Should I Get a Dog?

They're cute; they're fluffy, they're expensive!

Our furry friends feel less like pets and more like parts of our family. They are akin to children, and most of us could hardly imagine life without our fluffy family member. However, if you are still in the consideration stage of buying a dog, there are a couple of financial implications you may not realize. If you don't financially prepare for dog ownership, you may not be able to give your dog the care it deserves. Today, we will evaluate if you have enough money in the bank to properly take care of a puppy.

  • Purchase Price

    • Purchasing a dog is one of, but not the largest, cost of pet ownership. Buying a dog whether it is from a breeder or a pet store can range from $350 - $3,500. If you are an English bulldog lover, you may even see your prices go up to $10,000. If you opt for the adoption route, you can still expect to pay around $250.

    • Simply put, getting a dog is expensive. A word to the wise: don't browse until you have looked at your finances. You may get hooked and impulse buy!

      • TOTAL = $250 - $10,000

  • Healthcare Costs

    • Healthcare can be the most significant cost of a dog annually especially if you adopted and the shelter may not know their full health background. An average visit to the vet can cost dog owners $50 - $400 with preventative medicine for roughly $20 per month. Healthcare costs do not include any surgeries or emergency treatments your dog may require. If you are buying a dog from a breeder, make sure you have researched the breeder and the health of the breed itself. Some breeds are naturally more healthy than others. Know what the healthcare costs of your breed are before you buy.

      • TOTAL = $1,000 - $20,000+ annually

  • Food Costs

    • Dogs require one very obvious thing, food! As quality has increased for pet food, so has the price. Today, some dogs are fed better than their owners! Dog food can range from $20 - $45 and that may last a month. So, you can expect to spend roughly $400 a year on dog food.

      • TOTAL = $300 - $540 annually

  • Equipment Costs

    • Dogs also require leashes, bowls, play toys, beds, and bones. You may also need a fence, training gear, and other tools to protect your home from damage. These costs can be anywhere between $250 - $1,000 due to personal preference.

      • TOTAL = $250 - $1,000 annually


    • Obedience school is anything but cheap. Obedience school on average is between $1,000 - $2,500. This cost assumes that your pup only needs one round of obedience training. If you have more than one pet that cost doubles or if you have a particularly ornery pup you may need to pay for this again.

      • TOTAL = $1,000 - $2,500


    • Most dogs damage your home, especially if you are a first-time dog owner. You may not be able to avoid their chewing or ruining furniture. Just like a newborn, a puppy needs to be watched like a hawk. Depending on your taste will depend on the level of damage your dog may incur on your home. Some dogs are relatively mild, and some can ruin your beautiful wood floors. Again, research your breed to ensure that your home type fits your pet.

      • TOTAL = $250 - unlimited

Final Costs:

The least expensive amount you can expect to spend in a given year, including purchase price, is a whopping $2,800. The most, especially if there are healthcare considerations, could be up to $25,000. Are you financially prepared for a furry friend? Or is it time to start saving up?

budgetingElizabeth Thompson