Post # 1
Darling Husband is a dog lover and would like a dog one day. I love dogs, but see them as an expensive hobby. I didn’t grow up with them, so I don’t have much reference.
We don’t live in a home that is suitable for a dog… but I know when we move, that will be one of the factors we’d consider.
I know it can be a regional thing – but how much do you typically spend on your dog?
We’ll likely have two large-sized dogs (like labradors), if that helps.
Post # 3
I spent a lot. Both dogs are big and older and have joint issues. They take daily supplements. And allergy issues. One dog has had knee surgery.
Their food is exspensive. And there’s grooming. And occasional vet visits. (And boarding if you go out of town.)
I don’t know what the ballpark figure would be…but it’s expensive.
Whatever you do, get pet insurance. That would have saved me $$$.
That said…I absolutely adore having my dogs and life wouldn’t be the same without them.
Post # 4
Honestly, it’s hard to say. Like you said it varies regionally, and also on the individual dog.
You have dog food and supplies, vet visits every 3-4 weeks until they are about 16 weeks old, spay/neuter, annual vet visits, monthly heartworm and flea/tick prevention, arrangements when you go away, training classes, and then there is no way to count in possible emergency costs.
With 2 labs, you’re looking at a lot of dog food, and you can count on regular vet visits for allergies/skin/ear issues (obv. this varies regionally but labs are what we see most often in the clinic where I work!) and for eating things they’re not supposed to! I would recommend injury and illness pet insurance for most any dog. Annuals aren’t worth covering, but when your dog needs an $1800 cruciate repair surgery it comes in handy!
Sorry if this didn’t help at all, but I wanted to shed light that you are right, they are an expensive hobby.
Post # 5
We have a lab mix and here’s our breakdown:
$250 per year on vaccinations and heartworm/flea/tick meds (just had this appointment a couple weeks ago and we buy these meds a year at a time)
$45 every 3-4 weeks on her food (so about $675 a year – we buy Blue Buffalo food though so there are certainly less expensive food options out there)
$20 every 2 months on her acid reflux meds (so about $120 a year and obviously most dogs don’t need this).
$125 at the kennel every time we go out of town for the weekend (~$40/day – This total cost will vary depending on how much you travel)
~$100-$150 in toys and treats each year (but she destroys toys so we go through them more quickly than most)
$11 for each nail trim/grind (about once a month so about $132 a year – we could do this at home but she HATES it so we’d rather not fight with her – we’ll let the pros handle it)
We adopted our dog from a shelter when she was about 1.5 so she already had all of her initial puppy shots, spay/neuter, microchip, etc. Since she is a lab she doesn’t need lots of grooming (we just bath her at home in the bath tub when needed) but some breeds would require trims and such with some frequency.
So in total, we spend a little over $1300 + kenneling (which is a variable cost) a year probably on our dog. Obviously if you have an emergency or major health issue come up, that will increase.
Post # 6
- Wedding: September 2011 - Clark Gardens
The first year there were a lot of one-time costs (spay/neuter, microchip, frequent shots, obedience school etc.) so I’d say in the first year we spent around $1000…but after that the costs go down significantly to probably around $350-400 a year or so (food, toys, vet checkups, occasional boarding). We have a healthy, happy dog though. If your dog needs extra training or has medical issues, obviously costs are going to be a lot more than that.
Post # 7
We just adopted our 5 year old dog in February, and we have spent roughly $2k. However, when we got her she needed all her vaccines, and also had an infection that needed to be treated with meds for several months. We also feed her natural dog food which is a little pricier (about $30/month).
To be honest, I wasn’t ever a big dog person. We had a dog growing up but my mom mostly took care of her. But getting our dog has changed my views. I am in LOVE with her. Seriously, I cant imagine not having her. She brings so much joy to our life. And even though they can be expensive, its worth it.
Post # 8
Man, I don’t think I even want to know. The first year is definitely the worst in regards to spending money.
