Figuring Out How To Budget For Your Dog

Donated by Gayla BaerHaving a budget is essential to being financially responsible. It allows you to see how much money you have coming in versus how much money you have going out, and it allows you to ensure that you have more money coming in than going out on a monthly basis.

When creating a budget, it’s very important to account for every expense you have, especially those that are large. If you own a dog, you know that being a dog owner can be a hefty expense, and it’s something you need to add to your overall budget.

But determining a dog budget is not always easy. Sure there are things you can account for on a monthly basis, such as medications or food, but other items a dog needs are not common expenses you incur monthly. Items such as medical attention will occur annually, but more often if your dog becomes sick or injured. You will need to buy toys, dog beds, crates, dishes, ID tags, collars and leashes initially, but you will also have to replace these items over time. So how exactly do you determine a budget for your dog?

Initial Expenses

If you have yet to get a dog and are determining if you can financially own one, it’s important to first look at the initial expenses of owning a dog. When looking towards initial expenses, though, it’s very important to remember that prices are going to vary by breed and location, so you may want to add a buffer or assume the highest cost just to be safe.

One big initial expense of owning a dog is going to be the dog itself. If you adopt, you will likely pay an adoption fee, which can range from $50 to $300. If you buy from a pet store or breeder, you’re going to have a higher cost, which can range from $400-$1500, again depending on type of breed. Knowing what type of dog you want and where you want to acquire them from will help you have a better idea of how much it will cost.

After the purchase price of the dog, you are going to need to provide initial medical care. Your dog is going to need to be examined by a vet and receive vaccines and preventative medication. These costs can range from $70 to $300, depending on your vet’s fees and the exact vaccines and medications your dog will need.

You can’t bring your dog home without acquiring the goods. You will need to buy food, dishes, collar, ID tag, leash, crate, dog bed, toys, treats and a variety of other items to care for your dog. You may also choose to purchase training tools or get professional training. This can run you anywhere from $75 to $250.

Another one-time cost that you have to consider would be the cost of spaying or neutering your dog. If you’re adopting an older animal, this procedure may already be done. If you adopt from a shelter, they may have already done this procedure too to help control the pet population. If you need to spay or neuter your dog, this will run you anywhere from $100 to $300.

Monthly Expenses

There are certain items your dog is going to need every month, so it’s important you account for these expenses.

The very first thing your dog will need monthly is food. The price for food will range depending on brand and size of dog, so do your research to determine what type of food you want to feed your pup to get a better guess. In most cases, you’ll spend anywhere from $20 to $60 a month on food.

You will also need to give your dog preventative care every month. Your dog will need to receive a heartworm pill and flea and tick medication on a monthly basis. This again varies by brand and size of dog, but you can spend anywhere from $10 to $25 a month on these items.

If you are hiring a dog sitter or sending your dog to a daycare, this is also something you’ll need to consider on a monthly basis. This will range from $200 to $500 per month.

If you will send your dog to a groomer on a monthly basis, this is another cost to consider, which will run you about $50 a month.

Annual/Various Expenses

Your dog will need other items throughout the year at various times, so it’s important to add these to your budget.

Be sure to account for your dog’s annual exams and vaccinations, which will typically run about $50-$150 as long as your dog is healthy. If your dog has health issues or is getting older, you may want to increase this portion of the budget to account for medications or more frequent vet visits.

You will also need to replace certain items of your dogs. They may lose an ID tag, need a bigger collar, or need some new toys throughout the year, so you will need to add some extra space in your budget to cover these costs. You should also consider pet boarding if you plan on vacationing away from your pet.

Guest Author: Ashley Smith is a freelance writer, busy mom of 2 and a dog owner. Ashley uses her love of writing to share articles on a variety of topics.