How Much Does it Cost to Own a Dog?

Last year, Brian and I decided we would get a dog in 2020. We expected to wait until summer, when he and I were both off work. Then, my school closed in March and we were both suddenly at home constantly, bored, and anxious dealing with a pandemic, making it the perfect time to adopt the newest member of our family, Hattie 🙂

When I was looking into all the costs of getting a dog, the estimates varied widely– between adoption fees, food, crates, beds, vet fees, and everything else, it was clear that we would want a lot of wiggle room in the budget since it was so difficult to get a clear idea of the costs.

So, we saved a total of $3,800 between the two of us to cover the initial costs and keep a large chunk as an emergency fund for any large unexpected vet visits. This allowed us to make the big purchases necessary and get her nice things without worrying about spending to much initially. Now, we are able to cover the monthly costs in our normal budget and still have a significant emergency fund to give us peace of mind in case Hattie becomes sick or injured. Below, I’ve detailed the initial costs and the recurring costs to give you an idea of how much it costs to own a dog.

Initial costs:

Bowls & mat: $18

Food container & initial dry food: $40

Initial treats: $12

Leash and collar: $43

Doggy bags & dispenser: $18

Travel bowls: $23

Bed: $45

Toys: $34

Crate: $44

Crate mat: $35

Adoption fee: $335 + $15 donation

First vet visit: $192

Total initial costs with tax: $870

Recurring costs:

Food: $60/month

Heartworm preventative: $8.50/month

Flea & tick: $20/month

Joint medication (new– not included in video): $30/month

It’s true that getting a dog is a huge lifestyle and financial commitment, but I can say without hesitation that it’s one of the best investments I have personally ever made. Hattie adds joy and comfort to our lives every single day, and I feel so grateful that we are able to spend money taking care of her and giving her the best life possible.

🙂 Rachel


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