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How much does it cost to own a dog?

Our fur baby, Baxter.
Our fur baby, Baxter.

Many people have started the relationship of owning a dog without thinking about how much it is going to cost. Maybe they find a stray or inherit a puppy but as the animal grows up, they are shocked at the ongoing cost of dog ownership. So how much does it cost to own a dog?

Here is a breakdown of some of the costs associated with owning a pet.

Start-Up Costs

Whether you choose to adopt a dog from the local pet shelter or decide to go with a private breeder, you will end up paying for the animal. Some breeders and shelters include the spay and neuter fee in the initial cost.

Ask whether the dog is current on all shots or if they are going to need to get caught up.

These fees can add up fast, so ask ahead of time and limit the surprise fees.

Pet Food

Depending on the size of your dog you will have varying amounts of money for food and treats. You can buy single cans of specialty choices or bulk size bags of dry food. It makes sense that small dogs will eat less food which will mean less money required for daily feedings. Some dogs require special diets for health issues.

Treats can be purchased for a couple dollars for a bag or you can choose specialized treats that are designed for special breeds. Pet food can be expensive if you are not careful. When you first get the dog, you will have some trial and error till you decide which food is best for the animal.

Annual Shots/Checkup

All dogs will need to have yearly checkups and shots. Most vets will do the yearly checkup and routine shots in the range of $100 – $200. Call ahead to see what the fees are in your area.

Tip: Keep a record of when your pet receives the recommended shots. This will help if your dog is ever involved in a biting situation or you decide to let him move to a new home.

Flea & Tick Control

If your dog is going to be outside at any time, he will need some sort of flea and tick protection. This can range from under $10 at the local big box store to $20 and up per month. Find out what your vet suggests for your breed.

Dog Gear

You will need a collar, leash, food bowl and pet shampoo as well as a place for the animal to sleep. You can of course use a blanket or towel for a bed, but sometimes dogs do sleep better if they have a designated place of their own.

Owning a dog can be a rewarding experience for all members of the family, but you don’t want to be surprised by the cost of dog ownership. Do your research and then bring home a new furbaby!

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