Thinking about getting a pet? Let's walk through the true cost of having one. To keep things simple, in this blog I am going of focus on the cost of having a dog and use mostly average prices. Pictured above are our very much loved family dogs Finn & Haley.
One- Time Fees:
Initial Price: Cost depends on age and breed and whether you want to adopt a rescue or adopt from a breeder.
- Maryland SPCA adoption fees for dogs range from $125 to $325 plus $25 for mandatory microchipping
- According to an article by Forbes, adopting from a breeder can range anywhere from $500 to $3000
Neutering/spaying: Cost varies. Many vets offer puppy packages that can reduce the cost for shots, visits, and spaying or neutering. Vetstreet.com states that at private vet practices, the procedures can run from $100-$600.
- There are plenty of low-cost spaying/neutering clinics available with a quick google search; however, don't go that route just to save money. Do your research. They must skimp on many things to be able to provide the procedure at a low cost
- Question to ask yourself: Which price point allows me the standard of care I am looking for, for my pet?
- Crate: $40 to $50 for a heavy-duty crate that can grow with your puppy
- Shots: Puppy shots series can average $120, plus annual shot fees
*If you aren't adopting a puppy, the dog you adopt may already be spayed/neutered and have most of its early shots already so some of these costs may not apply.
Annual/ Monthly Fees:
- Toys: Varies for each pet owner. If you have a toy shredder like my family, you could have to replace them every month. $10-$20 per month.
- Dog food and treats:Anywhere between $200-$500 per year depending on the type you want to buy
- Annual Medical Checkups: $50 to $100
- Random: pet collars ($20), leashes ($15), beds ($30), food and water bowls ($10 to $20)
- Medicine: Either for acute incidences or chronic conditions. Pets get sick and can also be diagnosed with lifelong problems. Be prepared for either and have enough emergency fund money for your pet to pay for them.
- Grooming: Certain breeds require regular grooming because they don’t naturally shed or maybe you don't have enough space in an apartment to bathe your dog at home. Also, if you aren't comfortable clipping your dog’s nails that is another fee to consider.
- Pet Sitting: Do you have friends or family that can stay with your dog if you go on vacation? If not, you will need to look into having someone dog sit or find a place to board them. Also consider vacations that you can bring dogs on. Boarding a dog averages about $35 a night for a medium size breed.
- If you are unfortunate enough to have a pet need urgent medical attention, the cost can hit hard. If it is outside of normal veterinary practice hours, an emergency vet is probably your only option. The fees for emergency vets can add up quickly (our puppy ate a bee and cost us $1000 one weekend). Dogs and puppies alike get into random trouble all the time so once again make sure you have an emergency fund for your pet.
- Training classes: Whether you are a first-time dog owner or have a rambunctious puppy like we did, classes are awesome for socialization and help with training. Prices vary per company and number of sessions.
- One really big consideration before adopting a dog is time. What kind of hours do you work? Will you need a dog walker or some type of doggie day care while you’re at work? If you like to go out multiple times a week after work or maybe you have a side hustle to help make some extra money, adding a pet will change that routine a lot.
In my opinion, a dog is so worth the cost - as long as you have the extra cash and time to spend!
Author: Kirsten Eddy, Junior Portfolio Analyst