Everyone loves a puppy. So much in fact that most people give little regard to just how expensive these little guys and girls are.
Before you rush into a decision on that new puppy, take a few minutes and learn about all of the costs involved in getting and caring for that cute little puppy. That way you are well aware of what you are getting yourself into.
Purchasing Your New Puppy
A pure bred or designer breed puppy can be very expensive. They can range anywhere from $500 to over $5000. This is why so many people turn to puppy financing when they want a new family member. Without a loan, one of these pups would be unattainable for so many people.
If you are looking for a pure bred dog, the first thing that you need to consider is if you can afford the initial purchase price. Before you drop thousands of dollars on a dog, you need to think if there is a better use for this money.
Yes, these dogs are cute but if you are drowning in credit card debt, that might be a better place to put this money.
This is especially true of you are considering financing that little fur ball.
If you know that you can afford your puppy, you need to set your specific budget. There is a big difference between a Beagle and a French Bulldog.
When the budget is low, a more common and widely bred dog may be the way to go. Beagles and Labs are fairly common and can be had for well under 1000 dollars.
With more money to spend, you can think about things a bit more designer or rare. Dogs like Frenchies and European Great Danes sure are attention getters but will cost you thousands of dollars.
If you have your sight set on one of these more exotic breeds but do not have the coin, consider a rescue. For just a few hundred dollars, you can get a dog in need that will be just as loving. As a side benefit, they will usually already be house broken and their temperament will be known. This will allow you to know if they are suitable for kids or other pets.
Caring For Your Puppy
No matter if you go the rescue or new puppy route, you will have veterinary costs to deal with.
With a puppy, the costs will be much higher as they will need several rounds of shots. Do not skimp on this, stick to the schedule and get your new puppy all of the required shots. They can get extremely sick and possibly die without all of them. As soon as your puppy arrives, contact a vet to get on a schedule and do not take your new fur baby to a public area with other dogs until they have been fully vaccinated.
At around the 6 month mark, you will need to look into spaying and neutering your pet. If you plan to breed your pet, you can skip this but if you are not an experienced breeder, it is better not to dabble in it to make a few bucks. There are far too many amateur breeders out there and their lack of experience can cause a lot of problems, particularly with genetic defects.
If a dog is not to be bred, spaying or neutering them will result in a much happier and longer living dog. It is not mean or cruel to fix your dog, in fact, just the opposite is true.
With a rescue dog, you would have skipped pretty much all of the expenses above. They usually come fixed and caught up on shots. That does not mean that they will be free of vet costs though.
After the initial rounds of shots and spaying, your new pet will need an annual checkup and regular medications. Medications to prevent fleas, ticks and heart worms.
Feeding Your New Pup
Puppies are generally voracious eaters. Depending on the size of the breed you chose, it can be anywhere from $20 to $80 a month. This is for good food mind you. Never feed your dog the cheap junk kibble that you find at the big box pet store.
Cheap food is composed of a lot of cheap filler. Your dog will get less nutrition and this is bad for them and you. More filler equals a less healthy pet and more waste. That means more for you to clean up out back.
Go to an actual pet store and have someone help you choose the best food for your dog.
In addition, research feeding guidelines for your new puppy. Most will do much better with regulated food intake. Some dogs are okay with free feed but it can be dangerous for others. Large breed dogs, for example, generally need carefully controlled food intake to prevent rapid growth. Rapid growth in many breeds can lead to bone and even neurological issues.
Besides the obvious puppy expenses, you might have some that are unique to you that you must consider.
For those of you who rent, consider the cost of pet deposits. They can cost as much as 1000 dollars and then many apartments will charge pet rent over that.
If you work a lot, you will want to consider the cost of hiring a dog walker or paying for doggie daycare.
Then, what do you do when you go on vacation? You can either burden family and friends with your pooch or just suck it up and pay for the cost of pet boarding. It can get expensive.