Consider the Cost of Adopting a Dog


by Jane Sanders
The joys of owning a dog can be tremendous, but there is a lot of responsibility that comes with ownership as well. From mental health, an increase owner life span to unconditional loyalty, man’s best friend really has a lot to offer. Still, adopting a dog can be a economically, as well as physically taxing endeavor. The costs associated with adopting can vary greatly, depending upon the shelter or breeder a person does business with. The most common form of adopting in the US is of shelter dogs, which are often rescued.

How Much Do Shelter Dogs Cost?
Prices vary substantially depending upon the type of dog, and the particular shelter. Prices can range anywhere from virtually free, to hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars. Potential owners should remember that these animals may come with a lot of baggage as well. Although the shelter is a safe place, their original owners or situation may have been less than ideal. That’s not to say, however, that the majority of these dogs won’t make great pets, most often they do.

Costs Continue Long After Adoption
This is the most important factor to consider when looking into adoption. Recurring costs continue to add up over the life time of your pet. Obvious expenses include food, toys and pet sitting. Budgeting for food can be fairly easy once you determine the average adult size of the dog you would like to take home. Toys are a necessity that must be purchased to keep the animal entertained and support their quality of life.

Maintenance Care
Like humans, dogs need to be groomed and kept clean. Owners should factor in costs like brushes, shampoo, collars and nail trimmers. If you don’t wish to do all the grooming yourself, there are many professionals that can help, for an additional fee of course. Licensing is often required for all dogs within a city as well. Usually this takes the form of a yearly fee for each adopted animal you have.

Expensive Costs That Might Arise
Medical expenses are often overlooked when people look into adopting dogs. At the very least, you should expect to be visiting the Veterinarian at least once per year. Initially there may be shots required, as well as the recommended flea, tick and heart worm medicine. These are just the baseline costs. If your adopted puppy gets sick, costs might increase dramatically.

Most owners fall in love with their pups, and happily provide whatever care and materials they need for a long, healthy life. Owning a dog is a simpler version of trying to raise kids. There will be continual financial commitments long after the initial adoption.

This post was written by Jane Sanders. If adopting a pet has caused you financial difficulty, check out my Debt Management site.


About Author

Devoted pet owner and now, devoted pet editor, Judi worked in traditional offices, keeping the books and the day-to-day operations organized. Taking her dog to work every day for over a decade never seemed odd. Neither did having an office cat. She knows what it's like to train a new puppy and she's experienced the heartache of losing beloved companions. Retired, she currently lives with her spoiled dog and four chickens (who are, interestingly enough, also spoiled).


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    This article makes several good points. Beyond the initial cost of adopting a dog, you have to be able to pay for vet bills (to a point) if your pet should get ill. And it can definitely get expensive.

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