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Total cost for new dog ownership?

1578 Views 18 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Angie's Bella
I'm sure its been asked up I'd like some more precise figures. You see, I've recently come into about $3500 from the government. I got a load back on my income tax refund.

So, I am seriously thinking of taking a chunk of that and locking it into a GIC investment and keeping it as a "Doggie fund" to purchase and cover all initial ownership costs possible, including the first couple month's food.

So how much am I looking at for the following? (add some if you think I am forgetting anything).

Dog purchase from reputable breeder, I havent decided upon which breed yet. (boxer, dobe, or pit/AmStaff).


vet bills for shots and alterations

say 6 months food

Anything else?

Sorry if this post is stupid, I just have no idea how much any of this really costs....

Even the purchase price for some of the breeds mentioned have prices all over the map and I'm really unsure of what a well-bred dog with good temperament/health bloodlines will cost me in any of the aforementioned breeds...
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Collars, leashes, crate, toys, training classes, city license (if applicable), grooming supplies (brushes, nail clippers, toothpaste, shampoo), first aid kit, enzyme cleaner for those potty accidents, baby gates and/or an X-pen, more toys, chews, treats, pooper scooper, bucket, fencing for the backyard, pet insurance. I'm sure I've missed a few things.....
It seems that most decent breeders (of breeds that aren't terribly rare) charge about $600-$1200 for a pet-quality pup. Depends on the breeder.

Docking? Breeders do that when the pups are 3 days old. If you were to do it to an older dog it would be expensive and very painful. Do you mean cropping the ears? Many breeders do that for you, too. If not.....I don't know how much that costs, but definitely don't go cheap on that. I've seen SO many horrible crops. You want to find a vet that does lots of crops and has a good reputation for them, no matter how much it costs. Better to leave them natural if you can't find a vet that's good at it.

The prices for shots and neutering vary wildly depending on your vet and location. I pay around $100-$200 for a dog alter and around $20 for each vaccine. Pups need 3 rounds of combo vaccine and a rabies shot, so around $80 for shots. But then there's heartworm meds, flea meds, office fees, etc. Probably budgeting around $500 for the first year's vet bills would be about right. An emergency fund in case the pup eats something indigestible or gets a tummy bug would be a good idea.

For a decent quality food, let's say around $40-$50 a month for a large breed. So 6 months = around $300.

And, as TooneyDogs pointed out, there are a LOT of things dogs need that you didn't list.

Do you have a dog currently? If so, some things you should already have. If not, it will cost a lot to get all the proper accessories.
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Some things you probably hadn't thought of:

Cleanup Kit: $100
Portable blacklight - $20
Use this to find hidden urine stains. To dogs, urine spots are giant neon signs screaming, 'Pee here!' You can't smell it, but your dog can.
Enzymatic Cleaners - $50
Household cleaners don't cut it - you need specially formulated enzymatic cleaners that bind with urine crystals. Get at least a gallon.
3 Chamois Cloths - $30.
Super-absorbant cloths that wills ave you a lot of effort. I keep three: one to dry your wet dog, 1 to mop up accidents, and 1 as an emergency/travel shammy. I've heard that Shamwow is actually a great product, but I absolutely refuse to give any of my money to that annoying guy that's on my TV all the time, and the generic ones are cheaper anyway.

Travel Kit: $85
This is optional, but life is a lot easier with one of these. I'm assuming you've got an extra backpack, water bottle, and airtight plastic food containers around the house.
$30 - Seatbelt rig
$30 - Dog blanket (reinforced and waterproofed to protect your carseats)
$15 - 2 Folding food/water bowls
$10 - Baby wipes

Toys will probably set you back around $75, because I guarantee that your dog won't play with at least 1/3 of them. Remember the inverse puppy law: the more expensive the toy, the less attention your dog will pay to it. For a large-breed puppy, expect to replace the $20 of chew toys every month for six months.