Our pup is really spoiled so she gets a lot of toys, which adds up. She’s small though, which is good for food costs. Having 2 large dogs is going to be expensive when it comes to food.
Honestly, I don’t even think about it…The benefits far outweigh the money negatives. ETA: if I had to take a guess, maybe like $1,000 a year? That’s with vet visits, food, toys, everything.
Post # 9
We have a 3.5 year old Jack Russell Terrier, who (so far, knock on wood!) hasn’t had any major health problems. Our yearly spending is:
$400-500/year on vet visit/heartworm/vaccines/flea and tick
$46.50/week on dog walker (we both work M-F 9-5, dog walker comes 3 days a week, the other 2 days he goes “visiting” to each of our parents houses – he is a very social dog!)
$30/every 3 months on food
$20/every 2 months on nail clipping – we could do this ourselves, but our little guy HATES to have this done, and after he head butted me and gave me a black eye while we were trying to do it, we decided to let the professionals handle it!
$100-$150/year on toys/treats/new leashes, etc. – Jack Russell’s destroy toys, so he needs new things to play with fairly often.
ETA: Obviously, the killer in our dog-stuff budget is the dog walking, but I really feel like that is a necessity if you both work “typical” schedules – dogs really shouldn’t go 9-10 hours without getting a chance to go outside and do their thing.
Post # 10
I just thought that I would add that, IMO, the benefits of our dog far outweigh the costs. I never even really think about the costs (I was sitting here coming up with them strictly for your post). She brings so much joy to our lives and we are looking to get a second dog very soon.
Post # 11
@Mrs.KMM: I totally agree. I gagged a little when I added up all the money we spend, but our dog is really one of the best things in our lives, he is just so sweet and loving, and we love spending time with him.
Post # 12
For my healthy 80 pound dog I spend a pretty penny. Her food is $28 a month (and that’s the cheapest I’ve ever seen it – she eats Diamond Naturals). On top of that I probably spend $20 on toys every month to replace the ones she’s broken, $10 on treats, plus the cost of frontline and heart guard (forget how much they cost – I buy them 6 months at a time). Then every year she has her checkup and vaccines (I would contact a local vet to see how much that would cost you).
Once she gets older I anticipate the vet bills will increase significantly. If you ever go on vacation you have to consider the added cost of either bringing them or boarding them while your gone. I also thoroughly recommend investing in puppy classes.
This link has a pretty comprehensive list of costs associated with dog ownership (and that’s just for 1 dog): http://dogs.about.com/od/becomingadogowner/a/costofdogs.htm
Post # 13
The first year is a lot of one off expenses (getting fixed, first round of shots, supplies, training etc). After that it isn’t too bad, probably about $400 for both our dogs for shots/heartguard for the year. The food we buy is kind of expensive ($50 a bag) but worth it because a higher protein diet means the dog consumes less, plus our dog has some kind of allergy and when we switched foods she stopped scratching and chewing. There’s the dog licenses which are $25 per dog each year where we live. There are also toys to think about but that varies by dog.
We have it kind of easy tho because I work nights and Darling Husband works at home so we don’t need a dog walker or doggy day care. If we go out of town my parents or BIL watch the dogs. There is an occasional emergency trip to the vet but they are few and far between.
Post # 14
It depends if it is a good… healthy year or a bad year.
First year, we got her she was sick and so there were quite a few vet visits. We finally treated her IBS with prescription dog food.
On a good/ healthy year, my costs are about $600-800 a year. If she’s a sick doggie than closer to $1000 or more.
ETA: Oh, I forgot about boardings and such. Probably on a good year, overall, it is closer to $1000 and on a bad year, it’s over $1000.
Post # 15
@highwire: WHAT!?! That seems seriously low…
Post # 16
We have two medium size dogs (55 pounds each)
Interceptor(Heartworm Med): 180
Yearly Vet Visit: 300
Groomer (every other month): 240
Food Combined: 550
Toys/Bone Combined: 300
Total for two dogs: $2,600 or $1,300 per dog on average