Author Topic: how much does a dog cost?  (Read 22593 times)

scrubbyfish

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #50 on: December 04, 2014, 07:51:26 PM »
...there is *nothing* like a dog for helping a kid with troubles.  Go for it!  Kids who grow up with dogs are less likely to have mental or emotional problems throughout their live.

We always had a dog, and lots of other pets -like a hobby farm, I guess- but we all grew up really screwed up. Like, several-being-government-designated screwed up. This said, my experiences of dogs include:

-the dog we had through all my growing up was the only being I talked to, and was who I depended on to be able to tell everything to
-that dog also kept one of my brothers absolutely safe when my brother wandered off as a toddler; even kind neighbours could not access my brother to get him home, only my parents were permitted by Dog to retrieve him :)
-a neighbour's dog did this stunning physical intervention to save me, as a child, from a vicious attack-in-progress by a strange dog

Amazing creatures. I guess as screwed up as we were, we would probably have been more screwed up without these guys!

cacaoheart

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #51 on: December 04, 2014, 07:57:15 PM »
As others have mentioned, dog insurance is worth looking into, particularly when you first get the dog and it doesn't yet have so many preexisting conditions. My wife and I got our 75 pound greyhound Preacher 16 months ago, when he was 4.5 years old and just a few months off the track. We got a policy through Embrace with a $1000 deductible that covers 80% beyond that, up to $10,000 per year, costing $19 per month. In the first year that meant rather than spending $3000 we spent $1400. You can adjust the deductible, coinsurance rate, and maximum covered annually quite a bit and see what it will cost, but be sure to pick a high enough level that if anything you downgrade coverage over time, as upgrading coverage makes it so that every issue they've had up to that point becomes a preexisting condition.

For Preacher, food is slightly over ~$20 per month thanks to costco, our apartment charges a $40 monthly fee for us to have him, insurance is $19 monthly, boarding is $20-30 per night on the rare occasions when friends or family aren't available, and medical costs average out to ~$100 per month thanks to insurance. Most vet visits have been due to Preacher eating whatever we've yet to hide from him, along with dealing with greyhounds having very thin skin which has meant a playful dog bite broke skin and he had to have a drain put in his side when he got caught on his crate door. We spent $150 getting him good citizen certified, found that he actually can sit, and at some point may spend another $150 to get him certified as a therapy dog so that my wife can take him around the hospital I work at. Preacher loves meeting new people and getting out/being around as many people as possible.

The_path_less_taken

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #52 on: December 04, 2014, 09:00:18 PM »


I have a rat terrier, too!  She is a doll.  She's five.  She was a rescue, too.  Her only real issues so far are terrible allergies (which make her bite her paws and rub her eyes).  The vet thought it was food-related, so we put her on ridiculously expensive food and antihistamines, but I am now quite sure it was seasonal, because she has now had it two years in a row, in the early fall.
[/quote]

Two of mine have some weird allergy thing, one to the point of scratching until she bleeds and even scratching her cornea.

While some of it can be food related I think some of it is an actual issue with stuff on their skin: one dog broke out bad when I switched detergents. A friend's vet said they should shampoo the dog with a special shampoo to break the micro climate that contributed to the scratching...um...maybe?

Lulu, the one who scratched her cornea, is now not scratching because she's on a brand new drug. It's such a new drug it's difficult to acquire due to shortages. It is called Apoquel and was worth every penny: she stopped within days of going on it.

The fish and sweet potato food they sell at Costco has a lot of natural oil from the fish, and that also helped both dogs.

Good luck!

The_path_less_taken

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #53 on: December 04, 2014, 09:03:23 PM »
Ack: screwed up the quote box thingie...it was supposed to be about the post from iwasjustwondering.

sorry.

Rural

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #54 on: December 05, 2014, 05:46:19 AM »
Our two Great Danes cost about $70 a month in food, maybe $80.

Well critter checks and vaccinations, all in for everybody including three cats, run us about $500 a year. The bulk, but not all, of that is for the two dogs so figure maybe $200 per dog.


And on that note, if you get a dog, you probably want to find a country vet. I believe you said you were out a ways now. So, the more rural the vet, the lower the cost. They're also likely, frankly, to be better at what they do. Or at least that's been my experience. Probably has to do with having to be able to treat   dogs, cats, cows, horses, etc.


