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Dog Adoption Budget

Pets are a long-term commitment - in terms of love, attention, exercise, grooming, medical care, obedience classes, and much more. Needless to say, they are also an expensive long-term commitment! Before you adopt a pet take a look at the sample dog adoption budget below.

Prices have been left out, since they can vary widely depending on where you live. Take a trip to a local pet store and call a local vet to get estimates.

One-Time Costs

  • Leash and collar. May eventually need to be replaced - especially if you have a puppy that chews through them!

  • Food and water bowls.

  • Doggy bed. High-quality beds can last a long time; even if the cushion wears out, those are easily replaced.

  • Puppy shots. Puppies will require several sets of shots to protect them until their immune system is fully developed. Once they are adults, they only require an annual booster.

  • Spay/neuter surgery. There are simply not enough homes for all of our homeless pets. Keep the pet population down by spaying or neutering your pet.

  • Permanent identification. Have your pet tattooed or microchipped just in case he or she gets lost. Tattooing can be done at the same time as the spay/neuter surgery, and microchipping is a quick and painless process done by injection.

  • Brush/comb, nail clippers.

  • A kennel. Purchase a high-quality kennel. This is handy for a couple of reasons: first, it's nice to be able to kennel-train a puppy so that you don't have messes all over the house; and second, kennels are great for keeping your dog safe when you travel or move.

Recurring Costs

  • Dog food (dry/moist). Dry kibble is best for their teeth and health, but some people mix in a few teaspoons of moist food.

  • Treats. This can include dog cookies, jerky treats, rawhide chews, and so on.

  • Toys. It's always good to have a toy or two lying around for your dog to play with. Toys will eventually wear out and need to be replaced.

  • Annual booster shot. Every year once your dog has matured into an adult, he or she will need an annual shot to keep healthy.

  • Heartworm medication. If you live in an area where heartworm is a problem, your dog's vet can prescribe medication to prevent him from contracting it.

  • Flea or tick medication. Some sort of thing: some areas are prone to ticks and fleas. Your vet can tell you more.

  • Licensing fees. Check with your city offices to determine if you need to purchase a license for your dog. Many cities require you to renew your licenses every year. They also often offer lower rates for dogs that are spayed or neutered.

  • Kennel care. Call a few local kennels to get an idea of what they charge per day. When you go on vacation or out of two for any other reason you may need to leave your dog in a kennel.

  • Grooming. Budget for a half dozen tips to the vet or groomer for bathing, brushing, shaving, or nail clipping if you don't plan to do this yourself.

Other Costs

  • "Destroyed-by-the-puppy" expenses. If you have a puppy, it is practically inevitable that it will destroy something. This can range from shoes or sofa cushions, to carpets and walls!

  • Unforeseen medical expenses, including dental care. Like people, our pets can sometimes get sick or require dental care. And yes, sometimes it can be serious and require hospitalization or specialized treatment. If you are worried about these types of costs, you may want to look into purchasing pet insurance for peace of mind.

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