puppies

Can You Afford a Pet? It’s Really Not That Cheap

My little girl has been nagging me to get a puppy for some time now. At first it was only the thought of cleaning up smelly little bundles of poop that put me off the idea. Then I started working out how much it could cost to have a pet and I realized that it is more expensive to buy and then keep a pet than I had thought.

The Cost of Buying One

If my daughter would be happy with a straggly, rather sad looking pooch then I reckon we could probably get one for free off the street. Sadly, she wants a cute little bundle of fluff with all his teeth in the right place and no weird patches of missing fur. Getting a new dog from the local shelter or re-homing center is always the best idea but the ones near us are vaguely depressing places where they only ever seem to have giant, loping hounds which are no good for a three year old. Once I reluctantly ruled out the re-homing center I got a few quotes from dog breeders selling pups. Wow, those little dogs cost a fortune. I had to ask one of the sellers to repeat the price a couple of times, as I genuinely couldn’t believe that a little bundle of fluff could cost so much.

Feeding the Little Fellow  

Dog food is expensive, isn’t it? When I was a kid we used to give our pooch the leftovers from our family meals. The problem is that I was part of a big family back then but now there are just the 3 of us at home. This means that there usually aren’t any leftovers. We already have an older dog and he is incredibly fussy about what he eats. Some days he will eat bread, some days he will eat dog biscuits and some days he will turn up his nose at anything you offer him. If you have a look around the supermarket shelves you will see that fancy tinned dog food costs a fortune. In fact, some of this stuff is more expensive that what I eat. The good news is that there are plenty of online tips for making cheap canine nosh at home. While my older dog won’t touch this stuff I reckon I could train a younger one to eat this way.

The Health Care Expenses

Talk to any dog owner whose pooch has been sick and you will no doubt hear a horror story about the cost. One of my neighbors said his dog was unwell a while back and the vet’s bills ended up costing him over 2 months wages. When dogs have health problems it can be a real financial headache. Getting some form of pet insurance will put your mind at ease but this is, of course, another expense to shell out for.

The Verdict  

I think that it is important that you work out the cost of your new dog before you buy one. It can be a lot more expensive then you might think. In our case, my daughter wants one so much that we are going to go ahead and buy one. However, I won’t be paying out thousands of dollars for a pure bred one.  Instead, we’ll look for a cute and friendly mutt who costs maybe a hundred dollars or so. I might even take a trip back to the shelter to see if I can find a suitable one there in the next week or so. I have worked out the cost and calculated that it will be worth it to give my daughter a new little friend.

Does the cost of keeping a pet put you off the idea?

(image courtesy of London Media)

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10 Responses to Can You Afford a Pet? It’s Really Not That Cheap

  1. I have a Japanese Spitz dog, he is a very playful dog. Sometimes we fed our dog from our leftovers from our meal or a dog food.
    Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way recently posted…How are Options’ Prices StructuredMy Profile

  2. It drives me nuts when I hear people complaining about how broke they are, but they have a pet. It just doesn’t make sense.
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted…Love and Money: Long Distance ExpensesMy Profile

  3. Mark Ross says:

    I love dogs, they are indeed expensive, but I don’t care. I can’t just take them to the shelter because our family loves them so much. I guess we just need to accept the fact that we have to spend for them for the rest of their lives.
    Mark Ross recently posted…20 Easy Ways To Save Money And Energy At HomeMy Profile

  4. dojo says:

    I have 2 old dogs back home, both taken from the streets. They are indeed expensive, I don’t think we spent as much in doctor bills for ourselves as we did for them :D

    Anyway .. wouldn’t trade them for the world. They brought us a lot of joy and happiness, so they’re worth the effort.
    dojo recently posted…Saving money vs. saving time when it comes to caring for a newbornMy Profile

  5. My wife and I had this conversation years ago when we got our first cat. “But it’s only $5 at the animal rescue!” She said. Add in yearly shots, weekly litter and food, it adds up. Luckily she (the cat) hasn’t gotten ill or needed any kind of medical treatment, I can’t imagine how much that would cost!
    Brock @cleverdude recently posted…I Gave Away My Computer Monitor As Motivation To DeclutterMy Profile

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