Buying a dog is a big financial decision. Not only do you have to come up with upfront costs, but you need to factor in a monthly budget for food, hygiene, and periodical pet expenses. Create a financial pet plan before getting a new puppy and consider getting pet insurance to protect yourself from unexpected pet bills. Here are things to consider when creating your pet plan.
1. How Much is that Doggy in the Window? Upfront Pet Costs
Choosing your dog is the first step. You can go the purebred route and pay a premium for a pup with papers. Depending on the rarity of your breed and the supply available, your dog can cost anywhere from $400-$4000. Well supplied breeds like Labrador Retrievers cost less, while a rarer breed like a Dogo Argentino will cost upwards of $3800. Females are always more expensive than males because you can breed them and start a business, though I do not recommend breeding your animals.
2. Rescuing a Dog Can Benefit you Financially
I personally recommend rescuing a dog from a shelter or non profit pet rescue organization. I recently rescued a Mastiff Mix puppy and paid $200 for the adoption, which is tax deductible! Not only am I doing a great thing by rescuing a puppy that didn’t have a home, I also made a really good financial decision. I almost spent $1200 on a wolamute, getting absorbed into the idea of having a unique and rare breed – but I couldn’t get over the guilt of knowing that there were other dogs out there that would be easier to train, more happy to be in my home, and way cheaper! You could always go for a free pet on craigslist or a mutual friend.
3. Supplies for the new puppy.
Just like people, dogs need things…and lots of things. To properly take care of a dog you will need a crate and bedding, leash and collars, grooming tools, food bowls and food, and depending on your dog’s breed, a really good pet vacuum. And of course toys so the puppy won’t chew on your furniture – or at least to deter it from damaging your furniture too badly. Depending on your dogs size and temperament, a dog will cost you $60-$300 a month, According to Jenna Stregowski, a veterinary technician and writer for about.com. That is a huge spectrum, which is why researching your breed and its needs are so important. My mother spends about $80 a month for her active chihuahua, while I am looking at $160 for my mastiff.
4. Get your puppy vaccinated!
All new puppies need to get their puppy shots to protect them from illnesses. Dogs are very susceptible to diseases because of their curious nature. They smell everything, and can pick up diseases like crazy just from a simple daily walk. In addition, you cannot get a rabies shot for your dog without providing documentation that your dog has had all of its shots. The puppy shots are a series of four shots that are started from 6 weeks to 8 weeks and then once a month until the series is over. According to peteducation.com, the shots will protect your new puppy from adenovirus cough and hepatitis, distemper, parainfluenza, and parvovirus.
Properly preparing for your new puppy will reduce stress and prepare you for any surprises. Being a new puppy parent is more than bringing a dog home and teaching him or her to sit and not bite at your furniture. Factor in health expenses and consider pet insurance. It is better to be safe than to be forced to spend thousands on expensive pet health treatments or have to put your pet to sleep.