What does it cost to own and care for a dog?

What does it cost to own and care for a dog?

This is a discussion on What does it cost to own and care for a dog? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I know there are many variables such as size of dog, type of dog, unexpected medical bills, etc., but I'm trying to get a rough ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    What does it cost to own and care for a dog?

    I know there are many variables such as size of dog, type of dog, unexpected medical bills, etc., but I'm trying to get a rough idea of what it costs to own and care for a dog.

    I don't have a breed picked out yet. I'd love a German Shephard, but I don't think we have the room for one. So I'm leaning toward a medium-sized dog with herding and/or guarding instincts.

    We had dogs back in the 60's, but I'm sure costs have changed since then.

    What are the expected annual costs for food and vet bills, plus other misc. expenses?

    What are other expenses that might be overlooked?


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array HKinNY's Avatar
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    For the early warning and love that they give. Priceless

  3. #3
    Member Array mk70ss's Avatar
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    I have two pugs that I love like children. The initial costs (excluding getting the dog), would be a proper crate or pen to housebreak and train the dog. Dog bowls for food and water, leash, collar, id tags.
    A good book on the desired breed is helpful as well. Initial vet visit with shots, heartworm test, and general exam. Then come the booster shots later in the first year.

    My two cost me about $300.00 annually for vet visits/shots. Then another $120.00 for heartgard pills and the Advantix anti flea/tick treatments.
    No one ever said it'd be easy.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Patti's Avatar
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    Do not get a jack russell terrior!
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    VIP Member Array boricua's Avatar
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    Two (rescued) Dachshunds - $20/month (Iams)
    Vet - $400/year
    Having them, sleeping on my lap while watching TV and logged on DC - PRICELESS
    Duty, Honor, Country...MEDIC!!!
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  6. #6
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    I dont have a hard figure on costs, but it really isnt all that much condsidering what you get in return.

    Typically the first year or so is the most expensive, as you are still purchasing the start up things such as toys, crates, bowls, collars and leashes. You also have shots and spaying/neutering to think about. All that sounds like a lot of money, but it really isnt that bad. You can spend as much as you want, or get by fairly cheap and still not be neglecting the dogs needs.
    My dog has a 15 dollar collar and a 250 dollar collar. He wears the cheap one everyday. The sky is the limit.

    The biggest expense in dog ownership is not measured in money but in time. Once again this depends on the breed and what you want out of the dog. I spend a lot of time with my bird dog, simply because I ask a lot of him. To get a lot I have to invest a lot.

    The constant revolving cost is of course food. I probably spend 20 bucks a month on food, and thats probably a high estimate. My dog is high energy
    and eats a lot. A good quality food is right around a dollar or so a pound.
    Medical costs are not bad; he's an healthy adult, so he goes and gets a check up once a year. In the rare case that an issue crops up, it can cost a few hundred or more. The trick is to educate yourself, and catch problems early. Grooming the dog on a daily basis heads off a lot of problems, and it gives a good chance to find issues that are not obvious. On average I guess vet bills are a couple of hundred a year.

    I think if you were to plan on somewhere around 1-2k for the first year, you would have a very well taken care of dog. The costs will drop significantly after the first year. You could do with a lot less, or spend a lot more; it just depends on you, the dog, and what you want out of a dog.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patti View Post
    Do not get a jack russell terrior!
    You're killing me. I miss my JRT very much. He was the coolest dog I've ever had. But you are right, they defiantly are not for the average dog owner. I'll have another one day.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  7. #7
    Member Array Rivers's Avatar
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    I have had basset hounds (on #8 right now, since 1960) and they have their unique traits. Unbelievable hunting skills (they can relentlessly stare a hamburger out of your hands and into their mouths), actually very strong scent tracking skills, excellent trip hazard should a burglar enter your home at night, a bark befitting a dog of much greater size, excellent hearing, smart, and wonderful people skills. Great with kids too. We've had basset hounds that were territorial (as in, "That is MY bone, stay away while I'm chewing on it!"), all bark, hormone-driven (he was hilarious with his tenacity!) and some who never growled or made any aggressive responses even at the vet's. Ours generally lived to 13-14 years. They are very good at keeping humans sane and diffusing the stress of the day.

