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The Price of a Puppy

Updated on April 17, 2012
Kitsune when he was 13 weeks old!
Kitsune when he was 13 weeks old! | Source

Puppies are adorable, sweet, loving...and oh yeah, expensive. Sometimes very expensive. How many potential puppy owners actually consider the financial impact of bringing home a cute cuddly little puppy before the adorable new bundle is home and peeing all over their new rug? It'd be my guess that most owners, won over by the extreme cuteness of a puppy, don't put all that much thought into the cost of their new furry friend initially.

I'll admit it, I had no idea how expensive puppies could be before I got my first one. Of course I knew there would be the cost of food, vet bills, toys, etc, etc, etc. But I never really stopped to consider how much all those seemingly small costs could add up. It didn't take me too long after bringing him home to realize that my new, and cutest, family member was not going to be my bank accounts best friend.

I decided to do an experiment during my dogs first full year of life. I decided to record every last penny that I spent on him, starting from when he was born and ending on his first birthday. Not because I was overly concerned about my expenses or because I'm cheap, but because I thought it would be interesting to see exactly how much my puppy cost me. And because I thought it might be useful for potential puppy parents to get a better idea of what they're getting themselves into financially before they bring home their new addition.

I brought my puppy Kitsune home when he was 9 weeks old. He was born on December 26th, 2008. Between December 26th 2008, and December 26th 2009, I spent exactly $3,436.00 on him. Yes you read that right, over $3,000. That amount was mostly for things like food, supplies, and vet bills. He didn't have any major medical issues, but did have some health issues throughout his first year that caused the vet bills to really add up. Kitsune has food and environmental allergies, which at the time we where just beginning to learn about. Luckily, other than his allergies, he was a very healthy puppy and didn't need any major medical treatments or surgeries, which of course would have really drove his vet costs up.

I will admit here, for those of you who may be totally surprised on how much I spent on my dog, that I do have a tendency to really spoil my pets. Also, I live right outside of a major city and vet costs are expensive here. To give you an idea, Kitsune's regular vet charges an average of around $500 for a routine neuter surgery. Depending on where you live, veterinarian prices for treatments and routine care will vary.

But no matter where you live, puppies are typically more expensive, on average, than adult dogs are. Their first year of life they usually require more trips to the vet for things like puppy shots and neuters/spays. Puppies are more prone to chewing on things they aren't suppose to, which can sometimes lead to expensive trips to the vet. For owners who don't already currently have a dog, a lot of times a new puppy will mean starting from scratch and having to buy all the required dog supplies.

If you decide to adopt a puppy, knowing full well how expensive they can be, you will be rewarded 100 times over by the joy you will receive from your new furry family member. If, before I got my dog, I knew then what I know now about how expensive dogs can be, I still wouldn't think twice about bringing Kitsune home. You can't put a price tag on the amount of love a dog gives, and I can't imagine my life now without Kitsune in it.


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    • Dragonrain profile image

      Dragonrain 5 years ago

      That's awesome, sarcvet, and something I have never thought of. I don't smoke, and do agree that spending the money on my dog brings much more happiness and well being than spending it on something like cigarettes ever could. I love my dog, and am happy to spend money on him especially considering all the joy he brings to my life.

    • sarcvet profile image

      sarcvet 5 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Thank you for posting. Another good article on one of the aspects of responsible pet ownership. Being responsible for a pet means being financially responsible. Interestingly, a comparison between your puppy costs and what an average smoker spends a year on cigarettes might show that the $3000ish dollars spent is not that much, and provides you with a much greater return in wellbeing and hapiness!

    • profile image

      avantitexan 6 years ago

      That's awesome, there are so many puppies that need a good home AND people who will take the time and spend the money to take care of them. I like that you were honest in your article so hopefully perspective puppy adopters will know ahead of time and be prepared to care for their forever friend.

    • Dragonrain profile image

      Dragonrain 6 years ago

      Thanks for reading :)

      Adopting an adult dog I'm sure could save you money! They usually come already spayed or neutered, and aren't in that puppy stage when they need vet visits more often and are more prone to getting themselves into trouble. For people who don't want to deal with the extra costs and burdens of raising a puppy, there are plenty of adult dogs in shelters looking for new homes.

      I'm a glutton for punishment though, and just adore puppies - expensive trouble makers that they are! I love watching them grow up and will probably adopt most, if not all, of my future dogs as puppies.

    • profile image

      avantitexan 6 years ago

      Great info and realistic pricing. And don't forget lots of treats for those training sessions! Another alternative to puppies are rescue dogs who are have often already been spayed or neutered (or come with a voucher to do so) and often come with a adoption fee of $150 or less.

    • Dragonrain profile image

      Dragonrain 6 years ago

      Thanks for commenting and reading! :)

    • Dbro profile image

      Dbro 6 years ago from Texas, USA

      Wow! What an interesting and eye-opening hub! I had no idea a puppy's first year would be so costly. I didn't do the math when we got our puppy, but I wouldn't be surprised if my expenses were similar to yours. I agree that they are worth the cost, but it's good to know what that cost is! Great hub!