The Economics of a Dog

Puppies are cute. But they require upkeep, including time and money. You have to spend time with your dog to keep it happy and healthy. The financial commitment to a puppy might be more than you can chew. We’ll look at both in this article.

It’s important to budget your money before you get a pet. This way you’ll have an allowance each month for your new animal. If you are desperately in need of money, you may want to take note of how much a canine costs to see if you can afford the financial commitment without assistance.

Size and age will be a determining factor in costs, which could range between free to thousands depending on your animal’s health and what kind of spender you are.

As mentioned, the initial investment of a dog varies. You might be able to find a free dog from a friend or spend a few hundred to a thousand on a purebred. That’s up to you.

If you are looking for a purebred, find one that’s reputable. Those backyard breeders or puppy mills are not the place to look.

If you are OK with a mutt, a Fido, an I-don’t-know-what-kind-of-mixed-dog-this-is, go to your local animal shelter. There’s plenty of dogs that want to be adopted. The fees are reasonable.

Places like craigslist are not your best bet. You don’t know any history of where the dog is coming from and might get a surprise, such as unexpected vet costs.

Initial investment: $500

Once you find a good animal, you should take it to the vet to get checked out. You may need to purchase vaccines or additional medical treatment depending on your animal. Expect to pay about $300 to get deworming, blood tests, microchip, and to get your pet spayed or neutered.

1st year vet costs: $300

You will also need a collar, leash, crate, toys, treats, and bedding. This will cost about $200 dollars. Don’t forget you’ll need a license, too, which is about $20 bucks.

Creature comfort costs: $220

Food is another cost at about $650 per year. If you choose to get pet insurance, there’s another $250 dollars.

Dog food: $650
Pet insurance: $250

For a medium sized dog, you should expect to pay close to $2000 during its first year.

The annual costs will be lower because you won’t have the purchase price of the pet — just food, toys, license, insurance, and medical fees if needed.

This will be about $1300 per year.

If you are in need of money right now, an animal might not be a good investment for you.

You might come down to a point where you have to sacrifice your well-being or your animal’s just to be able to afford your minimum monthly living requirements. A pup is a big financial decision.

Also, remember that when you go on vacation, you’ll need a pet sitter or spend money on a kennel. On average, that will cost about $40 per day.

Now the economics of a puppy are one thing and it’s apparent that a dog is expensive but that should not stop you from getting one if you want one.

They add value to your household. My dog is always wagging his tail and waiting for me when I come home. He keeps me exercising in the dead of winter.

Granted, I don’t like going out there for a walk when it’s 20 degrees and snowy but the exercise is beneficial.

Josh Johnson contributes financial articles at Bought on Credit

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