The male cost us $300 as a puppy, and the female $400. Maybe that was the other way around. Anyway, both dogs have papers, but they're specifically "pet grade." That means we won't be winning any prizes at dog shows, as if we cared about that. We got them different places, but each was from a household where the parents lived in the house and were pets, and where they were the only dogs.


As for what they're "worth? " Well, the dogs saved me from a methhead one fine morning about a year ago. They guard the property, and I'm sure they're the reason the house has never been broken into, isolated as it is. Ditto the barn, because their fence runs up to the barn.  Finally, love.


Our big boy has hit his senior years, so far without health complications. But they'll happen, and when they do, we'll pay for them. that country vet will help with that, but I'm firmly of the opinion that things like vet care are why we have money.

iwasjustwondering

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #55 on: December 05, 2014, 05:53:20 AM »


I have a rat terrier, too!  She is a doll.  She's five.  She was a rescue, too.  Her only real issues so far are terrible allergies (which make her bite her paws and rub her eyes).  The vet thought it was food-related, so we put her on ridiculously expensive food and antihistamines, but I am now quite sure it was seasonal, because she has now had it two years in a row, in the early fall.

Two of mine have some weird allergy thing, one to the point of scratching until she bleeds and even scratching her cornea.

While some of it can be food related I think some of it is an actual issue with stuff on their skin: one dog broke out bad when I switched detergents. A friend's vet said they should shampoo the dog with a special shampoo to break the micro climate that contributed to the scratching...um...maybe?

Lulu, the one who scratched her cornea, is now not scratching because she's on a brand new drug. It's such a new drug it's difficult to acquire due to shortages. It is called Apoquel and was worth every penny: she stopped within days of going on it.

The fish and sweet potato food they sell at Costco has a lot of natural oil from the fish, and that also helped both dogs.

Good luck!
[/quote]

Thanks.  The food the vet gave us was sweet potato and duck, but it was incredibly expensive.  My rat terrier was biting the skin off her paws.  She's completely better now, so I think it had something to do with the vegetation in the fall.

samburger

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #56 on: December 05, 2014, 08:58:37 AM »
Since adopting a 12-month-old mutt in June, I've spent $1,700:

$400 of that was her adoption fee (we adopted from her a. foster system--you pay more for foster than you do at a shelter, but you'll also be able to speak to someone who's lived with the dog).

$600 was vet bills (she was sick when we adopted her + regular preventatives).

The remaining $700 was infrastructure: a kennel for potty training and alone training, 5 harnesses (she chewed through 3 and escaped from 1), leashes (short for crowd training, medium for regular walks, long for recall training), tons of treats for training, grain-free food, booties for the winter, etc etc. I spent a bit more here than most because we needed training gear--most folks aren't quite so intense about training.

The first year is VASTLY more expensive than most years--unless, of course, you run into serious health issues. Now that we're done with start-up costs, we budget $50/mo for the dog + a cat.

Breaker

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #57 on: December 05, 2014, 10:04:46 AM »
Here is a link that I hope will help stop the dissemination of the myth that mixed breed dogs are healthier than purebreds.

http://www.instituteofcaninebiology.org/purebred-vs-mixed-uc-davis.html

frugalnacho

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #58 on: December 05, 2014, 10:34:16 AM »
I am planning a vacation for february and we are going to have to find a pet sitter for our dog and cat.  We have used a pet sitting service before, but the lady wants $45/day to take care of 1 dog and 1 cat, and we are going to be gone for 9-10 days.  That's insanity.  I don't want to pay $450, and drive 45 minutes in the wrong direction from my vacation to drop the stupid animals off, then drive another 45 minutes to pick them up afterwards.    That's $450 cash, plus 3 extra hours in the car, plus the expense of driving 3 hours in the car.  That's a significant fraction of my vacation fund.

I hate having animals and I wish my wife didn't want them.  They can be cool to pet on occasion, and funny to watch, but they are expensive and also a major pain in the ass.  They impinge on our freedom big time. We can't stay away too long at family functions (or anywhere) because we have to get home to feed them, and let the dog out.  We can't stay overnight anywhere without making special arrangements to have the dog taken care of.  We are home bodies mostly, but I hate being restricted to having to come home every single night.

