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Nov 17, 2020

Expenses to Consider Before Owning a Dog

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It’s not a surprise that you want to share your life with a friendly pooch. The human-dog bond is intense for a good reason. Many benefits come from living with a canine companion. But you may be wondering, “How much does it cost to own a dog?” It’s important to consider the financial side of dog ownership.
But first, a few benefits:

You’ll Get Fit Together

The American Heart Association says that dog owners enjoy longer lives and are less likely to die of a cardiac event than non-dog owners. You’ll get fit and enjoy the fresh outdoors during your daily walks around the neighborhood. (Well, almost daily. We recommend skipping Fido’s walk during the all-too-common sub-zero days of Minnesota and Wisconsin winters.)

You’ll Meet Interesting People

You may not realize how a dog can improve your social life until you adopt one. Once you step outdoors with your furry friend, you’ll become part of a community. Fellow dog owners will stop and chat at popular spots like the dog park.

You’ll Have a Constant Best Friend

The simple fact is that, to your dog, you are magnificent. In choosing to share your life with a dog, you’re gaining a constant companion.
Are you ready to embrace the benefits of dog ownership? If so, let’s discuss how much adding a dog to your life will affect your wallet.

So, how much does it cost to get a dog?

No doubt bringing a dog into your family is a joyful experience. However, properly caring for a pet does cost money.

Adoption Fee or Purchase Price

Purebred dogs from reputable breeders cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. You can find information on purchasing from a high-quality, responsible dog breeder from the AKC. One thing to keep in mind when working with a breeder is that you’ll want to spay or neuter your dog. Budget up to five hundred dollars for this surgery. Check into a low-cost spay and neuter clinic if your budget is tight.
You’ll need to pay an adoption fee if you find your furry friend at an animal shelter or rescue. Still, the charge is much less than you’d pay at a breeder, but expect to spend a couple hundred, or even more for a puppy. Generally, dogs adopted from animal shelters are spayed or neutered before adoption.
We’re fortunate to have terrific animal shelters and rescue organizations in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Lifesaving work occurs each day at places like Animal Humane Society, Secondhand Hounds, and the Wisconsin Humane Society.

Pet Food and Supplies

Have you ever considered how much dog chow a Great Dane eats each day? The Spruce Pets estimates that a typical owner spends between $250 and $700 a year feeding their dog. Visit your local pet boutique, and you’ll find that the costs can quickly exceed that estimate.

Vet Visits

Any dog can potentially develop an ongoing health condition or end up needing a costly procedure. Make sure to research the breed of the dog you’re considering so you know what kind of medical issues it could develop. When you adopt, this is a little harder, as the breed the rescue lists a dog as is usually a “best guess.”

Even if your dog doesn’t develop a health condition, you should factor in regular vet visits, plus monthly doses of heartworm prevention and flea & tick meds. Dogs need health care just like we do, so do some research or call the office of a local vet to determine the cost of wellness visits, annual shots and other common procedures. Keep in mind that dogs also get sick and have accidents that necessitate a trip to the veterinarian.
Consider purchasing pet health insurance to help manage medical expenses.

Will You Pamper Your Pooch?


It’s tempting to think that food and healthcare are the only recurring costs of pet care. However, there are other ways to spend money on your favorite canine.
Many dog owners, for instance, invest in high-quality training. Sessions with a trainer are available in individual and group settings. 
What will you do with your furry playmate when you go on vacation? There are many pet-friendly vacation destinations. Check into local pet sitting agencies for those times when your pooch must stay at home.
Will you be able to meet your dog's exercise needs? If not, you can find a dog walker through apps such as Wag and Rover.
Would you like to treat your dog to a spa day? Grooming is a necessity for some breeds of dogs and a bit of luxury for all four-footers. Professional grooming appointment costs can add up.

Last Thoughts

Owning a dog can provide many benefits. Make sure to to thoroughly review your budget to see if you have room for the needs of a new pet. If you need help budgeting, reach out to TruStone for a free financial check-up.

This blog article is intended to provide you with a general understanding of the subject matter. It is not intended to provide legal, accounting, or other professional advice and should not be relied on as such. Information may have changed since the publication date.

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