Cost of Owning a Dog

“Remember that if you own a dog, that means you  love dogs. The money should not ever stop you from caring for or taking in a puppy that needs a home, but you have to be aware of the cost and your commitment to the animal. The animal’s needs have to come first. Lack of funds is no excuse for not providing adequate care for an animal. If you can not meet the needs of the animal or you are not fully committed to providing the time, energy, and finances that your dog needs then you should not bring that animal into your home. It just is not fair to them.”

Man with a dog

I am often asked by prospective pet owners what it costs to own a dog. Most pet owners calculate the price of the food and add it to the cost of the dog and figure that they can afford it regardless of their budget. The reality is that very few people have any idea how much owning a dog really costs and grossly underestimate it.

Why does it matter what it costs to own a dog? After all, we love our pets and we would not put a price on their health and happiness. The hard facts are that the cost of owning a dog is an extremely important consideration for a number of often overlooked reasons. The first concerns the purchase price of the dog. Many people balk at paying $500 to $1000 for a dog. They rationalize that they simply can not afford it and settle for a poorly bred $150 puppy instead. What a huge mistake. The cost of a guaranteed healthy, well-bred $1000 puppy is a fraction of what it will cost to own that dog for 12 years. A poorly bred dog with bad hips, allergies, and a not so bright disposition will end up costing you thousands more in medical bills not to mention hours of frustration and disappointment. At the same time, if you are not going to pay for a high quality purebred, then do the animal kingdom a favor and go to the shelter and get a mixed breed puppy that will be healthier and smarter than a poorly bred ‘purebred.’

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