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

Recurring Expenses. Your dog will need some supplies purchased on a regular basis. These include food, treats and, depending on the breed, grooming. For an average size dog a reasonable estimate for these monthly expenses is:

  • Food: $20
  • Treats: $10
  • Grooming: $50
  • Flea/Tick Preventative: $15
  • Heartworm Preventative: $15
  • Monthly Total: $120

You can adjust this amount downward if you have a small dog or a dog that doesn’t need monthly grooming. But if you have a large dog you should adjust this amount upward for food, treats and especially grooming, if your dog needs it, as this expense can easily total $100.00 or more per session.

Another expense many people don’t consider is visits to your veterinarian for medical care. You should plan on at least an annual checkup. More frequent visits will likely be needed if you get a puppy. If your dog develops a cronic medical condition or has an accident you will have expenses that could be significant. Emergency vet visits cost more than a typical annual visit. You can spend $350 or more for a trip to an emergency vet. Don’t adopt a dog if you’re not committed to his medical care. A year of vet expenses might include:

  • Annual Checkup: $100
  • Vaccinations: $75
  • Emergency Visit: $350
  • X-Rays or Other Diagnostic Tests: $400
  • Medication: $200

If your pet is in good health, you may only have the expenses of an annual visit and vaccinations. But, if your dog develops a medical condition that needs regular medication or to go for regular checkups, veterinary costs can skyrocket to thousands of dollars a year.

Summary of Expected Expenses

In summary, if you do not get a ‘free-to-a-good-home’ dog you can expect to spend between $75 and $4,000 on purchasing a pet quality dog, depending on the breed and where you get your dog. You should plan on additional one-time expenses of about $300.00 for supplies including a training class. These supply costs can be less for a tiny dog while you should expect them to be more for a large or giant breed

Monthly expenses will likely range from at least $25 to $35 for a very small dog. You should expect this to increase to between $50 and $150 for an average size dog. Monthly expenses for a large or giant breed can be $250 or more. In addition, when you have vet visits or other miscellaneous expenses expect your monthly costs to increase