Cost of Owning a Dog

The cost of owning a dog goes far beyond the purchase of the actual pet. In fact, the price of the dog or puppy will end up being the least expensive aspect of ownership. Supplies, medical care and food costs can quickly add up and over the lifetime of the dog, will far exceed its purchasing price.

However, it is important to note that the decision to buy a dog goes beyond the monetary. A person in need of companionship or a family that enjoys the energy and warmth that having a dog or puppy around provides, may find that the expenses associated with pet ownership, are well worth it.

Financial Costs of Owning a Dog

The first year of a dog’s life is generally one of the most expensive. This is in large part because all of the doggie basics (not to mention the dog) must be purchased during this time. In addition to purchasing the dog or puppy, new dog parents must pay for vaccinations, supplies, toys and obedience training.  It is extremely important that owners set aside enough money to cover the aforementioned expenses prior to purchasing a dog or puppy or have a solid plan in place for doing so.

The cost of the actual dog will vary. Purebred dogs or puppies are more expensive than mutts or mixed breeds. Dogs from adoptive agencies or from the pound are the least expensive. Dogs can be adopted for as little as $50 and generally for no more then $75.  Some agencies “technically” give their dogs away. However, they encourage donations. In addition to a donation, new owners can expect to pay to have the dog vaccinated, neutered and de-wormed. Getting dogs neutered or spayed generally costs between $50 and $200.

Food is a significant expense for dog owners as well. However, it is possible to save money in this area by buying generic food, though doing so could have a negative impact on a dog’s health. Premium foods costs more but is considered healthier then generic foods. Cooking up homemade dog food is another option. However, the costs of doing so can quickly add up?

Stocking up on supplies the first year of dog ownership is a necessity.  New owners will need to purchase toys, water and food bowls, a dog bed, collars, leashes, treats, stain cleaner, car restraints and odor neutralizer. Individuals with a backyard may want to have it fenced. If so, this expense could end up being a significant one.

Obedience training is often a good idea for new dogs.  Individuals that would like a little help in this area, but who don’t want the expense of professional training, will find lots of training aids and resources online for relatively little money. A good book or training guide can be very helpful

The cost of owning a dog can be pretty significant. However, for many people, the pay-off of dog ownership far exceeds the monetary costs. Dogs make for excellent companions and are often great additions to families.

Is the cost of owning a dog worth it for you?

11 Responses to Cost of Owning a Dog

  1. While I don’t yet have a dog because my lifestyle is too hectic right now to give it the structure and support it would require, I did adopt 2 kittens last May.

    At first, I scoffed at the idea of spending so much, but I had already worked a baseline cost into my budget for a few months prior to bringing my furballs home. Doing so ensured that I could actually afford to go ahead with the adoption.

    Once I saw that the cost wouldn’t destroy my budget or other financial plans, I became quite excited about becoming a pet owner (sans financial stress). Now that I have them, I couldn’t imagine not!

  2. […] Finance. He writes about the every day financial challenges that young families face, like the cost of owning a dog or figuring out an appropriate tip. Related […]

  3. […] This post was written by Wayne at Young Family Finance. He writes about the every day financial challenges that young families face, like the cost of owning a dog. […]

  4. 101 Centavos says:

    A crayon-chewing dog will cause more vet visits than a non-crayon-chewing dog…
    We figure it’s about 600 bucks a year, per dog.

  5. […] My wife won’t let me get a dog (and I don’t want to have to walk it everyday anyway), but if you are interested in owning a dog, make sure to consider Wayne’s analysis of the cost of owning a dog. […]

  6. YFS says:

    As a dog owner who spoils his dog rotten I can tell you the cost of owning a dog is quiet expensive.

    Premium food
    doggy day care
    vet visits

    It adds up really fast. I didn’t even calculate the time either

    But I believe it is worth it. My dog is amazing.

  7. […] Tbs each day. Our emotional desired for buying a pet can sometimes override our finance priorities. Young Family Finance puts some financial reality to dog […]

  8. I work at a pet supply store and I can tell you from experience that if you plan on having a dog or cat as a pet be prepared to put out lots of money for your animal.It just just goes with the territory. While having a pet dog or cat can be a really wonderful experience. I believe that many folks don’t have the financial wherewithal to handle the responsibility.

  9. […] The following is a guest post written by Wayne at Young Family Finance, where he helps young families understand the importance of everyday finances like the cost of owning a dog. […]

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