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 of a puppy from a breeder. And that’s assuming your yard is securely fenced and your neighbor offers to give you her old grooming brush and water dish. You’ll definitely spend less with a rescue dog because they come with all their vaccines and their spay/neuter surgery already done.
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.
- Adoption fee: $100 to $250 (More for a puppy, sometimes up to $500 and sometimes less. Many shelters have special promotions where there is no adoption fee at all.)
- Spay/neuter: $75 to $200
- Bed: $25 to $100 (Or get crafty and learn to make one)
- Crate: $25 to $150 (Custom crates can cost much more but will match your furniture!)
- Toys: $15 to $150 (Or learn to make your own)
- Collar: $10 to $25
- Leash: $10 to $25
- Vaccines: $100 to $300
- Training classes: $75 to $200 (Or more)
- Dry food: $250
- Annual checkup: $50 to $80
- Flea and tick prevention: $121 to $180
- Dog walker: $12 to $25 per walk
- Boarding kennel: $24 to $50 per night (Or more)
- Vet or emergency room visit: $80 to $2000 (yes, surgery can be that expensive)
- Pet stain remover: $10
- Grooming: $25 for a bath; $35 to $50 for a haircut
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 natural raw foods will increase overall health and may even reduce your number of trips to the vet. It also reduces the risk of cancer and other illnesses as your dog ages.
If you get a dog from a rescue or shelter that is already potty trained you’re one step ahead of the game. If you purchase a puppy you’ll also need to spend quite 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 at some point. Trust us.
If those numbers don’t raise your hackles, just remember that dental care, treats, tennis balls, de-skunking shampoo, and the rabbit ears Halloween costume are not included.
If you’re thinking of getting a dog we suggest that you follow dog care pages on Facebook to see more of what’s involved.
Many dogs live long, happy, healthy lives with relatively few trips to the vet. Sadly, with today’s processed dry foods and treats, that’s becoming more and more rare.
Bottom line: Having a dog is a several thousand dollar initial investment. And you thought an Ivy League education was pricey.