A classmate suggested that I write about the cost of owning a dog so that interested future dog owners can plan and perhaps budget for it.
I’d like to say that my family crunched numbers before we made the decision to get a dog, but we didn’t. We went into this with eyes-wide-shut!
I surveyed some of my dog-owner friends and asked about their monthly dog-related costs. The responses were hilarious and the costs, luckily, were not too scary. What I also discovered is that there isn’t a set, one-size fits all, monthly or yearly cost for a dog. There are many factors that come into play. The following is a generalization and quick run-down of numbers based on my friends’ personal doggy-spending habits:
Cost of Dog
This is a one-time (unless you decide on more than one dog) and obvious cost. The cost will depend greatly on the size and age of your dog, and whether it’s a pure breed, a mix, or a rescue dog. Pure breeds tend to be the most expensive and can range from $1000-$2000 for a puppy. Adopting a rescue dog costs considerably less: $210 for a male and $240 for a female dog through the City of Toronto’s Animal Services. A smaller mixed puppy can cost around $800-900.
Food & Treats
Again, the cost of food and treats depend on the size and age of your dog, and the quality of food you choose for your dog. A German Shepard, like my pal Maverick eats about $150 worth of food a month. My medium-sized dog pals Jake and Martha, eat about $70-$80 a month worth of food.
Again your vet costs will depend upon the health of your dog, and hopefully they don’t get sick. A “healthy” vet visit will cost about $100. When you first get a pup you’ll have to visit the vet a few times for immunizations, but generally you don’t see your vet more than once or twice a year.Embed from Getty Images
Grooming and Spa Visits
If your dog needs grooming, it can cost about $70-100 a month to send your special furry friend to the doggy spa. Some people buy nail clippers and brushes and try to do it themselves. But some dogs need a professional’s touch and maybe even pampering! Some dogs have hair rather than fur, so they do require haircuts.
Other monthly costs can include…
Doggy sitting – $30-50/day for family vacations that don’t include fido.
Toys & Chew Sticks/Bones – about $25-30 month. It can be hard to resist a cute new toy when shopping for their dog food!
As you can see the costs can add up. But is it worth it? My friends gave a resounding and unequivocal YES. This is how my (hilarious!) friend described Maverick, her adopted German Shepard, “he’s a like a Ferrari – good-looking on the outside, but requires a lot of maintenance.” He is an expensive dog, but he’s lucky that “he is the “George Clooney” of German Shepherds!” Bow-wow to that!Embed from Getty Images
Another friend also said that her little Jake “gets only the best! We skimp on the children.” I have actually heard that more than once about dogs vs kids! Hum, I wonder what will happen when Carter overtakes, I mean, becomes part of our family?
The list of these expenses don’t take into account the ‘start-up’ costs associated with owing a dog. My family got a little carried away when we made those purchases. More on that in my next post.