    We came across a food alternative to dog food which our bassets have always hated. Oatmeal. Regular Quaker Oats bulk oatmeal from Costco. Our basset had a back issue a few years ago and the vet suggested a more easily digested food, like rice and chicken. He got bored of the rice (would kill for chicken though) so we tried oatmeal. Been on that for almost two years now. Vet suggested canine vitamins. Dog has lost about 5#, to about 55# now, not fat at all. Nice part is that oatmeal is cheaper than most dog food! Good for the humans too, just make a huge bowl and divide it up.

    Our annual cost is probably around $400. Check out rescue organizations for various breeds.

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array tiwee's Avatar
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    Current dog came from the pound as a puppy. Cost was $20 for shots. He is an undetermined mix, but definitely half Jack Russell terrier. We had him fixed and that cost about $100 seven years ago. He has plenty of energy and weighs 35 pounds.

    He eats 1/2 pound of Purina One dry dog food per day. He is fed once per day in the morning. A twenty pound bag costs about $18.00. So roughly $0.50 per day for food.

    Vet visits once a year for checkup and shots cost $60.00. He goes outside in the woods everyday, so he gets a monthly dose of Revolution flea and tick which I get from the vet. It costs $120 per year.

    Adding that all up, I am shocked. I didn't realize it was so much. All this dog provides is an early warning system. He is too small to take down an intruder. He is perfect for our circumstance since the boys are grown and mostly gone from the house. I no longer need a protective dog to accompany them in the woods or yard.

    Before this dog we had a Bouvier des Flanders. He was a 100 pound monster and ate like a horse. That beast must have cost me a fortune in food. However, for the time and age of the kids, he was perfect. A very responsible sheep dog for the boys. He never let them out of his sight when they were outside. Very protective, but not territorial or aggressive. Never hurt a soul his whole life, but had someone approached the kids, I am sure he would have intervened. One time a spooked and injured buck ran from the woods into the yard during a whiffle ball game. The dog intercepted the deer, turned him, ran along side of the deer until past the last kid, and then peeled off and sat down while the deer kept running. I was at bat and could not have done one thing for the kids in the field. It was over so quickly we had to blink to make sure we had seen it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiwee View Post

    Before this dog we had a Bouvier des Flanders.
    Cool dog! You dont see those everyday.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  10. #10
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    Grady,

    I think that getting a dog is an excellent idea. I prefer purebreds because you know exactly what to expect for behavior (usually), protection :vs: aloofness, size/weight, etc.

    In fairness, I have also had some rescued dogs in previous years that turned out to be great dogs, too.

    As you know in previous threads we had had only two dogs during the last 10 years, a Golden Retreiver killed in a freak 'playing accident' with our Rhodesian Ridgeback (they collided and she broke her neck), and of course our RR.

    Just recently we purchased an Irish Wolfhound as a companion (after waiting a year) for Grady (sorry!), our RR, however, started acting peculiar just two weeks prior to our picking up the new IW pup. About a month later we discovered that our RR had a brain tumor...he lasted only another week or two until we had to put him down. Losing a faithful 'canine family member' is very hard.

    Now our Irish Wolfhound pup who at 10 weeks was 26 pounds, is 65 pounds and not yet reached her 5th month.

    Whether you adopt, or get a pup, your home life WILL change.

    Our dog probably cost us about $150 a month...averaged, of course. Figure in food, vet bills, treats, toys, collars, leashes, and perhaps some training (some do this)...and you'll find more costs for the first year.

    I wouldn't care if it cost $10 or a $300 a month; you get every penny back in faithfullness from a canine friend. Your dog will be a constant companion, alerting you to unheard (by you) visitors. They will entertain you, and give you 'tons' of laughs. You will be surprised how smart they can really be.

    If you aren't prepared to have another 'full-time' INDOOR house guest, don't get a dog. I am bothered by people who get dogs to live out in the backyard.

    Just yesterday, I just took our IW to the vet...scratching her ears a lot...turns out she did have a yeast infection in both ears, one was obviously worse. The vet took slides of the 'stuff' in her ears, cleaned her ears, and put in some meds. I also have some meds to give her for the next 3 weeks, and then a return visit. That trip was $117.00...thus, this becomes part of the a cost average.

