4 min read

Back to School: Costs to Think About For Your Pup



Keeping a canine companion can be expensive, with the annual average cost ranging anywhere from $1,500 to $9,900, depending on the breed and size. 

Caring for Fido in the summer is much easier when your little ones are around to help. But things get a little trickier when your kids head back to school, whether it's college or kindergarten. With fewer heads around to keep an eye on Scoob, you'll no doubt have to fork out some extra cash for extra care. Here are a few costs to think about for your pup when your kids go back to school.

Ensure your pup doesn't get lonely

If your mutt has spent their entire puppyhood surrounded by family, they may struggle when it's time to go back to school. Behavioral issues relating to stress are common, with 20% to 40% of dogs suffering from separation anxiety

Perhaps the best way to keep your woofer happy while they're home alone is to book a dog sitter! While not the most cost-effective method, a dog sitter will play with your pup and keep them company, which will undoubtedly reduce any depression or anxiety they're feeling. A dog sitter will also be able to let your dog out to go to the bathroom, which is ideal if you and your kids aren't home for most of the day.

A change in routine can cause separation anxiety, which means your kiddos heading back to school could be a trigger. While separation anxiety isn't life-threatening, it'll cause your dog emotional distress, leading to the destruction of your home and potentially self-injury. 

There are several inexpensive things you can try to reduce your dog's separation anxiety. First, make your departure and arrival uneventful. Creating less anticipation should reduce your dog's anxiety. You can also provide a safe space and interactive toys to help your dog feel happy and secure.

Ensure your pup is getting plenty of exercise

As well as making sure your dog isn't lonely when your kids head back to school, you'll want to ensure they're getting plenty of exercise. A dog that doesn't get enough exercise may pile on the pounds and become bored. Boredom could lead to mental health issues and destructive behavior.

Alternatively, you can ensure Bella is having a ball by hiring a dog walker. Arranging a dog walker is a breeze, and they'll be able to walk your dog several times a day, so you have more time to spend with your family after work. 

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure your dog is getting enough exercise while they're home alone. Providing interactive toys and puzzle games that dispense treats are wonderful ways of keeping a homebound hound occupied. Leaving a TV or radio on will also help keep Cheddar company. 

If you're struggling to balance your pup's exercise schedule and work, consider working from home every once in a while. If you can't work from home, try coming home for your lunch break so you can play with Baxter or even take him for a quick walk.

Ensure your pup is trained for spending time alone

Before your kids head back to school, consider some training classes so your doggo is happier to spend time home alone. While training won't usually solve all behavioral issues relating to separation anxiety and boredom, it'll certainly help. 

Just be careful when training your dog to use a crate — otherwise, they may become fearful or socially isolated. If you're having trouble crate training your dog, consider hiring a trainer for faster results.

While obedience training is necessary for your dog's day-to-day, crate training is ideal for keeping your pup happy at home. Slowly leaving your dog for longer periods in a cozy crate will help them learn to be alone.

Ensure your vet bills aren't sky-high

If cash is tight and you're trying to budget for the coming months, vet bills can be an unexpected financial burden. When taking your mutt to the vet, always be upfront about your financial situation and inquire about how much a procedure or treatment will cost. 

You'll want to find a caring veterinarian you can trust who will work with you to minimize costs. If you can, get health insurance for your dog, which will drastically reduce the cost of any veterinary treatments. Budgeting for pet health insurance is much easier than having to fork out a large sum or a surprise treatment.

Of course, the best way to avoid unnecessary veterinary costs is to keep your doggo healthy by providing plenty of exercise and a balanced diet.

Ensure your pup has plenty to eat

Another excellent way of making sure you stay on budget when your kids go back to school is to buy your dog's food from an online delivery service. 

By ordering your dog's food online, you'll know the exact cost of food each month, and you won't have to take time out of your day to go shopping. You also won't be tempted to pick up some extra goodies for your Goldie when you stop off at the pet store. 

If your dog's feeding schedule doesn't match up with your school or work hours, there are a couple of things to consider. Automatic food and water dispensers are a popular solution to this common problem. You can also ask your canine's caregiver to feed your pup when they come to visit.

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