(Closed) Let’s talk about getting a dog

posted 8 years ago in Pets
Post # 17
3525 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010


We keep her on heartworm medicine year round and flea meds we start a month before the last frost till a month after the first frost.

A 6pack of heartworm for a large breed is about $50 depending on where you get it from.

As far as the $100, I think our base office visit is like $40 so when they are a pup each time you go in (for a typical visit) it’s usually for a shot of some sort.

And god yeah, we ran a allergy test on our pup and she’s allergic…..to the world. Seriously. Pollen, dust mites, pores that are on grass, you name it, she’s allergic!

Post # 18
14949 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

We just got our puppy about a week and a half ago.  He’s about 9 weeks, 22 lbs lab mix with pyrenees, or newfoundland, and probably a bunch of other stuff.  We picked him up on a Friday morning to have the entire weekend with him, then it was back to work on Monday as usual.  During the weekday he is crated when we are not home, and someone comes by during lunch to let him out and play with him/let him run around the yard for 30-45 minutes. 

He hasnt been to any classes yet, but we’re trying to train him ourself.  In the first week, he’s learned to sit on command, and he’s almost got ‘down’ and ‘shake’ also now.  We’re bugging him, touching his feet, his food when he eats, holding him, flipping him on his back on us, everything to make him used to it and not fight back.  He’s slowly learning that he’s not getting his food until we say he can.  And we’re still having trouble with walking him on a leash.  He will walk and follow not on a leash, but the second the leash is on he wants to tug away for some reason.

He’s eating 3 cups of food a day right now and our 35 lb bag cost $40 (amazon – chicken soup for puppy lovers, or some long name like that).  He just had his first vet visit which cost us $45, for just a check up, no shots yet.  The extra large crate he’ll need is about $100.  We have a small one that we borrowed from a friend for now.  You should proably just get a big one with a divider.

During the day on the weekend we dont crate him, and he just follows us around the house.  If we both have to do something real quick we usually crate him for max 30 minutes.  He’s usually good about that and wont bark much, but when he does, its so hard to not go scoop him up and hold him, but that is the last thing we CAN do, cause we dnot want him to learn that he can get his way by whining.  We make sure to let him out about every hour or 2, but he’s had about 5 or 6 accidents so far.  The worse is the night time.  He doesnt like being in the crate if he’s not sleepy so when he wakes up at 5am…. he just howls and whines and barks.  Usually the 5am waking is cause he has to go, so one of us gets up to let him out and then puts him back to go back to sleep… he usually whines for another 30 minutes before he gives up.  Then at 7am… he starts again, and this morning he didnt give up for over an hour.  In only the 10 or so nights we’ve had him, I’d say there’s been 3 that I’ve been woken up and screaming at my husband to shut the dog up before I throw him out… and that I could get rid of him right now and not care…. I’d been running on about 4-5 hours of sleep and was extremely tired and fustrated.  But other than that, how could I not love this face….

Post # 19
13095 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I’d be a bit hesitant to get a dog when your SO is out of work.  Dogs are EXPENSIVE, especially puppies.

We have a lab mix and here’s our breakdown:

$250 per year on vaccinations and heartworm/flea/tick meds (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 # 20
2950 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Dogs are SUPER expensive. We actually dont have kids because we have dogs instead lol.

The bigger the dog the more money they can be. We have a lab and they eat ALOT. When she was a puppy she chewed on everything and took forever to potty train and would bark for HOURS when locked in the kennel outside. It was quite a hassle to be honest. If i had to do it over again I would probably get a rescue dog that was NOT a puppy. Maybe a juvenile if your set on a younger dog. Labs are very active and need to be walked EVERYDAY for at LEAST an hour preferrably longer. Labs can be territorial with family but arent really good guard dogs in the long run. Neither are retrievers.They are extremely affectionate lol.

We didnt do puppy classes because I train my own dogs.

I would def recommend crain training but since mine are potty trained they hardly ever go in their crates.

Labs shed like CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  and retrievers have to be brushed daily!

PM if you want. 😀

Post # 21
7289 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

@pinkshoes: hehe I remember those nights! Amp up his excercise, and start practicing the SHHHHhhh command. Everytime he sits, go Shhh as in stop and don’t move. When he does somethign naughty , go Shhh, too hyper slow him down with SHHHHHH. If you do it enough, he begins to see the correlation with STOP and shh. Now if he wines in the morning ( and clearly doesn’t need the potty) we just go SHHHHHHHH and he goes back to bed or quiets down. Perhaps you could buy a rawhide or bone to busy himself until you guys are ready to get up?

