My wife has never been a dog person. That is, until I found the perfect one. It happened a few months ago. She was looking on pinterest when she saw a dog that looked like a puppy even when it was fully grown. That’s right, it looks like a puppy even when it’s grown. In case you are curious, the dog it ended up being is the Goldendoodle. It’s a mix breed between golden retriever and poodle. There are varying sizes, but my wife has fallen in love with this the miniature version.
While it will still take some time to convince her that we can handle a dog, the financial part of me is already thinking about the cost of the dog. Don’t get me wrong, I want a dog more than her, but it doesn’t stop me from looking at the cost. So, please keep that in mind if you think that I am boiling the life of an animal down to numbers: that’s not what I’m doing!
How Much Does a Dog Cost?
The first question when you are saving for a dog is how much do I need to save. In other words, how much does a dog cost? While we could talk to several dog owners, find out how much they pay for them, and then average the costs, the easier route is to find out what you would need to pay for and average it out per year. That’s what I chose to do.
When buying a puppy, you need to have the bare necessities. Just like when you have a kid – you don’t bring your child home to a nursery without a crib. (Again, not everyone needs to have a kid, especially when you consider the financial benefits) For a dog, you definitely need the following items:
- Collar and leash
- Few dog toys
- Old towels/blankets
Those are just the necessities. The list of optional items, like these dog doors here, can go on and on. Beyond buying the basic things, you also have to consider the veterinarian costs. Every puppy needs to make several visits to a vet within the first few months of having it for various shots/vaccinations. Your vet will be able to tell you how often, when, and for what, but the basic principle that I want to cover is that this costs money – lots of it.
The last noticeable change in your monthly budget will be the ongoing costs: dog food. Every dog needs to eat and this costs money. You can go for the cheap food, but it will probably affect your dog’s health. This means, it’s going to cost at least some money. Considering all of these factors, I estimate that we will pay $1,000 in the first year alone. Granted, the following years will be less because of the less frequent vet visits, but that’s still a big chunk of change.
While most people will jump into a decision without thinking it through, if you want to make sure that you don’t over-extend yourself, the best thing you can do is plan ahead. Don’t make any big decisions without finding out how much it will really cost and determining whether you can afford it or not. It doesn’t mean that because things cost money that you shouldn’t do them. It just means to understand them BEFORE.