Adding a new dog to your family is an exciting moment. You may be adopting a dog from a local shelter or purchasing one from a pet store or breeder. While adding a dog to your family is certainly an event to remember, it is also important to remember that owning a dog comes with sometimes unforeseen expenses, says Jeanne Rowzee Owner and Founder of Homeward Bound Animal Rescue and Welfare Inc. There are two types of expenses involved in owning a dog: initial or ‘one time’ expenses when adopting or purchasing a dog, and annual pet expenses, which can sometimes add up more quickly than many expect.
When you first add a new dog to your family, you typically are required to either pay an adoption fee or purchase a dog from a breeder or pet store. Jeanne Rowzee explains that these amounts can vary widely depending on the age and type of dog, as well as whether you are purchasing or adopting. When adopting a dog, the adoption fee can range anywhere from $100.00 to $250.00, depending. If you are purchasing a dog, the price varies even more — particularly in the case of purebred dogs from reputable breeders, which can cost as much as $1,500.00 (or even more).
You will also be required to spay or neuter your pet. In some cases, adopted dogs have already had this procedure done before they are eligible for adoption. If you pay for it out of pocket, you should budget for approximately $200.00 for this.
Your new dog should also have an initial vet check/medical exam as well to be sure they are healthy and happy. This can cost approximately $70.00 — sometimes more if certain one-time vaccinations are required.
Training is also something to consider if you are getting a dog — in fact, it is highly recommended, according to Jeanne Rowzee. Most dogs will require a crate for crate training, which can cost $60.00 or more, depending on the size of the dog. If you are planning to travel by air with your dog, the crate will cost even more, as it will be required to meet airline approval. Training or obedience lessons are also important, explains Jeanne Rowzee — especially for dogs who have been adopted and may struggle with behavioral issues, or if you have a new puppy. These costs can be in the area of $250.00 or more, depending on where you live.
Annual Pet Expenses
Annual pet expenses are important to consider, too. These include costs such as dog food, which can vary widely. Large dogs are quite expensive to feed and can cost as much as $100.00 per month for food. You will also need to take your dog to be seen by a veterinarian on an annual basis, which can cost approximately $235.00, including the costs of vaccinations. You should also factor in costs of toys and treats, which can be as much as $100.00 per year (or even more). Dogs will also require annual flea and tick medication as well.
Some areas will require you to register or ‘license’ your pet as well. This is usually a small fee of $15.00 to $25.00 per year.
To protect your dog’s health, you should also consider purchasing pet insurance. This may be very helpful should your dog someday become injured or sick. Pet insurance can vary, costing anywhere from $45.00 per year and above. If you do not have pet insurance, you should budget an additional amount for medication, should your dog require it. As Jeanne Rowzee notes, it is important to remember that, should your dog get sick, you may be required to pay thousands of dollars per year for care if you do not have pet insurance.
Some dog owners also budget additional amounts to clean carpeting or flooring, or to replace items which may be inevitably damaged by their dogs.
Adding a dog to your family can be a wonderful experience, but it is not something to be taken lightly. It can cost anywhere from $1,500.00 per year and above to own a dog. The larger your dog is, the more you should budget for his or her expenses yearly. Before deciding to add a furry friend to your family, it is critical that you take a good look at your budget to be sure you can afford to provide your dog with all of the necessities he or she will require throughout life, says Jeanne Rowzee.