Let’s get down to brass tacks (and yes, that is the right “tacks”)
How much does a dog cost?
Well, the obvious answer is, “It depends”. How big is the dog? What breed? Is it purebred/”papered”?
According to petfinder.com, you might want to consider purchasing your pet through a pound. A lot of times, many of the upfront costs (de-worming, spay/neuter, micro-chipping, etc) have already been taken care of by the pound or the previous owner. And if not, the pound charges a lot less than a private veterinarian would. For example, spaying/neutering could cost as little as $25 at the pound versus $200 at the vet.
According to the ASPCA, average first-year ownership is easily above $1000. That may seem pretty steep, but remember, you are buying a companion. A furry friend. This isn’t a pair of shoes you’re splurging on.
Here is a breakdown (according to another site) that might help you budget for your poochy (these prices are only estimates and I’m going by veterinarian costs, not pound costs):
- Spay/Neuter – $200
- First Exam – $75
- Some type of collar – $30
- Crate or cage – $95 (and that could be more. It just depends on the size of your dog)
- Obedience school or some type of training – $110
Those are your up-front, one-time costs. It’s around $510. And that doesn’t even include the price of the dog itself. That can be anywhere from free (because your neighbors had puppies) up to $1500.
Now, what about the stuff you’ll need to buy all the time? Here ya go (again, only estimates):
- Food – $10/month
- Yearly check ups at the vet – $250/year
- Toys/Treats – $10/month (I tend to want to spoil…)
- License – $15/year
- Pet Health Insurance (yes, it’s a thing) – $225/year
- Miscellaneous stuff – $10/month (stuff is going to happen so you might as well be prepared.)
That totals about $625/year.
So, is it worth it to you? Well, I think the answer is yes, but if you need more convincing, think about how much you spend each year on coffee or Redbox. I’m sure you can suck it up somewhere so you can afford man’s best friend.