Our dog also tore her ACL and had to have surgery to repair it.  $1200, plus I had to carry her up and down the stairs to bed for like a month.  I don't even like this dog that much.  She's such a dud as far as dogs go.

gt7152b

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #59 on: December 05, 2014, 10:37:22 AM »
2) Have an end-of-life plan for your dog.  It will almost certainly die before you do and the last couple of vet visits can add up to more than every cent you spent on the dog in the previous 10-12 years.  Decide your cut-off point in terms of dollars, communicate it to the vet early, and simply euthanize when the time comes. 

Really good advice. I have loved every dog I've owned immensely but I don't believe in surgery for pets as a general rule. Circumstances could change my opinion for a young pet or a clear cut procedure that will add years of life. I've only had to euthanize one of my dogs and he was pretty far up there with a pretty murky diagnosis and prognosis. It was an easy and hard decision at the same time. 

windawake

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #60 on: December 05, 2014, 10:53:22 AM »
My dog is a border collie mix. She's totally adorable and I love her so, so much. I spend about $60 every two months on high quality dog food. I usually spend another $20/month on other dog items, like treats, toys, and bones. Our last yearly vet check-up was something like $250 for lots of shots and tests that she won't need for awhile now since she's over a year old. I use Revolution as a flea/tick/heartworm preventive and it's $20/month. I spend $65 a year for her city license and off-leash permit.

All in all, I think $100/month is a good estimate for ongoing costs. Costs were much higher at the beginning when you account for the adoption fee (hers was $300 from a humane society), puppy shots (painfully expensive), and buying one-time things like leash, kennel, harness, and food bowls. She's seriously the best decision I've ever made and makes my life better every day. I wanted a dog for years before I got her and I just kick myself for taking so long about it!

scrubbyfish

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #61 on: December 05, 2014, 11:20:16 AM »
frugalnacho: I really appreciate hearing that side of things, too! It's important that we acknowledge that a pet isn't for everyone, and that they do impact lifestyle in ways not everyone will love. My brother and his family got a dog...and returned it after some months. I would be quite heartbroken if I felt the need to re-home a dog. I've had to re-home three cats (one at a time), which is why I stopped getting pets and haven't yet gotten one again in the last 20ish years. The places I could afford to rent didn't allow a pet. In another case, I was going to move back across Canada, and the cat would have been too long (5-6 days @ 24 hours a day) in the bus's baggage compartment, or would need to be tranquilized (plane's rule at the time) to be on the plane and was too young for that. I wept like mad each time I had to rehome a cat and woke up to this reality of having a pet.

I've also been reluctant to get a pet because I'm aware that this can interfere with a human relationship. My last partner was 100% opposed to our household having a pet, so that was that, and now that I'm single again, I'm aware that my getting a pet will reduce the number of people to potentially partner with, simply because not every person wants a partner with a pet, or a person may already have the pet limit permitted by their strata, city bylaws, etc.

cacaoheart

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #62 on: December 05, 2014, 12:14:11 PM »
They impinge on our freedom big time. We can't stay away too long at family functions (or anywhere) because we have to get home to feed them, and let the dog out.  We can't stay overnight anywhere without making special arrangements to have the dog taken care of. 

Very true. I'm hopeful that at some point we'll have a more communal arrangement with friends/other partners so that Preacher will not be solely dependent on us for being fed/walked most days. If my wife and I didn't have a dog we'd be seriously considering moving into a cargo van to radically cut costs while continuing to work. Maybe we'll end up with a nearby friend that likes having him stay at their place while we're working, ideally with a fenced in yard. When we go out of town he often stays at my mother-in-laws since she already has a black lab and a large yard with 7 foot fencing, but she's 30 minutes away. In the mean time we're happy to have him with us and wouldn't want to give him up.

cacaoheart

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #63 on: December 05, 2014, 12:17:48 PM »
I've also been reluctant to get a pet because I'm aware that this can interfere with a human relationship. My last partner was 100% opposed to our household having a pet, so that was that, and now that I'm single again, I'm aware that my getting a pet will reduce the number of people to potentially partner with, simply because not every person wants a partner with a pet, or a person may already have the pet limit permitted by their strata, city bylaws, etc.

