How much does it cost to keep a dog?
I am thinking of getting a small to medium sized rescue dog but want to find out first how much it will likely cost me to keep. Prices and costs in pounds would be better thanks :-) and actual numbers rather than 'a lot' would be better too!
Ahhh!!! Very good question! I had to do this little exercise in one of my college course about dog biology and pet nutrition - forget which one. It is so goof of you to think about this ahead of time - most people don't and then some need to re-home their dogs when they find out they cannot afford one.
Here are the basic costs:
Initial veterinary exam and shots: may be free if you adopt from a shelter, but in general, expect to pay about $100
Dog toys, chew toys, treats: $50 (more or less initial cost)
Crate: $100 (more or less, depending on type and what size dog you get)
Dog bed: $50 (more or less)
Dog license: $15 (more or less, depending on where you live and spay/neuter status)
Spay/neuter: $200-400 (look for a low cost spay.neuter clinic)
Food: $50 (per month or so)
Leash and collar: $20 (more or less)
Bags to pick up after dog (free or minimal - use plastic grocery bags or other small bags)
Boarding for vacations, etc.: $10-15 per day
Training: $100 (average at pet store for basic 6 or 8 week class - more or less, depending on quality of training and location)
Unexpected veterinary expenses: $500 - $2000 per year (not all years the same)
Did I miss anything?
Hope this helps! Sorry, I do not know how to convert to pounds.
Dubuquedogtrainer gave an awesome answer, but here are a couple of specific amounts regarding my 45 pound active dog.
$40 a month for Taste of the Wild (1 3/4 to 1 7/8 cups of food per day)
$180 for annual visit (I get the optional rattlesnake and bordetella vaccinations. also get the oat shampoo and her wormy medicine).
Waffles tears up her toys, so I expect $5 to $15 per month.
I break up her treats into smaller pieces for $10 per month.
She is active and puts herself at risk more than average, so I try to keep $300 in the bank. Darn dog! lol
Be ready for chewed up furniture, "presents", and other damage to your lovely home. I have a carpet cleaner for those times when she throws up. The grass is coming up, so that is happening more often now.
You will spend money trying different toenail clippers, clickers, brushes, etc. That adds up. Don't forget the expensive styptic powder! (about $7)
I'm sure I'm forgetting a bunch of stuff. I'm not the most prepared person, and often deal with it as it comes along.
I obviously have a much less expensive vet than the others do. My vet charges $45 per visit. He only visits yearly, he is young and healthy. I get the rabies shot at that time and it is $12 more. I give his other shots myself, which I buy at the vets. That is also $12. So it is $70 for the year for the vet. If you adopt from a shelter, they usually are spayed or neutered.
I spend $25 a month on a good, high protein dog food. My dog is about 45 pounds. I also buy Brewers yeast tablets at the health food store, which works to give him protection from ticks and fleas. They cost $7 a month. 10 grams for every 10 pounds of dog. He likes the dog biscuits that I get at the farm co-op in bulk. I get a bag of them every month and it costs $3.
He likes tennis balls. Tennis balls last a while but need washed occassionally. He also likes the rope pull toys. No other toys for him, they are a waste of money. He doesn't like them. His leash and collar were $15 and will last a couple of years. His bed was $20 and he does not use it. He prefers the rug in front of the fireplace. We do not use a crate as he was house trained when I got him. Our town does not require that they be registered.
So I guess you are getting the idea that the costs vary and it depends on how much you are willing to spend and what your pet likes. My dog is fairly inexpensive and would rather chew on me than a bunch of toys. He does not piddle in the house unless we leave him for more than 12 hours. He also goes on vacation with us , so if you camp, take them with you. He has never damaged any furniture or carpeting in the three years we have had him and I trained him. So those expenses were evaded.
I hope this helps you and hope you enjoy your dog.
Thanks for some great answers, I am more keen than ever now. I think I will get pet insurance once I have found a dog to hopefully minimise vets bills. I guess I was thinking that the food would be the most expensive thing but it is easy to forget the other bits and bobs that are needed.
Depending on the breed of the dog.The smaller the better price wise. I have a maltese and I got him at a shelter. I paid 40 dollars to adopt and that included the shots. As far as food I buy a 40lb bag of pedigreefor 20.00 and that lasts about 2 months. You should take the dog to vet at leastonce a year and that cost about 125.00.I go to thrift shops for toys, like baby toys, they are much cheapier.
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