To buy a puppy and take care of it takes a significant amount of cash. So, before I make the purchase, I wanted to sit down and figure out how my little pup was going to affect my budget. I needed to know how much a dog costs per month.
How Much Does a Dog Cost Per Month?
If you’re like me you probably have a few friends that left college, moved into their own place and got a pet immediately. Usually this tale ends up with the person having to move back into their parent’s house and getting rid of the dog, cat, iguana, etc.
That wasn’t the road I wanted to take and, although I’ve not moved back into my parent’s house, I have not bought a dog (yet). I want to be sure I can really afford the extra cost that comes with having a pet. So, how much does a dog cost per month?
One-Time Dog Expenses
Before getting down to the month-to-month costs of having a dog you should know how much it’ll cost to purchase your dog and get them checked out at the vet. For me, the initial purchase of a dog will be a big one. Many people are content with a dog from the shelter but I have my heart set on a certain breed. That being said, here are the one-time dog expenses you’ll need to keep in mind:
- Purchase of the Dog: Up to $2,000 (for a Frenchie)
- Spayed and Neutered: $200
- Medical Exam: $70
- Collar/Leash: $30
- Crate: $95+ (depending on size)
- Carrying Crate: $60
- Training: $110
You may be able to get around some of those initial costs by adopting your dog from a local shelter. Adoption fees, which cost about $200-$300, often include spaying/neutering, an initial medical exam, shots and microchipping. If you decide to get the dog through a shelter you’ll likely pay less than $600 in one-time fees/expenses. If you decide to purchase the dog through a dog breeder you may spend practically $3,000 simply getting your dog.
Monthly Dog Expenses
On top of those one-time dog expenses you’ll also have recurring monthly expenses when it comes to your pup. Here are the things you’ll have to budget for before getting your dog:
- Food: $120/ year, $10/month
- Medical Exams: $235/year (annual exams)
- Toys and Treats: $55/year, about $5 per month
- License: $15/year
- Health Insurance: $225/year, $18.75/month
- Miscellaneous Costs: $45/year, about $4 per month
All of these recurring pet costs add up to about $695 a year (just under $60 per month). Some of the costs listed, however, are annual expenses (exams, licenses). It should also be noted that you may have an emergency that will cost money as well so you should have an emergency fund for your pet too.
How Much Does a Dog Really Cost?
All in all the cost of owning a dog (or any pet) isn’t too much but it is important to know how much it will cost you and if you truly have the money for the month-to-month cost of owning and caring for a dog. After taking a closer look, I’ll probably hold off another year or so on getting my Frenchie.
Have you ever bought a dog (or pet) and regretted it financially? Share your story with us in the comments.
Photo: Becky Stern