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Published On: Fri, Oct 2nd, 2020

How Much Does It Cost to Own A Dog?

Owning a dog is a rewarding, fulfilling, and joyful relationship, but it is also a big commitment that should not be taken lightly. Unfortunately, lots of people decide to get a puppy or adopt an older dog without considering how much they require in terms of time, as well as the financial implications. Obviously, the costs involved in getting and caring for a dog will vary depending on factors like the size, age, breed of the dog you choose. To help you decide if it is the right financial decision for you, here are the essential and potential costs involved in becoming a dog owner.

Cost of the dog

Buying the dog will be the first cost to consider, but this is where you have control to an extent. If you want a puppy and are keen on a particular breed, you are likely to spend between $500-$2,000. When buying a puppy from a breeder, be sure to research their credentials and to ensure you view the puppies with their mother so you can see that they have been well-cared for and are in good health. 

Alternatively, adopting a dog from a rescue shelter will cost $50-$200 in the form of a donation to support the shelter. Shelters have dogs of different ages, breeds, and sizes, but some come with behavior issues or traumatic histories, which may require patience and training. 

dog

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Regular veterinary care

Whether you buy a puppy or adopt a dog, you should take them to see a vet as soon as you can. Dogs need vaccinations, preventative medicine (flea, tick, and worming treatment), and a general health check. A visit to the vet could cost between $50-$300. Adult dogs usually only need an annual vaccination booster and health check, but puppies will need regular checks until they are 4 months of age. Dental cleanings and treatment might be needed, which can cost $300-$800 annually. It is also important to prepare for emergencies or unexpected illnesses, so try to put some savings aside and/or take out insurance for your dog.

Although it is a matter of personal choice in most cases, at some point, you may want to spay or neuter the dog, which can cost $150-$700. Visit veterinarianfriscotx.com for more information on affordable and convenient veterinary care for dogs.

Dog food

You should feed your dog the highest quality food that you can afford as well as healthy treats. There are lots of different brands of dog food, as well as brands aimed at dogs with health or behavioral issues. For the average dog food, you are likely to spend between $20-$50 per month. You might be able to save money by buying in bulk or making your own dog food

Dog accessories and supplies

Dogs need to be entertained and mentally stimulated alongside daily exercise. Toys are a great way to keep them interested. Dogs also like to chew, so strong toys are a great idea to minimize the chance of them turning their attention to your furniture and shoes. Toys can cost as little as a few dollars, so how much you spend and how regularly you refill the toybox is up to you. 

Your dog will need somewhere to relax and take a nap, so you should buy at least one dog bed for them. It needs to be durable and machine washable so that it will last a long time. Many people invest in a crate as a training aid to keep unruly puppies safe when you are not at home, and as somewhere the dog can feel safe and secure.

The dog will also need a collar with an ID tag and a leash. They vary in price between $20-$50, but the more you spend, the longer they are likely to last. 

Dog sitters and/or dog walkers

If you are not going to be home with the dog most of the time, you may need to hire someone to walk the dog and/or sit with them. Generally, dog walkers will charge $20 for an hour, and these costs will quickly add up. If you are often away for days or weeks at a time, it may be better to ask a friend or family member to help.

Author: Carol Trehearn

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