Many people jump head first into a puppy without considering the big picture. This time of year, often sees puppies arriving in homes with little thought to life after the first few weeks.
They’re cute and fuzzy and look great with a bow on under the tree on Christmas morning, but short-sighted puppy purchases often result in full shelters come February. Aside from a lifetime commitment, there is a huge financial cost in raising a puppy. Let’s examine the first year.
Purchase Price of a Puppy
Straight out of the gate, a new dog can cost anywhere from $50 to several thousand, with $500 – $1200 being about average. This initial cost is typically nothing compared to the entirety of the dog’s life.
Vet Care Cost for a Puppy
First vet visits and exams can run anywhere from $100 to $300 which can include a fecal analysis, vaccines and parasite prevention. A second vet visit to complete the vaccination protocol can run a similar amount a few weeks later. Fees to spay and neuter a dog range from $100 on the low end to $400 on the high end with full blood panels prior to anesthetic. Some vet clinics will offer a puppy package at a slight savings, which can be helpful for a bit of a break.
Feeding Cost for a Puppy
Feeding a dog for a year can range from $30 per month for a low end kibble to $100 per month for a premium food. This puts the range at $360 to $1200 for a year of feeding.
Training Costs for a Puppy
A well trained and well socialized dog is a joy to own. The opposite can be a nuisance and can even cost thousands of dollars in property destruction and vet bills, so lets consider some basic training. Set aside anywhere from $200 – $700 for socialization and basic skills training classes.
Equipment Costs for a Puppy
The first year of a dog’s life will require collars, leashes, dog crates and beds. This initial investment will run you anywhere from $75 – $300 depending on the size and individual needs/tastes of the household.
Grooming Costs for a Puppy
Grooming costs can range from $30 – $100 depending on the extent of work needed. Some dogs require clipping or coat trims while others may just need bathing and nail trims. Often you can do your own grooming at home, but you may decide to have a professional help or you may require it depending on the needs of the dog.
We’ve examined the first year of dog ownership, but a healthy dog can live 10 – 16 years, so multiply these costs. In addition, health issues that arise can climb quite high, quite quickly. Considering the cost to simply walk in the door at the Emergency Vet is typically $95, unexpected bills can accumulate quite quickly. The lifetime costs of even a healthy dog can be quite high. While we consider any cost as a small price to pay for the love, fun and devotion of dog, it is important to weigh them and be prepared.