There is more to buying a dog than just handing over wad of cash to a dog breeder.
What is the true cost of buying a dog? It’s a bit like asking how long is a piece of string.
This is because the ongoing cost of dog ownership will vary over a yearly, even a monthly basis. The cost of buying and raising a dog can be very high for certain breeds.
This is especially true for breeds that need lots of grooming or specialist attention. You might find yourself spending thousands of dollars over the course of your dog’s life!
If the idea of spending thousands of dollars on your dog’s grooming is alarming. Don’t worry. The best thing about dogs is that they are truly egalitarian. There will always be a dog out there for everyone’s budget that won’t break the bank to look after.
The Cost Of Buying A Dog: Initial Expenses
What is immediately apparent, is the huge variance between minimum and maximum costs.
Depending on whether you are investing in a pampered purebred show pooch, or your faithful old motley mutt which you keep for controlling critters, there will be an affordable dog for all budgets.
- Your Dog: How much your dog costs to buy is likely to be your greatest expense. This is more likely if you purchase a pure-
breed from a registered breeder. The cost of buying a dog from a registered breeder might be anywhere from $500 to an eye watering $10000 for some of the rarest dog breeds.
Buying your dog need not break the bank. If you decide to do the charitable thing and choose your dog from a rescue shelter, you may find the cost of buying a dog is as little as $50-
- Doggy related paraphernalia and kit : Appropriate dog bed, indoor or outdoor kennel, crate, food bowls, toys, collar(s), lead(s) , tags and grooming brushes to name a few and will set you back anywhere between $100-
Don’t forget the Vet bills !
- Veterinary Services : As a responsible dog owner you should plan on taking your dog to the vet for a check up at least once or twice a year, so factor in maybe $100-
200 annual cost, this would include preventative medications such as routine worming treatments, flea control, heart worm, tick treatments and maybe vitamin or mineral supplements.
A young puppy needs to be vaccinated against all sorts of nasty illnesses including: Distemper, Parvovirus, Hepatitis and Rabies. Vaccinations on your first visit can cost around $100-
The cost of buying a dog can rise dramatically if your dog develops any serious or long term health problems. Your veterinary costs are going to be much higher. If you are buying a pure-
And The Pet Insurance!
- Health Insurance: Dog medical insurance is one cost of dog ownership that no responsible dog owner should ignore. An adequate plan will probably cost $100-
200 per year. Don’t fall into the mindset that insurance payments are wasted money, especially if you have a young healthy dog. This is because accidents and illnesses do happen. The resultant emergency or ongoing veterinary care costs will likely be high.
Top Tip: Pet insurance will usually include public liability protection in case your dog causes damage or injury to other parties or property.
If you do have difficulty managing monthly insurance payments. There are a number of cheap dog insurance policies available. These include alternative schemes to make pet care more affordable, if you are willing to shop around and use the internet to do the hard work for you .
Top Tip: Most veterinary treatment has to be paid in advance. Keep a back up credit card that you only use in case of emergency. This is an easy way of getting hold of cash quickly. You would then pay the credit card back when your insurance claim gets resolved.
The Cost Of Dog Ownership: Ongoing Expenses
- Food: When it comes to the hidden costs of buying a dog; As a rule of thumb, the larger the dog the bigger the food bill!Expect to pay annually any where between $150-
250 for basic dry kibble, $200- 400 for premium kibble, and $400- 1000 for canned /frozen raw food. Overall costs will vary with size, activity level and age of your dog. One advantage of smaller dog breeds is that they generally cost less in upkeep than larger ones.
- Doggy Daycare: If you have to leave your dog home alone regularly for any length of time, part of your cost calculation may be to employ the services of a dog walker. Depending on how long they go out for; Prices may vary between $20-
30 per hour long walk.
- Professional Grooming And Clipping: Professional dog grooming services may cost between $50-500 a year. This depends on your dog’s coat and how keen you are to maintain them at show standards. There are many breeds which require minimal grooming. You can also learn to groom your own dog
- Training And Obedience Classes: Proper training and socialisation is another important cost of dog ownership cost that any responsible owner must budget for. Basic group classes at your local community centre usually cost between $50-
100 for 4- 8 weekly 1 hour sessions. Private classes with a personal trainer can range between $30- 100 per hour for 6- 8 hourly lessons, while dog obedience boarding schools range between $900- 2000+ for a 2- 4 week training course.
Extra costs might be incurred if your trainer requires you to purchase special training aids such as dog treats or clickers. Of course you can always do your own training at home. There are some fantastic online home training programs which are well worth checking out.
I am sure you realise by now that the cost of buying a dog is not simply about popping to your local breeder and picking up a puppy. There are numerous ongoing cost commitments that you need to consider. This is especially true if you are a responsible owner and want to do the right thing by your pooch. The list is by no means exhaustive, but it does highlight the most common costs of owning a dog. Take a look at this 2004 survey about the cost of dog ownership. Although quite old now, it does still offer some valuable insights.
Affordable pet care need not break the bank. The amazing thing about the owning a dog is that regardless of how much you are able or willing to spend on them; they will still love you all the same.