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Pet Health Costs - Basics

There are at least two large costs for most family pets: food and basic medical.

It is important to consider what you are both able to do and feel is appropriate.  From our perspective, the most important factor is to provide a high quality of life for a pet while it is alive.

Setting Aside Savings It is important that anyone with a pet attempt to save at least hundreds of dollars to provide for basic costs.  Whether a person acquires a free pet or spends money to adopt a pet, new costs begin on day one as you feed and care for the pet.

Pet Insurance When a pet becomes ill, some possible procedures can reach thousands of dollars.  Some people choose to purchase pet health insurance.  Be aware that pet insurance is a growing industry and the different policies can be just as confusing as they are for other insurance.  The basic purpose of all insurance is to protect against unexpected costs that you want to pay, and may not otherwise be able to afford.  To get an idea of the pet insurance marketplace, check out Pet Insurance Review.  When you read complaints about deductibles or certain costs not being covered, keep in mind these people probably did not understand their policy.  If you buy insurance, actually read the policy when it arrives, and each year upon renewal.

Please note the articles on this site are the opinions of the people who wrote them.  Unless otherwise noted, we are not doctors or experts.  They are not the official opinions of Iowa Pet Adoptions.  This information comes from personal observation.  Pet owners learn for themselves and often disagree.

Dog Health Costs - Basic

Food  Quality bagged dog food costs $1 per pound and more.  Basic food cost for one dog can be $100 - $300 per year, depending on the size of the dog.  Keeping a dog healthy by providing quality food is one of the best choices you can make.  Treating illness is both expensive and time consuming.  Do not blindly trust that food bought from a vet, or any source, is high quality.  Learn what dogs need to be healthy.  Generally, a named whole meat source is good, while meat by-products and corn and similar fillers are bad.  If your dog is fed dry kibble - and most dogs are - it is easy and cheap to add some fresher foods such as plain yogurt with no artificial sweeteners (which can be deadly to pets) and cottage cheese.  Our favorite source for dog food information - especially if you want to home cook or feed raw - is Dog Aware.

Read how we feed our pets.

Medical  A younger adult dog requires at least one vet checkup per year.  This will consist of a physical exam, any required vaccines, and a simple blood test which test for illness including heartworm and lyme disease.  In Iowa, dogs should be on heartworm preventatitive during at least the warmer part of the year.  Basic medical for a healthy, young adult dog will cost $150 - $200 per year.

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