Dog Costs?

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Topic: Dog Costs?

General Discussion July 3, 2013 at 10:04 am

Dog Costs?

I’m considering rescuing/adopting a small dog for my apartment in D.C. Adoption costs I’ve got figured out, but I’m trying to budget for other expenses having a pet will be (i.e. vet, training, extra rent, etc.) Anyone have any suggestions for pet budgeting or anyone have any experience with what one might call the “true” costs of owning a dog? I’m in an online “responsible pet-owner” class now as I want to be sure I’m also ready to own an animal. Suggestions?

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Hi there – I think the costs of owning a dog can varying greatly but in general I’ve found the following ‘start-up’, ‘recurring’, and ‘occasional’ costs:

start-up – adoption fee (varies), toys (+/- $50), collars/leash (+/- $35), shots ($35-$75+ per shot), spay/neuter ($150+), car harness/securing mechanism ($30), crate ($50+), bed (+30), training ($110+ per packaged of group classes; individual classes start at $65 per)

recurring – food and treats ($10-$35 per bag – usually buy about monthly), waste clean up bags ($10), regular vet check-ups ($70+ depends on your vet), replacement toys (est. per month $20), grooming supplies (+/- $10) or groomer ($15++ per visit), flea, tick and heartworm prevention ($50-$70 per 3 month supply), dog walker (if needed $15+ per visit)

occasional – emergency vet bills (est saving $25-50 per month, or pet insurance +/- $50 per month), boarding/pet sitting ($40+ per day), replacing chewed/ruined items (varies – if you spend money on training this is less likely to happen!)

i’m sure i am forgetting something so others can chime in! also – the larger the dog, the more expensive each item is. good luck, don’t let this list scare you off, owning a dog is so rewarding – i say do it!

Nice comprehensive list duckydc, some things seem on the low side to me. I would suggest not getting pet insurance and instead putting that $50 per month into a savings account. One thing I can tell you for certain, whether it be an emergency or just a regular check up, you will receive a huge unexpected bill from the vet at some point. as the dog ages these whopping bills will increase.

Thank you both SO much! This gives me a much better starting point.

I just adopted a puppy in January. I would average we spend about $70/month, since my building doesn’t charge pet rent. It can be very expensive, but there are also ways to cut costs, without cutting quality. Here are my thoughts:

Amazon is your friend. We save money on good dog food by using Amazon’s Subscribe and Save. Every two months, we get a delivery of organic dog food- and with our S&S discount, it’s actually less costly than the grocery store brands. We also order his treats from Amazon S&S too. Since he is a small puppy, this costs about $17/month. We got his crate off Amazon, too, as well as baby wipes (We wipe his paws after he comes inside).

Pet insurance. I realize this is up for debate, and I researched it long and hard. It doesn’t cover routine expenses (ie neutering & microchipping cost us $450). Basically, we’re paying $20/month for peace of mind. It will cover any accidents, and illness. Saving $50/month is a great idea too, I just realized that a broken bone could cost $1000+ and the way our puppy thinks he’s Mighty Man…

-Toys, beds, treats and waste bags we get at TJ Maxx or Marshalls. We only buy treats that are Made in America and have a clear expiration date. We’ve been pleased with the ones we’ve found.

-Monthly heartworm and tick treatment. There’s no way to scrimp on this (nor would we want to). I think it averages out to be about $15-20 a month.

Resources: I would highly recommend both books by the Monks of New Skete “The Art of Raising a Puppy” and “How to be Your Dog’s Best Friend”– great resources for someone new to owning a dog. I would also suggest you create a dog first aid kit. Especially with hydrogen peroxide in case he/she eats something dangerous.

Ultimately, I look at it like this: a dog is an investment. And it’s so worth it. He is our entertainment, provides so much laughter, and we love him. Every morning, after his walk, he runs into my room and bounds on the bed and digs under the covers until he finds me. His tail wags and he licks my nose. It’s adorable, and a great way to wake up.

Message me if you have any other questions or want to meet up at the dog park with your new furry companion!

Duckydc’s list is great, but I agree that some sound a little on the low side.

For us, recurring costs include dog walking at $18/day x 3 days, plus daycare at $33/day x 2 days = $120 just on care while we’re at work during any given week.

High quality food is about $2 per day x 7 days a week = $14 per week, plus maybe $10 in treats.

We’ve spent a crazy amount on toys because she’s unexpectedly eaten through most of them – probably to the tune $150 so far.

Our vet bills in the first month (one intro exam and vaccine booster, plus an emergency trip after she seemed to choke on a chicken bone) have run to about $400 and her adoption fee was $325. We are working with a trainer who offers a discounted fee of $90 per session for adopted dogs and she has been invaluable so far (2 sessions = $180).

Her crate and other set-up stuff (crate, leash, bowls, collar, tags, harness, poo bags, heart worm meds, etc) was about $250 all told.

Our (probably still conservative) grand total for month one of dog adoption: $1,800!

Costs will definitely taper off and some costs you have more control over – we use Friendship as a vet for example, because we trust them based on previous experience, but there are cheaper practices out there, or we could downgrade her food, or opt not to use a dog walker – but it is definitely an endeavor! Good luck!

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