General info

How Much Should I Save Before Getting A Dog?


Owning a dog costs a lot of money, but not everyone thinks and plans ahead. You should always have set some money aside for your pet’s emergencies and other unexpected expenses.

Aside from the usual expenses that come with getting a dog, you should save a minimum of $2,000 beforehand.

Owning a dog is a big responsibility, not only do you need money for taking care of their basic needs like food, vaccinations, licensing fee in your area, pet insurance, care tools (clippers, brushes, toothbrushes) and toys.

Getting a dog is exciting, but not many people think about *all* the expenses, not just your basic day-to-day. Obviously, you can’t prepare for every emergency that can crop up for your dog, but having some sort of plan ready beforehand is always the best choice.

How Much Should I Save Before Getting A Dog?

Often times I see pet owners asking for help in vet advice groups and forums because they can’t afford a trip to the vet or a treatment. Having a “financial cushion” for unexpected situations and emergencies will definitely ease some of the anxiety.

Of course, there are a lot of reasons out of your control that can affect your ability to afford a vet. This is why it’s important to get pet insurance or have some sort of savings account.

Do I Need To Get Pet Insurance?

Well, technically you don’t need to get a pet insurance. Is it a good idea? Yes, one hundred percent. You should get your pup an insurance as soon as you bring them home.

As I mentioned above, you never know what can happen. There are a lot of pet insurance companies, and you have work cut out for you trying to shop around, reading all the fine print and understand all the terms and conditions.

The most common pet insurance companies in the US are the following:

  • Nationwide
  • Trupanion
  • ASPCA Pet Health Insurance
  • Embrace Pet Insurance
  • Pets Best
  • Healthy Paws
  • Pet First
  • Pet Plan
  • and many more

What to Look Out for in Pet Insurance

It can be quite overwhelming to sift through all the companies. Here are some things you should look out for:

  • Coverage – see how much a company will cover for your dog. Most companies have different plans for different purposes – some cover only wellness (dental cleaning, vaccinations, etc.), while some may just cover injuries and illnesses.
  • Exclusions – Depending on the company, some policies may not cover dogs with pre-existing conditions, or breed-specific issues. Make sure to read the fine print, so you don’t get surprised later.
  • Co-pays + deductibles
  • Payment – see how fast an insurance claim is usually processed and what type of payment (either % of the bill or flat price for an injury/illness)
  • Customer service
  • Reviews – Reviews of past and current clients of the pet insurance company is one of the best ways to check whether the company is a good fit for you. No two dogs have the same exact issues, but you can see from reviews how the company dealt with similar claims.

You should definitely compare these (and more) pet insurance companies to find the best one for you and your dog.

weimaraner

How Much Are Vet Costs?

The cost of vet procedures varies greatly and depends on the country, the state, the city, and even a district or jurisdiction, and of course, the type of procedure.

I’ve done some research when it comes to the vets in the US, and I can give you rough estimates.

Bear in mind, these may vary depending on your location, the size, and breed of your dog, among other factors. Always consult the price with your vet and be upfront about what you can afford.

Vet ProcedurePrice Range
Spay/neuter$50 – $700
Dental cleaning§200 – §1,000
Dental extractions$300 – $3,000
Mass removal$100 – $1,000
Tumor removal$500 – $5,000
Gastropexy$1,500 – $3,000
Ligament repair$1,500 – $5,000
The cost estimates of some vet medical procedures

Don’t forget that most of these vet procedures don’t include diagnostic tests such as blood work, urine tests, x-rays, and others. Those types of diagnostic tests range from hundreds of dollars to a couple of thousands.

If your dog is scheduled for surgery, anesthesia is also a factor which will affect the vet cost.

How Do I Keep The Vet Fees At a Minimum?

Don’t get a dog with known health problems and with low risk health problems. For example, dogs with short snout (brachycephalics), like pugs or bulldogs, struggle to breathe and as such have many associated health issues.

