Every now and then, I read about a dog who cannot receive the necessary medical attention, because of a lack of available funds. Every now and then I hear about a dog that was turned into a shelter because it needed medical attention. Every now and then I come across a GoFundMe account which is designed to cover a dog’s medical expenses.
Dogs, like children, can be quite expensive. I really don’t see that statement as being earth shattering, so why do so many people not factor their financial situation into the dog adoption decision making process?
Dogs, like children, are almost certainly going to need medical attention at some point in their lives, and those bills are probably not going to be covered by a country’s health plan!
Dogs, like children, are going to be eating regularly throughout their life, and may even require special foods at times.
Dogs, like children, are going to require regular medical check-ups however, unlike children, their costs are not covered unless you have pet insurance.
I have been going through the vet bills during Ray’s first few months with us, and some interesting facts presented themselves.
A checkup which included blood screening, vaccinations, fecal examination etc. totaled well over $500.00. We have a number of bills very close to $1000.00 from his heartworm treatment. He has been on anxiety meds ever since he came home with us, which are a lower cost from our regular pharmacy than buying from the vet, but they are still quite expensive. We have to periodically get ear drops for him as he is prone to ear infections. He lets us clean his teeth and clip his claws, and we groom him regularly, so costs are minimal there.
Whereas Ray’s heartworm treatment was a major expense, and while many dogs may never get the condition (although it is on the increase), he has not broken any bones to date, and he has not eaten anything that presented internal issues which necessitated an emergency vet visit, and he has not chipped any teeth! So many other dogs are not so lucky!
If you, or anyone you know, is contemplating adopting a dog, please ensure that there is a realistic grasp of what costs could well be incurred, and either budget accordingly or take out pet insurance.
It is very sad when a family pet needs medical attention, but there is no available money to pay for it. It is sad when a dog has found its perfect home, and is then taken to a shelter because its owners cannot afford the necessary treatment.
It is really not difficult to compare the money “coming in” against the money “going out”, and see what remains in a typical month.
If you have done the math and taking care of a dog is going to stretch your finances a little, then please consider delaying that adoption decision. It is so important to remember that while you may have all the desire necessary to take care of a dog, that desire will not be paying the inherent bills that will be forthcoming. Surely it would be better to stall the dog adoption idea until your financial circumstances improve, rather than rush into it and possibly jeopardize the dog’s future by having to give it up?