Dogs playing ball

Two dogs playing ball.

Dogs are beloved residents in many of our homes. So, dog care is an important consideration for those households.

Sometimes dogs are pets that live solely indoors. Other dogs live outdoors. Those dogs need a way to handle the elements. For instance, you need to make sure water and shade is available on hot days, shelter from rainy nights and unfrozen water and food is available when it is cold. Many dogs live both indoors and out. Going out for exercise and to relieve themselves; coming inside to sleep and eat -- or some other mix of their activities.

Some dogs are working animals, helping out with things like animal herding, while others are show dogs or breeding dogs. And still others are "service animals"; they are trained to help their owners live independently, like seeing eye dogs. Other services include hearing/alert dogs or mobility assistance.


Like toddlers and small children, one of the ways that dogs explore the world around them is by tasting things. So, things like potentially poisonous cleaners must be safely put away where they cannot get to them.

Affection and attentionEdit

Dogs are social animals. They need affection, or at least attention. Some people have more than one dog so they can provide company for each other.


The costs of dog ownership vary widely. The lists below may not apply to all dogs. The first year annual costs can range from a bit a low end of $500 to over $6,000 (not counting luxury expenses or extensive medical care). Later years range from about $250 to $2,500. For a dog that lives 14 years, a midrange estimate of lifetime care costs is about $14,000.

Initial acquisitionEdit

A pure bred dog with a pedigree can cost thousands of dollars. A rescued dog at the pound or through other services may require the new owner to pay for a health check and other initial charges -- a few hundred dollars. Or you might be able to get a free dog from a friend or someone who can no longer take care of their dog or who want to find a good home for their new puppies.


Some places have local laws about pets. The laws may require vaccinations, local registration and licensing. There may be fees for these things.

A place to stayEdit

Keep in mind that some apartments don't allow pets or charge extra for them. Within your home, is there an appropriate place for your pet? Will you need to purchase or make a dog bed, cage, pet crate or build a dog run. Will you need a fence or "invisible fence"? Different breeds of dogs tend to need more or less space and exercise.


Dogs need to eat. They can be fed some of the same foods humans eat, or you can purchase dog food.

I would not recommend table scraps

If you feed your dog human food, please make sure you check what the nutritional needs of dogs are. For instance, chocolate contains a substance that is poisonous to dogs. And while many people think of dogs as meat eaters, they also need some of the vitamins found in other foods. Many dogs like vegetables.


toys including chew toys, leash, collar, bowls for food and drinks, brushes, combs, blanket

If you want to save money on grooming services, you need things like brushes, combs, and scissors so you can take care of the grooming yourself.

A dog that doesn't have something to play with is likely to damage other things in its search for something fun to do. Be careful to distinguish between dog toys and things you don't want them to play with or chew other things. So for instance, if you give a dog your old shoes to chew, you make it likely that the dog will think your current, good shoes are also permitted chew toys.

In some cases, you may want a dog carrier. Letting a dog run free in your car is dangerous for both the dog and you. If your dog is too big for a carrier, you can make traveling in the car safer with a dog restraint.

Vet careEdit

As the possibilities for pet care have become more extensive, veterinarian (or "vet") care has become more expensive. Things that used to cause our pets pain or even death can be taken care of with operations or medication, similar to human medical care. However, this can be very expensive. Not everyone can afford it. Some people have started getting medical insurance for their pets.

Even if you do not get the more extensive care, there are usually required vaccinations and other care.

Sadly, dogs generally live much shorter lives than humans. So, you may need to pay for end-of-life care and burial or disposition of the body.

Kennel or other caregiversEdit

The use of other caregivers can make dog ownership very expensive. However, most of this care can be given by the owners to reduce costs, if desired.

kennel, walkers, grooming, training

If you'll be unable to care for your dog for awhile (due to travel, illness or other reasons) you'll need to arrange for other people to care for the dog.


External linksEdit

On Wikia...

  • Dog wikia (fewer than 20 articles, and I don't see anything relevant)
  • Dogs and Cats wikia has over 70 articles

For more specific articles on the Dogs and Cats wikia, here are some places to start.

See the article on dogs on the dogs-cats wikia.

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