Treats are really training tools, not snacks. If you're not homecooking them, don't be suprised if you spend over $40 a month. Training is fun, and it's really easy to get carried away (this is a good thing). You want the small, stinky treats that can be broken apart easily and smelled from across the room.

A large crate can run over $200; if you plan to crate as an adult, buy a large and partition it while a pup. Depending on your house, you'll probably want at least 2 pet/baby gates at about $35 each. A big plastic tub to store dry kibble will be another $35 or so.

Last, try to keep an extra $1,000 in the bank budgeted towards an emergency vet visit. Pray you won't ever need it, but it's always better to have cash on hand than to try and figure out how you're going to pay for an ER visit.
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So, I'm thinking that after purchase of the dog, I should be looking at 1000 (emerg fun for vets) plus like $1200-1300 to cover puppy shots, crate, toys, baby fences leashes collars ect ect? Then maybe $40 a month food after that?

I don't really "need" to have all this money saved up. But I would like to save maybe $1500-2000 of it just to take the edge off the initial purchase funding. Other than that my job will be able to cover the expenses. Just looking to make it a little easier and less stressful....

Thanks guys.
It seems that most decent breeders (of breeds that aren't terribly rare) charge about $600-$1200 for a pet-quality pup. Depends on the breeder.
You won't find a Doberman for less than $1500, and that is from an average litter and pedigree. I believe boxers come a little cheaper, but I could be wrong. Am Staff prices I know nothing about.

And I wouldn't buy a puppy from a breeder that didn't crop their ears. Unless a special request is made by a puppy buyer, the breeder should take responsibility of having the entire litter cropped.

On a side not, Am Staffs personalities are quite different from boxers and dobermans. What are you looking for in a dog? And is there a reason you want to purchase instead of adopt? Not that there is anything wrong with purchasing a dog from a quality breeder.
Hi....have you thought about rescuing a dog from a shelter? There are so many pups out there that need a home and the fees aren't that high --- all shelters are different (but the fee covers all shots & neutering/spaying)

Petfinder.com has a HUGE variety of dogs of all sizes and ages. My adoption fee was $150.00 -- he was 6 months when I got him & I couldn't ask for a better dog!:)

As far as food goes -- it depends on the size of the dog -- and if you plan on feeding basically all dog food or mix with human food

A leash and collar, shampoo, brush, bed, heartworm preventive meds, flea/tick preventive....should probably cost about $150.00
Sorry to hear about the refund. That sucks.

I'd plan on reserving the entire $3500 for a new dog. After the purchase and initial equipment buys, you'll want to have a fund in reserve for emergencies, should the dog get sick. Vet bills can get into the thousands pretty quickly.
Sorry to hear about the refund. That sucks.
No kidding. If I get more than $500 back I get mad. I don't care to give the government a large interest-free loan. Although I still can't manage to convince myself to adjust my withholding so that I'd have to pay :eek: . I know it all works out the same, and I'd get the interest on my money until I did have to pay, but I still can't bring myself to do it.

A couple thousand should do it (above purchase price). If you don't spend it all, you can keep it aside for emergencies. $1000 wouldn't go very far if your dog was hit by a car.
Really I think it all depends on where you live and how lush of a life you plan to give your dog. I was looking at the other posts and you can get a really great dog, from a good breeder, for around $500 bucks here (unless you are looking for a show dog, which opens a whole different can of worms). I usually plan to spend about $50 a vet visit for shots, ect., sometimes it is a little more and sometimes a little less, but on average about $50 x maybe 5times this year. It cost me $100 to have her spayed, $50 for 6 month supply of HW meds and we have been through about 5 collars and 5 leashes ( I like my leash and collar to match so I replace the leash every time I replace the collar, pretty stupid, huh?) which is about $15 for both. Bella also has an abundance of toys and several types of shampoo and has been through basic and advanced obedience training, which is maybe another $500. Add in her flea meds and your looking at $1000 for just the basics, without any dog or food. Food has a huge range and depends on what you are going to feed, raw, basic dog food or high quality kibble and what size dog you buy. And, you still need to put back money in a "just in case fund".