If you buy a puppy, make sure it’s from a reputable breeder, who makes sure the parents are healthy before breeding them, and have pups under vet care.

Another way to keep the vet fees at a minimum is to take preventative measures with your dog, including the following:

  • Vaccinations
  • Spay/neuter – if you don’t plan on breeding
  • Dental health – buy dental chews, brush your dog’s teeth and schedule a dental cleaning as needed. It’s much cheaper than tooth extraction.
  • Nails – trim (or let your vet) their nails, as too long nails can affect how they walk and cause joint and ligament problems
  • Flea, tick and heartworm preventatives
  • Food – overweight and obese dogs have more problems than fit dogs
  • Training – good recall can save your dog’s life
  • Socialization – poor socialization can lead to issues at the vet, who will need to sedate your pup if they’re not used to other people. In addition to that, aggressive dogs may get into fights or injure people.
  • Yearly vet checks (more often if the dog is older)
  • Pet insurance
Weimaraner Ear Problems

How To Deal With Dog Medical Emergencies

If you find yourself in a situation when your dog’s emergency costs more than you can pay upfront, there are alternative routes you can take. Not everything will apply to your situation, but here are a few ideas.

  • Ask friends or family to borrow some money
  • Up the limit on your credit card
  • Ask your vet if they accept Care Credit or ScratchPay
  • Veterinary Care Charitable Fund (through American Veterinary Medical Association)
  • Crowdsource
  • Take on an additional temporary job, offer manual labor to friends and family, etc.

Please don’t be offended if your vet suggests you rehome your pet if you can’t afford their medical expenses. The vets are there to advocate for their patients and them getting the best care possible.

How Much Does a Weimaraner Cost Per Month?

The cost varies on your dog and their needs, but I delved deep to calculate a basic cost for owning a Weimaraner in the table below. I took an adult Weimaraner with no other health issues, most prices come from Chewy (I’ve rounded them up).

I chose average items, so neither the cheapest nor the most expensive. I didn’t count things like water, cleaning products and other household product you may use around your house on a regular basis, as well as gas when going on a trip.

Monthly itemsCost
Dry food (30 lbs bag of Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials)$64
Dental treats (Greenies for large dogs, pack of 34)$54
Salmon oil (for skin and coat) & other supplements$100
Pet insurancevaries ($$ – $$$)
TOTAL$226 + insurance
Monthly cost estimate for a Weimaraner

Some of these items may last you longer than a month. 🙂

Pet Insurance For a Weimaraner

From my survey among Weimaraner owners, the four most used insurance companies are:

  • Nationwide
  • Pets Best
  • Trupanion
  • Healthy Paws

As I mentioned above, some pet insurance companies cover only wellness (like dental cleaning, etc.), while others also cover illnesses and accidents. The cost can range between $50/month to $300/month or even more, depending on the plan and coverage you’re after.

Weimaraner & slow feeding purple bowl

Other Expenses For a Weimaraner

There are items you most likely will not buy on a month-to-month basis, but I wanted to include these as well.

Other itemsCost
Collar & harnessup to $50
Basic leash & long lineup to $40
Feeder & water bowlup to $40
Dog bed$40 – $200
Crate $80
Teeth, nail, and coat care$40
Poop bags (120 bags per pack)$8
Toys$100
Seresto Flea & Tick collar (8 month supply)$60
Yearly license fee (depends on your jurisdiction)varies ($ – $$$)
Yearly vet checkupvaries ($$$ – $$$$)
TOTAL$510 + vet checkup + license fee
Other expenses for a Weimaraner

If I forgot something, please let me know in the comments below!

Further Reading

Dana - site owner

Dana

I’ve always loved dogs, ever since I was a child. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to have one. My sister got a Weimaraner girl, Nelly, and I puppy-sit her often. That’s why I decided to start this blog and share what I’ve learned, about Nelly and the Weimaraner breed in general. Learn more about Dana.


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