    Don't be too quick to pick out a pet without some reasearch on behavior, size, and particular 'breed problems'.

    I wish you the best in your canine search.

    Here's a site that might also help... How much Does it really cost to Raise a Dog? - Puppy & Dog Forums

    Take care, and have fun looking.

    ret
    Last edited by RETSUPT99; November 21st, 2009 at 03:00 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Never gave it a second thought.

    In truth, I probably dont want to know.

    I've got a Bassett that thinks he is billy bad ass with a bark that sounds like he ought to weigh 400 pounds. Come down my driveway and he'll charge you, barking the whole time, and when you exit the vehicle, he'll immediatley roll over and want you to scratch his belly.

    With his nose, he can track a minnow through the ocean, often following me to where ever it is I am hunting if I am within 100 miles of the house. As a result of that, I have to put him in the pen which he dearly hates. He has figured out that if I wear any sort of camoflage, he is going into the pen, so if he can, he'll slink off and not be found. If I bust him first, he'll lay on the ground and refuse to budge, forcing me to carry him into the pen and when I do, he'll moan and groan and voice his displeasure in a way that the unsuspecting might think he is dying. Its a good thing that I have no neighbors that can hear him or I would be suspected of animal torture.

    With the 50 pound sacks of food that I often buy, and the occasional trips to the vet, I probably spend enough money to buy a couple of Sigs, a couple of HK's and perhaps even an AR or two.

    Oh...and about the vet.

    He does ride in the truck every now and then and like any other dog he likes to stick his head out the window and let his ears flap, which are long enough that it induces enough drag on the truck that it costs me about 5 miles to a gallon.

    The problem is...he actually knows how to get to the veternarian office, a place that he despises with all of his heart. He is OK when traveling about the town, but if we go down the street where the vet is located, he tries to hid underneath the seat, while whining and voicing his displeasure and doing his best to make people think I am abusing him. My wife is convinced that he can read roadsigns, so he knows when he is going to the vet.

    The price for all of this is probably in the thousands of dollars.

    Does it matter...?

    Nah.
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  12. #12
    Member Array CCRIDER's Avatar
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    Would have to agree with the above posts, the amount of "return on investment" out wieghts the cost. Each breed is a little different and you should research the ones that you are contemplating.

    I have owned several different breeds, Shepard, Rotti, Doberman, Redbones, Beagles, and cockers. My current best bud is a Mini Shcnauzer. very intellegent, but demands constant interaction, Additional cost every other month is a trip to the groomers for hair cut, tried it myself and it just didn't work.

    good luck in your quest, no matter the breed, even if mixed. you will not have a more trusting, loyal family member..
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  13. #13
    VIP Member Array rottkeeper's Avatar
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    Some have given you the answers you need already so just be sure to research the traits you are looking for. A good dog will repay any amount you spend with interest.
    Once you have been taken over by the little critter you will want to spend even more than necessary on them just because you love them.
    If you have the time and room rotts make great pets as well as best friends no matter what misguided opinions some have about them.
    Good luck with your choice I'm sure you will offer it a good home no matter what you choose.
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  14. #14
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    It really depends on the level of care you provide--especially the level of veterinary care you provide.

    Many vets will ask you up front if you want the dog treated like a child in the family, like a dog, or something in between. Treating your dog like another family member can get expensive; very expensive. Just the flea and heart-worm medicines, and vaccinations, and licensing, can add up. Throw in grooming, physical exams, an occasional illness or wound, some dental care, and you may be talking thousands.

    I know it is an extreme, but I have a first cousin who once spent 10,000 bucks on veterinary care for his dog.

    I think with common sense as to the level of care, a reasonable amount of care can be had for a few hundred bucks a year.

  15. #15
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    Two words.

    Rescue Dog!!

    Bunny is involved in rescue and is closer to you than we are. She is also involved in training.

    Shoot her a PM if she doesn't chime in on this thread.
    CCW permit holder for Idaho, Utah, Pennsylvania, Maine and New Hampshire. I can carry in your country but not my own.

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