How Much Does Owning a Dog Cost?

When that puppy is begging you to take him or her home, it is hard to think about the multitude of responsibilities that goes along with it. Owning a new dog can sometimes be as costly as raising a kid. As an experienced pet owner, I have gone through enough experiences to know what kind of surprise costs to expect from that new dog. Below is a compilation of common costs that may arise with you new land shark (puppies are bitey).

    1. The veterinarian visit

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      Regardless of the source of the dog, it will have a significant risk of contracting diseases. Even reputable establishments have trouble mitigating parvovirus. Tick fever is another disease that should be considered for testing in tropical or subtropical areas.

      An adopted mutt will typically be under $100 for the first check up. Certain Purebred dogs will be upwards of $1,000 to $2,000. Yearly followups are highly recommended since they are as low as $25. Emergency visits will be the most grave at $3,000 to $5,000. Spaying or neutering may cost up to $200.

    2. A dog needs food

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      If bought in bulk, food is not a major expense. Purchasing a bulk bag of typical grain and meat based formulas will cost $1 per pound. If the veterinarian suggests grainless blends, root vegetable and meat based feed is up to $1.30 per pound. Buying dog biscuits are not economically sound since they are nutritionally the same as dog food yet costs more. For a special treat, occasionally preparing offal meats will add additional vitamins to your dog’s diet.

      A responsible owner will know the sweet spot for overfeeding or underfeeding their dog. Based on the formula provided by PetMD, a lightly active do will only need 31 calories per pound of bodyweight. The correct allotment of food will also keep the food budget in check. A puppy will need four feedings daily for optimum metabolic health.

    3. Your dog’s new home

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      Most families will want separate living spaces for their dogs. A quality dog bed for indoors or outdoors may cost between $20 to $30. A more frugal solution would be using a folded blanket which may be under $5.

      Buying a dog house is not entirely necessary if you have a sheltered back yard or if you allow it to live inside the house. If necessary, a pre-made dog house may cost between $100 to $400 depending on size and quality. Using the plans provided by Sunset, you may build a pet structure for less than $100. Build an even cheaper dog house using recycled pallets and free plans from 101 Pallet Ideas.

    4. Legal registration

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      Registration of your dog and the pricing varies greatly depending on your local government. Although many skip licensing, it is required if your dog gets snatched by law enforcement and you need to retrieve him. Proper licensing will also let them know that your dog had been vaccinated.

      Some governments will fine owners for up to $250 for unregistered pets. It is much cheaper to register since it is only $10 to $20 and some municipalities may even do it for free. If a lifetime discount purchase is available, it is recommended since it will prevent mishaps if yearly payment deadlines are not met.

    5. Rental property fees

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      It is now common that apartment complexes will charge additional fees to own a dog. The reason being is to mitigate the higher frequency of damage caused due to pets. According to Landlordology, adding pets to your apartment will usually incur a fee of $200 to $500. Landlords may have terms to increase the monthly rent by $50 to $100. Some landlords may also choose to add a separate security deposit just for the pet. It is advised that you thoroughly look over the terms of your contract before moving in your pet.

    6. Toys

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      Puppies have the tendency to teeth when their mouths are not occupied. For the sake of your own hand, purchase a durable toy for them to chew on. Pet stores are well stocked with bones and plush toys that your puppy will easily devour within the day. A thick rubber ring should cost under $15 and may last for months. If you are old fashioned, you may search your yard for a nice big stick for free.

    7. Hygiene and Grooming

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      Keeping you dog clean is not just about the smell, it is about preventing ticks and fleas. There are multiple diseases that are spread through ticks so it is necessary to use the right shampoo during routine baths. Thankfully, specialized shampoos are well under $10 and will last for months.

      Grooming is also necessary for long haired breeds. You should expect to pay $30 to $90 per session at a professional establishment. Expect to pay additional fees for teeth cleaning or flea baths. Grooming kits are $30 or less if you do not mind doing it yourself.

Owning a dog is not free but the level of companionship provided is priceless. Your dog will be your best friend, your security guard, and a source of entertainment. If you enjoyed the article or feel the need to address missing points, feel free to leave a comment down below.

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