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I adopted a dog for my son when I was a single mom. I found ways to work it into my budget, and it was so worth it.

Ashley Archambault   

I adopted a dog for my son when I was a single mom. I found ways to work it into my budget, and it was so worth it.
  • When I was a single mom, I adopted a dog for my son.
  • Initially, I was worried about the added expenses, but I found ways to make it work with my budget.

I was actually a dog mom for six years before I had my son, so when he was born, he already had a pet. But when he was four, we lost our family dog to an illness, and the loss was really difficult for both of us. While there was a huge void left behind, I was hesitant to get another dog, because I was worried about affording the expense of a new animal on my single mom budget.

After a couple of years went by, I locked eyes with a dog at an adoption event in the park, and it was love at first sight. I was surprised at how easy it was to bring a new dog home and how effortlessly he became part of our family. Even though I believe we were meant to find him at that exact time, seeing how happy our new dog Luke made my son and I made me wish I had gotten another one much sooner.

I already had the skills in place to afford a dog on my single mom budget

I had been a single mom for six years when we got our new dog, so I had already learned how to make our budget stretch. When it came to having a pet, I knew how to shop around for the best-priced products, like the food and any medications a pet would need every month.

Since we still had our cat, I had an established vet and knew exactly how much Luke's check-ups would cost every year. Since I already knew how to get valuable goods and services at the lowest price possible, budgeting for our new dog was easy.

I found that the cost of owning an animal was actually really affordable

After the monthly cost of dog food and medication, the only thing I had left to budget for was the annual check-up. My son and I already had similar schedules, so I was never away from the home long enough to need dog-walking or pet-sitting services.

Since we loved dogs so much and had missed having one, we already had friends who we had done dog-sitting for in the past for free, and they were more than willing to repay the favor when we went out of town. Even though I had initially been worried about the added expense, our new dog really only cost about $80 a month, which included $35 for the heartworm and flea prevention, $25 for dog food, and putting aside $20 in savings each month for the annual vet exam.

The benefits of having a dog proved to be more than well-worth it for us

When I picked my son up from school, we were always in a rush to go home and see Luke, who was beyond excited to greet us. It became impossible not to be happy when we were home with him.

Besides the warm welcome, having a dog again added more exercise and sunshine into our days because of having to take him out for bathroom breaks and a daily walk. Plus, our dog was the best security guard. I felt more secure that my son was safe at night, as the dog slept with him, and I felt less alone when my son was with his dad. Having a dog again gave us innumerable physical and mental health benefits, as we felt happier and more at ease overall.

My son experienced a sense of pride similar to that of having a new sibling

My son loved telling people about his new dog and began including him in the pictures he drew of his family. He was also proud of taking care of his dog, because it was his responsibility to feed him twice a day and help me take him out for bathroom breaks. While we already had our cat and each other, adding a dog to our home made our small family feel more full and completed us.

Even though I had been hesitant to bring another dog into our lives, adopting him was one of the best things I could have done for my son and myself as a single mom. Because the added expense of having a new animal was nothing compared to what he brought into our lives, I wished that I had done it sooner.

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