A couple of weeks ago I posted about 5 Things to Consider Before Adding a Puppy To Your Family which included the lifetime commitment, where you want to adopt, breed preferences, etc. So if you are new to this post and looking to add a puppy to your family soon I recommend checking it out! Something that most don’t think about is how much puppies actually cost. We expected an adoption fee and food and some shots – but to be totally honest, it’s super easy to not realize how much that will actually cost when it all comes together. However, things like shots are super important to the overall health and well-being for you puppy over the course of it’s life.
- The Adoption Fee.
It doesn’t matter if you adopt from a shelter or off of Craigslist – pets come with an adoption fee. It can be anywhere from $50 – $450 (or even more!) As much as it would be nice to just sign a contract, get approved for a slide scale amount just because you look like the perfect pet home. It just doesn’t work that way. It’s just like with anything in life though – if people gave out free puppies even more would be dogs in the shelters or streets because you invest more time & energy into things you pay for. The thing about giving an adoption fee to a shelter vs a breeder is that the shelter is putting it back into the business where a breeder is putting it in their pocket. We felt good about giving our money to a shelter.
- Vet Bills.
Puppies need a variety of shots right out of the gate, and sometimes they get sick too. How many shots depends on the age of your puppy and what shots they have had in the past. Some shots needed are more expensive than others, as well as, some vets charge an office visit while others do not. Once your puppy has it’s last round of shots – usually around 16-18 weeks they will not need them again for 1 year, and then not again for another 3 years. You should still account for the possibility of check-ups or sickness in the future.
- Pet Food.
Feeding dogs are expensive and the expense rate depends on the size of dog and the quality of food that you purchase. Hard food is best for dogs because it helps clean their teeth due to it being more abrasive and wet food can build up tartar. Back in 2007 we did a lot of research on pet foods after learning a lot about what is inside cheap dog food brands – things that would make your stomach knot up and queasy. In fact, for quite some time we fed our dogs a raw diet of boiled chicken and rice, along with multivitamins, until we found a food we felt good about feeding to our dogs. We chose Canidae which is a little more pricey – $55 for a 44lb bag but it’s a quality food.
- Pet Extras – Treats & Toys.
Toys don’t have to be super expensive to be effective but unless you want your favorite slippers to be your dogs newest chew toys I suggest you get some. It’s easy to up-cycle old items into toys as well. Old holey shirts can have knots tied into them or even old stuffed animals or a couple from the Dollar Store can be a big hit.
- Grooming and/or Pet Sitting.
These two depend on the dog type and your lifestyle. If you travel a lot for business or otherwise and you don’t have a friend or family member to watch your pup for a few days then doggy daycare or a pet sitter will be your best bet. Cost will depend on where you live, as well as, what the facility or pet sitter offers. As for grooming if you are planning to get a puppy with long or curly hair it’ll be important that you get your puppy to the groomer throughout it’s lifetime that way they don’t get overgrown or matted. If you have a dog with short hair and you are comfortable clipping their nails then you won’t have to worry about that type of expense.
What expenses would you add to the list? Are any of these items listed something you haven’t thought of?