Chapter 1
How To Know If A Dog Is The Right Pet For You

Financial Costs

Cost of the Dog

Where you get a dog influences how much it costs. Some people advertise “free to a good home” dogs in the newspaper or online classified ads. Clearly, these are the least expensive dogs available. Dogs from shelters and rescue groups are generally the next lowest in cost, usually $150.00 or less. Rescue groups are usually toward the upper end of this range. Dogs from shelters tend to be toward the lower end of the range. Dogs from pet shops usually cost more than shelter dogs with some priced from $400.00 to $750.00 or so, depending on what part of the country you live in. But pet shop dogs can be several thousand dollars depending on the breed. Dogs from breeders who specialize in ‘pet quality’ dogs are usually similar in price to pet shop dogs with some a little more expensive and some a little less expensive. Even though they are similar in price, there can be a big difference in the quality of the dog you get between these two sources. Dogs from a top notch breeder of show or working line dogs are the most expensive. These dogs usually cost at least several thousand dollars. So, the price of a dog varies from free to many thousands of dollars depending on the breed and where you get your dog. For a discussion of thirteen sources for dogs see Chapter 5. There you will find each source discussed in detail including a comparison of the risks involved with getting a dog from each source. You will also learn several sources to find a purebred dog significantly below the price usually charged by a breeder.  

Cost of Supplies

When some people think of the cost of a dog it is not unusual they only think about the cost of buying the animal. But, dogs need supplies too. Some supplies last a long time. But some supplies are used frequently and need to be replaced regularly. When you’re thinking about the costs of owning a dog, make sure you include the cost of the supplies you will need in addition to the cost of the dog

One-Time Expenses. Some expenses only occur when you get a dog. You can buy these supplies once and do not need to replace them for months or even years. These are things like leashes, collars, bowls, and blankets. Here is an estimate of these costs:

  • Collar: $10

  • Leash: $15

  • Bowls: $20

  • Crate: $100

  • Bedding: $30

  • Toys: $30

  • Brush: $15

  • Shampoo: $15

  • Training: $100

  • Total: $335

These expenses are reasonable estimates for the minimum you should expect to spend for each of these items for an average size dog. If you get a small or tiny breed, these expenses could be a little less. However, if you get a large or giant breed you can expect to pay more. If you want additional features, such as retractable leashes, travel crates, stylish bedding, feeding systems, an elaborate harness or other dog-related supplies, you can easily spend $1,500.00, or more, for these items.