Cost of owning a dog

When it comes to dogs, there are no budget breeds, no econo-canines. When buying a dog it’s important to recognize that this commitment is financial as well as emotional.

Let’s say you’re adopting from a local shelter as opposed to buying from a breeder. By doing so, you’ll save hundreds of dollars–and possibly take advantage of the spay/neuter surgery that many shelters include in the price of adoption. That said, you can still expect to spend between $795 to $1725 the first year, just for the basics. And that’s assuming your yard is securely fenced and your neighbor offers to give you her old grooming brush and water dish. Keep in mind, the numbers listed below are averages. Costs can be, and much of the time are, much higher and vary greatly by region.

One-time fees

Annual expenses

Additional costs

The reality is that at some point in your dog’s lifetime, you will make an unexpected trip (probably several) to the vet’s office. Accidents, illness, and diarrhea happen. There are some ways to hedge your bets. For instance, feeding your dog high quality dog food will increase overall health and may even reduce your number of trips to the vet.

You’ll also need to spend a few bucks extra on a good-quality stain and odor remover. Your little angel may be so perfectly housetrained that she never once pees in the house–not even on your easy-to-clean kitchen linoleum–but she will throw up on that area rug in the living room. Trust us.

If those numbers don’t raise your hackles, just remember that dental care, rawhides, tennis balls, de-skunking shampoo, and the rabbit ears Halloween costume are not included.

Bottom line: Having a dog is a several thousand dollar investment. And you thought an Ivy League education was pricey.