10 Costs You Should Consider Before Getting a Dog

Dog Care, Helpful Tips

Getting a new dog (or puppy!) is an extremely exciting time! No matter what the age of your furriest new friend, there are many costs that come with getting a dog and the financial commitment can be draining if you are not prepared. We ask that you take the time to consider if you can afford all the costs, as it is always sad to hear that dogs have to be surrendered or euthanized when the owners can’t afford to keep them.

Here are 10 costs to be aware of before getting a pet:
  1. Adoption or Breeders Costs — Adoption fees usually range from $150–$500 to cover some of the costs of vet care and food for the animal that you’ve now adopted. If you’re purchasing a purebred dog it depends on if you’re going with a legit breeder or not (which will be another blog soon), but average price is about $1500.
  2. Registering them with the City — Here in Edmonton a spayed/neutered dog will cost you $36 a year to register. A dog that isn’t fixed costs $76 a year.
  3. Spay/Neuter — If you’ve adopted a pet they most likely are fixed or it will be included in the adoption fee. Most veterinary offices offer this service for about $300.
  4. Yearly Shots — Varies from Veterinarian clinic to clinic, but expect $60+ a shot (plus the cost of seeing the vet).
  5. Emergency Vet Visits — $70+, to visit my Veterinary the initial visit is $70, anything extra the price goes up. For reference, our last emergency bill was $400, which included blood work, x-ray and medication.
  6. Food and Treats —Again depends on the size of dog and quality/brand you feed them, but expect to spend at least $50 a month.
  7. Toys, Beds, Dog Clothes, Leashes, Collars, Poop Bags — All of these items can add up. 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 dog while she stayed with us!
  8. Grooming — If you get your pet professionally groomed it will cost more than if you DIY, and that cost will depend on the type of fur or hair that your dog has. Some breeds have to be professionally groomed quite often — for us, our dog Koda has not visited the groomers since we’ve owned him. We bought the Furminator (on sale!) and brush him frequently.
  9. Pet Insurance/Pet Emergency Fund — This is one of those “figure out which works best for your family” kind of things. I know people who swear by their pet insurance and I know people who put the money they would put into the insurance into a “pet emergency” savings account instead. Budget for around $50+ a month.
  10. Their Death – It’s hard to think about, but did you know you have to pay to have your pet put down and cremated? It’s wise to be aware of these costs and be prepared to have deal with it during such a hard time. The cost can range from $50–$200+ depending on size of your pet (and if you choose to keep the remains in an urn or not).

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