Post # 22
3525 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010


We failed miserably on the first night. We ended up moving her crate outside of our bedroom door so she can see us. But she was still whining. It was so sad and pathetic. My husband and I ended up sleeping on the floor with her the first night. Us on the floor and her in her crate. It was pathetic.

The second night she came in bed with us and she’s been sleeping with us ever since.

Post # 23
1927 posts
Buzzing bee

@MsBrooklynA:  The first day we had him was the one and only time he ever pooped inside.  Training him to not pee inside took a little longer.  Maybe three weeks until he fully understood it, and even after that he would still have an accident every now and then if he got really excited.  I would say he was probably 6months old before he was 100% accident free. 

As far as crating according to one dog training book we used.. you take their current age in month, add 1, and that’s the number of hours they could be crated at a time.  So a two month old puppy shouldn’t be crated for more than 3 hours.

Our pup used to sleep in the bed with us for the first year and a half or so.  Then I got sick of having doggie drool and hair on my sheets so we moved him to a blanket next to our bed.  It took about three nights for him to learn he’s not allowed in the bed any more.

Post # 24
3218 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

The previous bees have given you lots of good information, but I wanted to put in a note– please don’t think flea and heartworm prevention is optional.  Your dog is going to be outside a lot, especially since you’re training a hunting dog, and prevention is by far, the cheapest way to deal with fleas or heartworms.  I’ve worked at shelters and a vet’s office and it’s so much better to just prevent heartworms than to have to treat a pup for them. 

If your dog is going to be around other dogs eventually, be sure to socialize early.  Have different people come over to meet the dog for people socialization! Once he/she’s had all their shots, take them to PetSmart, the dog park, out with friends! You want your puppy to meet lots of people and have lots of positive experiences with other dogs and strangers while they’re young. 

Post # 25
14949 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

@Eva Peron: We still have not tried rawhide yet.  We tried a Kong with PB and treats, but he was not interested at all.  We’ll need to get rawhide and see if he likes that more, but I thought a lot of people said he should not be left alone with it incase he gets a big chuck off and tries to swallow it.

@Gerbera: aww. We’re adamant that he not be let up on the bed or furniture.  My mom is not a dog person at all, so if we plan to be able to have her baby sit for us at our home when the time comes, we absolutely cannot have the dog jumping on the couch with her or anything like that. 

Post # 27
5790 posts
Bee Keeper

Ours is a Beagle/Shih Tzu mix. Only in good old New Jersey/suburbs, but yes, the fees are pretty common here.

Post # 28
12 posts
  • Wedding: October 2010

I don’t have a lot to add on the costs of pups–they definitely aren’t cheap.  But I did want to say that make sure you really do your homework before you pick up a dog.  We have two hunting dogs (springer spaniels).  We lucked out with the first and got a great dog at the pound.  But for the second, after trying unsuccessfully to adopt the right dog through a rescue organization, we did a lot of research in order to find a responsible breeder and dogs with the right personality.  If you do decide to get a dog through a breeder, make sure you really do some research on the breeder, and meet the parent dogs!  I can’t stress this enough!  They are your best indication of the personality of the dog you’ll be getting.  Labs in particular are pretty popular in my area, and I know from experience that they really run the gammut as far as personality.  You will seriously go crazy if you end up with a really high energy dog who is difficult to train, especially if you haven’t had dogs before.  Unfortunately, that breed has been plagued by backyard breeders, and a lot of dogs really ended up with some bad bloodlines.

And as far as training, if you truly want your dogs to be able to hunt, I would highly recommend taking classes and not trying to do it yourself.  Training hunting dogs can be a little different than training dogs for companions only.  I also think that our dogs really benefited from the socialization from classes, and learning to obey even with a lot of distractions. 

Just my two cents!

Post # 29
6659 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

I raised my puppy as a single mom before I had to give her up due to job change (she lives with my parents now, so it’s not so horrible). I’ll be honest it was WAY more responsibility and money than I thought it was going to be. It was also very stressful because she had separation anxiety even though I raised her staying home all day while I was at work.

One thing I didn’t think about enough was the fact that I could never go out after work because I had to go home – even if I could have paid for a dog walker (which I couldn’t at the time), taht’s still a LONG time to be home alone. So it’s definitely good that your SO will be home during the day.

And the vet bills were crazy. I had to take her for her shots and after all of the fees, etc. it was about $2K. Then I had to have her spayed. And the grooming was so expensive, close th $90 per visit (NYC prices). Luckily she never needed any surgery, but I’ve heard horror stories from my friends.

