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 ongoing care for your pet after getting a dog can lead to stress. There are many aspects of being a responsible pet owner. Financially providing for your pet is 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 before they become part of your family. 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. It costs $76 a year to register dogs that are not spayed or neutered.
  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. Regular Vet Visits and VaccinationsGenerally speaking, your dog should have a complete wellness exam at least once per year, which gives your vet the chance to do a full-body check-up. They’ll listen to their heart and lungs, look at their eyes and ears, check for fleas, etc. If you have concerns, it’s a great time to bring those up as well. 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. Typically they are required yearly and up to every three years.
    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 —Emergency veterinary care is not cheap! You’ll want to have pet insurance and/or a pet emergency savings account.
    Emergency visit:$80 – $150
    Diagnostics (i.e., radiographs, blood work, etc.): $200+
    Outpatient treatment: $200+
    24 hours of Hospitalization (including IV fluids and meds, etc.): $1,200+
    It all adds up!
  6. Food and Treats —The cost of dog food and treats depends on a few things. The size of your dog, quality, the brand, and type (raw/kibble) are all factors that can affect the price. 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 BagsAll of these items can add up, especially with so many products available. You probably won’t need a new dog bed, leash, collar monthly, but your dog may rip up their toys quickly, need clothing for different weather throughout the year, and of course, will need poop bags daily for life. 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. Give yourself a bigger budget than you think. When you check out the local Edmonton pet stores, you’ll want to buy your dog everything- because they deserve it!
  8. Grooming – Grooming needs vary for each dog. It can depend on the size of the dog, the 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 to bring your dog in regularly. Typically, the larger the dog, the more expensive the grooming will be. There can also be extra costs if your pet has a matted coat, a 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. Expect to pay from $28-$120 per grooming session.
  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 for 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 $100+ 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 you when it’s time to say ‘goodbye’ to your beloved dog. Did you know you have to pay to have your pet put down and cremated? You can expect the cost to start $200+ depending on the size of your pet. If you choose to keep their remains, there will be additional fees. Many veterinarians in Edmonton also offer the option of coming to your home rather than going to their clinic to make it more comfortable for your dog.

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