10 Costs You Should Consider Before Getting a Dog

Dog Care, Helpful Tips

Getting a new dog (or puppy!) is an exciting time! No matter the age of your furriest new friend, many costs come with getting a dog. The financial commitment can be draining if you are not prepared. Realizing that you cannot afford a dog after getting a dog can lead to troubles down the road. There are many aspects of being a responsible pet owner, with financially providing for your pet, as one. 

Here are 10 costs to be aware of before getting a pet:
  1. Adoption or Breeders Costs – Adoption fees usually range anywhere from $150–$500. These fees often include some of the costs of vet care (spay/neuter), meds/vaccines, and food for the pup. The average price of a purebred dog is about $1500-$2500, depending on the breed.
  2. Registering your dog with the City – Here in Edmonton, a spayed or neutered dog costs $36 a year to register. For any dogs that are not spayed or neutered, it will cost $76 a year to register with the city.
  3. Spay/Neuter – If you’re thinking of adopting a rescue animal, often pets are spayed/neutered before adoption. Otherwise, many veterinary offices charge around $300 for the procedure.
  4. Vaccinations – Generally speaking, there are core vaccines that are considered vital for all pets. Core vaccinations are determined based on the risk of exposure, the severity of illness, or the ability to affect humans. The frequency of your dog’s vaccinations should be determined by you and your veterinarian together.
    Core vaccinations for dogs: Canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis, and rabies.
    Core vaccinations for cats: panleukopenia, feline calicivirus, feline herpesvirus type I, and rabies.
    Veterinarian clinics charge differently but expect $60+ a shot and possibly an additional charge for seeing the vet as well.
  5. Emergency Vet Visits — The average price for a Veterinary to check out your pup is around $80 – $150. Anything additional like blood work, x-rays, ultrasounds, surgery, medication, etc. will be added on to the bill.
  6. Food and Treats —Depends on the size of the dog, quality, and, brand you feed them, but expect to spend at least $50 a month at a minimum. If your pet develops allergies or an intolerance to something, consider increasing your budget.
  7. Toys, Beds, Dog Clothes, Leashes, Collars, Poop Bags — All of these items can add up, especially with so many products available. We dog-sat one dog whose mom popped into Petsmart and spent a quick $100 on a new harness, a jacket, a toy, and treats for her 5-pound dog while she stayed with us!
  8. Grooming – Grooming needs vary and depend on things like the size of pet, breed, and the frequency of simple grooming at home. Some dog breeds like doodles have fur that requires more maintenance. Many groomers recommend that doodles be professionally groomed every 4-6 weeks, and may offer a discount as an incentive. Typically, the larger the dog, the more expensive the grooming will be (all that area to cover!). There can also be extra costs if your pet has a matted coat, dirty rear end, needs a nail trim, or acts aggressively with the groomer. A good rule of thumb is to brush short-haired pets at least once a week, and long-haired pets at least once a day. If your pet has a double coat, you may be able to maintain their hair by brushing them regularly at home and just having them groomed twice a year around the time they blow their coat.
  9. Pet Insurance/Pet Emergency Fund — You will need to figure out which option is best for you. Pet insurance can be a lifesaver when an emergency happens, but it is best to do your research, as there are many companies to purchase from, and each has its pros and cons. Another option is to save money for an emergency fund rather than paying into pet insurance every month. Some people choose to invest in both options! This way, you can use the emergency fund to pay for anything that the insurance policy did not cover. It depends on the insurance company and type of plan you go with, but try to budget for around $60+ a month per pet. And then anything else you can save for an emergency fund would be a plus!
  10. Crossing the Rainbow Bridge – It’s something no pet parent wants to think about, but planning can help take some stress off when saying ‘goodbye’ to a pet. Did you know you have to pay to have your pet put down and cremated? You can expect costs to range from $50–$200+ depending on the size of your pet, and if you choose to keep the remains. Many veterinarians in Edmonton also offer the option of coming to your home, rather than going to their clinic.

What other costs have come up for you as a pet owner that others should think about? Let us know!