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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. Memory foam dog beds are pretty popular for their durability and comfort.

  • 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 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. You can feed dry kibble, canned (moist) food, homemade cooked diets, or raw food diets (or any combination of these).

  • Treats. This can include dog cookies, dehydrated meats, and many other varieties.

  • 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. If your dog is a aggressive chewer, toys will need replacing much more often.

  • Annual health exam. Every year once your dog has matured into an adult, he or she will need an annual exam to identify any potential issues. Bloodwork is a good idea too. Vaccinations may be included; although vets typically gave vaccines every year, this has become a controversial issue with some people choosing a 3-year vaccination schedule or other alternative.

  • 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 areas are prone to ticks and fleas. Dogs may need to be on a monthly medication throughout the flea and tick season. Your vet can tell you more.

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

  • Boarding or pet-sitting costs. Call a few local kennels or pet-sitters to get an idea of what they charge per day. When you go on vacation or out-of-town for any other reason, you may need to leave your dog in a kennel. You can also take your dog on vacation with you, in which case you should take note of the pet fees that most hotels charge.

  • Grooming. Budget for regular trips 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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