The Real Cost of A Dog

The Real Cost of A Dog January 24, 2011

TruffleA few months ago I wrote about getting pet health insurance, and how it was an extra expense that we probably won’t be adding soon.  Since then, I’ve quickly realized that the total cost of owing a pet is worth its own post, so take a look at all the expenses we’ve occurred since having a pet.

The Cost of A Pet

We bought a chocolate lab two months ago and spent $400 on it.  The male puppies were $300, but we wanted a female because my wife suggested she might be a little less aggressive.  Truffle (or Truff for short) is a cool dog, and we treated the cost as a big Christmas gift to each other.  Little did I know how much she would really cost.  (Hint: it’s not $400)

The Bed, Crate, and Toys

You can’t just buy a pet without stopping at Pets Mart on the way home.  We knew she’d grow like a weed, so we bought the ‘large’ sizes to avoid spending all this money again to upgrade (beds, crates, etc).

  • Fluffy dog bed – $40
  • Crate (for house-training / sleeping) $150 (!)
  • Toys, food, leash, collar, and treats – $100

Yep, we spent $300 in accessories that first day.  If you think $100 is waaaay too much for toys, food, leash, collar, and treats think again.  (Don’t worry, I thought that too.)  Food: $40, 4-5 toys: $30, Treats $10, leash: $10, collar: $10.

Vet BillsStretching Dog

I should have gone to school to be a vet… We walked out the first time with a bill of $87.00.  That included the cost of the exam, booster shots, and flea treatment.

Vet Bills (Round 2)

You guessed it, one month later, she needed another examination so we dropped another $80 bucks.

Vet Bills (Round 3)

This was a doozy.  This month she was spayed, micro-chipped (in case she’s lost) and had her third boosters and all sorts of flea/mite/puppy treatments that definitely aren’t free.

Total cost for this bill: $353….ouch.


Monthly Costs

Cold ShoulderI calculated that she’d go through about a bag of food a month, and it’ll costs us about $30 just in food.  Treats aren’t that bad as a box can last two months, so that’s like $4-5 a month.  She is pretty rough with her toys (better than my furniture) and we can spend bout $5 a month on a toy or two.

Total Costs So Far

About $1350…in just 2 months.  OUCH.


Chocolate LabWords of Wisdom:

If you’re trying to save money and get out of debt or save up for a small car, don’t get a pet.  We love our dog, but she’s not cheap!

What kind of expenses will come next?  Do you have a pet?  How much do you spend on it each year?


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