5 unexpected dog costs you should prepare for now

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How Much It Costs to Own a Dog

Is dog man's best friend — or budget blower? Many potential pet owners are aware of the initial costs of buying and owning a canine, but what about the unexpected costs, such as furniture damage and travel expenses?

Here are five unexpected dog-related costs to be aware of before committing to your new furry friend.

(See also: 3 Ways Your Dog Is Ruining Your Credit Score)

1. Damaged Furniture and Housing

Puppies will be puppies, and that includes chewing on just about everything. While the occasional shoe or clothing item will not set you back a lot of money, you should prepare for costly furniture damage.

Not only can dogs ruin table legs and couches, but some canines will even do costly home damage. One friend had a bulldog puppy who chewed a good-sized hole in the wall and baseboard. Puppies are not the only ones to blame, either. My husband's grandmother's adult dog ruined her front doorway because he was accidentally left outside during 4th of July and grew overly anxious during the fireworks.

2. Minor Medical Costs

Thankfully there is pet insurance that helps cover costly vet bills from injuries and old age. However, many people do not factor in the minor medical costs, such as flea and tick medication, special lotion for dry skin, nail trims, anal gland expression, and even sedative medication during certain holidays — like New Year's and 4th of July.

Even just adding a puppy to your family can add on the costs of vaccinations, exams, and getting them spayed or neutered. Money.com says, "Routine vet exams cost between $45 and $200 for puppies in the first year of life." So don't let that cute puppy face make you forget all of these extra upfront costs.

3. Higher Home Insurance Policies

Certain dog breeds are blacklisted by insurance companies due to their breed traits. Pit bulls, dobermans, rottweilers, German shepherds, huskies, and akitas are all breeds that can raise home insurance premiums. Even if your dog is the sweetest dog around, you will still be charged more, or be denied coverage altogether. The average dog bite claim costs insurance companies $30,000, so you can see why they charge more.

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4. Excess Rental Fees

Landlords can charge you extra for living with a dog. Many landlords will charge a standard pet deposit and might even add on an additional monthly payment. Depending on the contract you sign, your landlord can come after you for damages if your dog ruins the yard or interior. Many apartments and landlords do not even allow dogs, so your pooch could put you in a tough spot when it comes to finding a place to live.

5. Traveling Fees

My husband and I got our two dogs in our first year of marriage. We missed out on several vacation and travel opportunities because of them that first year. I didn't realize how much it would cost to board them or to take them with us, and when you are newly married, the budget can be very tight.

According to Pettravel.com, the average cost to fly domestic with your pooch is $125 each way. So expect to pay $250 roundtrip just for your pup to be on board. To keep your dog in a kennel, it costs on average $20-$25 per day, per pet.

If you plan to take your pooch with you on vacations, you should prepare for these following costs:

  • Air travel costs;
  • Vaccination updates;
  • Accessory costs, such as a carrier that meets flight requirements, and a travel bed;
  • Hotel costs. For example, the Best Western charges $20 per day and other hotels might charge a refundable damage deposit.

How to Avoid Higher and Unexpected Pet Costs

Most of these costs come from a lack of planning. Dogs can bring great joy and fun to a family, but the costs, pros, and cons needed to be thought out carefully. Dogs, like children, are living creatures that will need many years of love, care, and even sacrifice at times. Be sure you consider the future money and time required when you see that cute face and floppy ears.

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