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The Frugal Dog – The Cost of Dog Ownership

This is another guest post by Kathryn.  She is evaluating the potential cost of dog ownership.  Great timing as we’re also considering getting a dog in the future.

This is a spin off on Newborn Baby Expenses as pet ownership can also be pricey!

Brian and I both grew up with dogs but because of our transient lifestyle we haven’t considered a pet until recently. Lately our lives have settled into a pleasant routine. We have a house. I work from home. The kids are getting older. We’re wondering if this might be a good time to bring a dog into the family. We’re in the process of researching just how much this little pooch is going to cost us over his or her lifetime.

How much will a dog cost for the first year and beyond?

  1. Dog. To get a dog from the local humane society is $350 if they can find one that is good with kids. There is a long waiting list for these. Another dog we’ve been considering from a local reputable hobby breeder ~ $400.
  2. Spay / Neutering ~ $350 for a female
  3. Dog crate for medium sized dog ~ $60
  4. Food dishes ~ $20
  5. Chew toys & leash ~ $30
  6. Portable Rug Cleaner (Bissel Green Machine) ~ $90
  7. Dog training books ~ $0 Thanks to the local library!
  8. Dog obedience school ~ $250
  9. Food ~ $250 / yr
  10. Vaccinations and vet bills ~ $200 / yr on average
  11. City dog licensing ~ $30 / yr
  12. Boarding ~ $0 (We made an arrangement with someone else. We’d watch their dog when they go on holidays and they would watch ours.)
  13. Grooming ~ $20 / yr for a brush and shampoo. We’re only considering dogs that don’t need haircuts.

First year cost = $1500

Yearly costs = $500

For those of you who are dog owners, are these accurate figures? Have I missed anything?

How have you found ways to be a frugal pet owner without sacrificing the health or safety of your animal?

Which system do you use in your household?

Kathryn is a regular contributor on Million Dollar Journey and has a passion for personal finance. She volunteers her time as a money coach meeting with ordinary Canadians, teaching them the basics of budgeting, no fee banking, saving for the future and other basics of personal finance.

Copyright 2008 MillionDollarJourney – All Rights Reserved

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