needs is admirable, but you have to consider the reality you might not be able to afford the big things. While some people might reach for that line of credit again, others may have pet insurance.

Pet insurance has a spotty reputation — some people swear by it, while others say it’s a waste of money. You need to do your research to see where you fit in. Premiums may vary depending on your dog’s breed, age, and pre-existing or hereditary conditions.

Bottom Line:

Welcoming a dog to the family can add some big expenses to your plate, but they’re easier to handle when you plan in advice.