Man, I hope my husband doesn't read this! He would die if he knew how much I am spending on my dog, because on top of all that Bella gets groomed every 3-4 weeks which $75 a pop! (But she is worth every penny ;) !!!)
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Dobes cost $1500? Wow. I figured as much. I was looking at Corsos which range in the 1500 to 2000 depending on the breeder.

Boxers and Amstaffs/Pits can't cost that much I dare say. We'll see anyway. I'll need to track down some breeders to talk to soon...
Dobes cost $1500? Wow. I figured as much. I was looking at Corsos which range in the 1500 to 2000 depending on the breeder.

Boxers and Amstaffs/Pits can't cost that much I dare say. We'll see anyway. I'll need to track down some breeders to talk to soon...
Yea, $1500 easy. You can't get a quality show dog for less than $2000, and most are $2500 and up. But dobermans and boxers are the two of the most competitive breeds at conformation shows. PM me if you want info on breeders.
If you have a lot of carpeting in the house add in $300-500 for a really good vacuum cleaner and another $200-300 for a steam cleaner.
I would go to a shelter. Rescue a dog about a year or so old. Potty trained. Neutered or spayed. Had all medical issues resolved already. That would set me back about 150-200. I would then take about another 200 and buy all the dog supplies I needed such as food, tooth brush and toothpaste, crate, leash, shampoo, flea control, heart worm preventive medicine, toys, collar, harness, safety restraint for car rides.

Then I would take the other 3000 or so put it in the bank in a savings account with good interest rate and save it for a medical emergency for the dog.
It's been a while since I've purchased a puppy and everything that goes with it, but here's my breakdown as best I can remember...

$700 initial purchase price
$200 first trip to petsmart, which included crate, leash, collar, toys, dishes, ex-pen, etc
$175 ish for first vet visit
$65 ish for second visit
$165 for neuter
plus a hundred here and a hundred there for random vet visits

food....hard to say, right now I spend about $35 a month for food, but that's 4 dogs...plus frontline in the summer and heartworm preventative, all of those are monthly costs.

the destruction done to my house...can't begin to put a price tag on that...
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I have been donating to my Money Pit (Macie) for 7 months now. J.J. I think I have spent approx $2500 not including her purchase price. AHH Money well spent.
Microchipping! I'm surprised that was one of the only little things missed.

I am not NOT advocating getting a shelter dog (all my dogs are rescues) but you never know exactly what you're getting with a shelter dog. They're not necessarily potty trained and ready to go. I got my mutt as a tiny pup for 15 dollars. Two days and two thousand dollar surgery later, she was already the cost of a breeder pup. Tack on vet fees every 6-8 months for gastric-intestinal problems that land her in the hospital like clock work. Not to mention the silly part where she was listed as a dachshund mix (and really did look like one when she was a baby!) and a year later was 60 lbs and very clearly NOT a dachshund. :p
And not to mention our other two with their wealth of behavioral problems from their past lives.
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My dog from a rescue org was my "cheapest" dog. He was $200 and came neutered and vaxed for the year and hasn't had a health problem since, though he's the one who destroys my house. My shelter dog cost $40, but she came from a nasty rural shelter and when I got her home she was very sick...$300 the first week in vet bills and a couple hundred more over the next few months, and she isn't even spayed yet...she's an awesome dog though. Then there was my free cat that was also sick and cost $600 the first month...so yeah, it never hurts to set some money aside for non routine vet bills too...
Hi....have you thought about rescuing a dog from a shelter? There are so many pups out there that need a home and the fees aren't that high --- all shelters are different (but the fee covers all shots & neutering/spaying)
I agree! I do not know where you are located, but there is a beautiful 1 year old dobe at our local animal control that is an owner give up. I do rescue, so I inquired about him and it turns out that he is a great dog! His owner is military and is moving over seas so he can't take the dog with him. The adoption fee is on $65 and that covers him being altered.
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