Another thing I’m reminded of whenever we dogsit for our friends is how awful it is to have to walk the dog several times a day regardless of how you’re feeling or the weather. So if you have too much to drink the night before and want to sleep until noon that is no longer an option. And if there’s a blizzard or if it’s pouring sideways rain too bad.

I love my dog, but if I could do it all over again I would have waited until I was married with at least my first child before adopting a dog. Because then at least you are already taking on the responsbility of having a baby so it isn’t such a huge lifestyle shift.

Post # 30
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

We just adopted our sweet female pit bull mix from the shelter about 2 weeks ago.  She’s approx. 1 yr.  Her adoption fee was $30 + $16 for a city dog license and she was already spayed plus had all her shots.

Her first vet appointment was $220 which included her flea/tick and heartworm medication for the year.

We decided to go with a higher quality grain-free food for her which was around $50 for a 25-lb bag.  This is just the decision we made for us and our dog, but you can save some money on the food with a more average type of food.

We are finding we’re going through a lot of treats in the beginning working with training and commands so there’s a cost involved there too.  Her crate was around $70.  I think I am covering everything in terms of cost.

Our girl came from a home already and was surrendered by her owner to the shelter, so she knows a thing or two about living in a home already.  She was more or less house trained from day 1.  She went twice in the house the first two days, and hasn’t since then.  We provide lots of praise when she goes outside to reinforce this.  We both work full time outside the home.  She is not shut in the crate during the day but enjoys hanging out in there when we’re not home.  She chewed some of our shoes one day, but no other chewing issues since then (we now put the shoes away).  If she were to start chewing furniture or elements of the house we’d probably have to start crating her when we’re out.  She sleeps on a pad on the floor in our room.  She already knows a bunch of commands but we’re working on heeling on the leash better, “stay,” “release,” etc.  We’re signed up for a 7-week course starting in Nov.

It’s been so enjoyable for us but not all easy.  It’s challenging getting her enough exercise to where she is not running around the house full of energy at the end of the day.  Since we both work, I take her for a 30-40 min walk in the morning before work.  Then my husband gets home around 5:30 and spends 30-40 min or so playing fetch with her in a fenced empty lot by our house.  We usually do another 30 min walk after dinner with her.  This seems to be enough but every dog’s energy level is different.  I think we can expect her to need less with age as well.

Anyway that’s been our experience so far!  Hope it helps!

Post # 31
955 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

We adopted both our dogs from shelters, $75 adoption fee for each (one pit bull and one boxer mix). That included their spay and all their shot to be current. We spend abourt $50.00 for Blue Buffalo food every 3 or 4 weeks. Yearly shot we have done at a discount. There are several traveling groups that do this every year at your local pet supply stores (like Petco). So we get most of their shots and their heartworm and flea protection from them at a large discount. It is about $100.00 per dog for everything I think. They are actually great places with real vets. Then we just update their records with our vet and the county. They do go to the vet occasionaly for other incidents, which end up costing anywhere from $75.00 to cut off a broken nail (was down past the quick) to $400 for a couple nights stay for a possible bowel obstruction after eating too many bones. So there always things that end up popping up, but they dont happen too often. We buy treats when we get their food and it is usally another $6- $15 for a huge bag of milk bones and a huge bag of rawhides. One dog was a year old when we got her so she was potty trained. The other was 10 weeks I think so we had to train her. For us it was easier cause the other dog kind of showed her what to do. But the night my Darling Husband peed in the backyard and she saw him was that last time we had any accidents in the house..lol. We did not crate train at all, the first week is always tough cause they whine at night but once they get use to your smell, if you provide a blanket or shirt or somehting with your scent for them to sleep with it usually helps them. We get toys often but they just tear them up with in minutes so I only buy ones on clearance or at the dollar store. Their Kongs are the only thing they have not detroyed so we fill those often with treats for something to do.

When we go out of town we are lucky that my parents watch our dogs so we dont have to pay for boarding. I know that can get expensive.

We had Goldens and Labs (golden was pure bread and registered) while I was younger (teen years) and they were great dogs. They were chewers as puppies big time and absolute hellions as pups but theyturn into really great dogs! Ours  did have skin allergies, hip problems, and ear issues. And our Golded ended up with cancer at a early age and we had to be put down. That is just my experience with the breeds, dont mean to be a downer,  I just tend to shy away from those breeds to avoid the heartache we experinced before. But to each their own ….they make wonderful companions. 

Good luck with getting a dog. They are great, sometimes it’s just tough getting thru the puppy stage, but even then they are so cute 🙂

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