One of my partners can't have Preacher at her house because her live-in partner is allergic to dogs. Greyhounds are much less allergenic than most dogs but I can understand they don't want to risk any reaction, but this means overnight stays either happen at my place or my wife and I have to make arrangements to either have someone else looking after Preacher or we make sure to get back early in the morning so he isn't alone for much longer than he is during the day.

boarder42

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #64 on: December 05, 2014, 12:36:23 PM »
dogs are usually free people give them away b/c they are expensive

Cassie

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #65 on: December 05, 2014, 12:59:24 PM »
10 years ago we started the dog journey & now I would never be without one.  However, we did get involved with rescue work & some other circumstances and for the past 7 years have had 4 dogs which has cost us a small fortune.  Now they are all old (9-16) and as they go naturally we will only have one.  This is mainly due to the very high vet costs in our area.  The love & companionship they provide is incredible.  Also if you have one small dog you can often bring it with  you on a trip.  You can fly with it & put in under your seat in the cabin.  Many hotels are now taking small dogs.  We also exchange doggy sitting with friends so rarely have to pay for it. 

1967mama

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #66 on: December 05, 2014, 01:10:45 PM »
Why don't you go ahead and get on the waiting list for an autism service dog? You never know, it might time out perfectly for you! If it doesn't, nothing lost, nothing gained :-)

scrubbyfish

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #67 on: December 05, 2014, 01:34:18 PM »
Why don't you go ahead and get on the waiting list for an autism service dog? You never know, it might time out perfectly for you! If it doesn't, nothing lost, nothing gained :-)

Yes, good point! And I can still be researching the care-costs and my budget in the meantime.

rubybeth

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #68 on: December 05, 2014, 02:08:36 PM »
Okay, I haven't read this whole thread, but I have a couple points to add:

1. Do you need a large dog for a particular reason? I ask because small dogs eat and poop less, which is cheaper (my mom spends approximately $60 a YEAR on dog food for her 20 lb. dachshund) and less picking up of large dog craps is a win every time (a 20 lb dog poop is tiny compared to the huge dumps I've seen in some dog parks... yikes). Plus it seems friends are more willing to dog sit a small dog vs. a large dog so you could save on boarding, if that's a concern. Cold climate shouldn't be a big factor because even large dogs shouldn't be out when it's cold (and that little long-haired dachshund loves going outside even when it's -20 here in Minnesota).

2. You will likely save money on kids toys in the long run with a dog, because playful dogs are super entertaining. My dad realized this after getting a dog in his 60s and seeing me and my sister dote on her. "I probably could have saved so much on toys and computer games if I'd just relented and gotten you two a dog, huh?" Yup, dad!

scrubbyfish

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #69 on: December 05, 2014, 02:45:48 PM »
1. Do you need a large dog for a particular reason?

Good question! Well, I don't actually know anything about dogs, really... but, I was envisioning a bigger dog because one aspect of my interest is that a dog that will scare off cougars, bears (and human predators) on hikes and camping. And, frankly, I worry that a smaller dog would get eaten by a cougar on same trips :(   This said, my Oprah magazine dog is a little guy.

I think a second part is that I once found a dog, and fell madly in love with it, and after five days of calling everywhere, advertising it found, etc, I thought it was mine for keeps. I was heartbroken when the dog was ultimately retrieved, and dream of having basically that exact dog again.

Sigh, now I have to talk about that dog. HAVE TO! You all (except frugalnacho ;) understand. I found it circling inside a busy intersection. First thing I did was take it in, soothe it, feed it, hydrate it, etc. Then I took him to a vet for a check up, and then a dog spa -whatever that's called- for a hypoallergenic bath. (I didn't think I should scrub a dog I didn't know, unnecessarily traumatizing either one of us.) These places were unable to identify the type of dog, but guessed it was -if I'm remembering correctly- a mix of border collie, lab, rottweiler, and something unknown. He was so amazing. (Oh good, now I'm all weepy, dammit.) He sat under my desk all day at work, followed silent hand signals, walked on this side or that side of me depending on which hand I dropped, could run off-leash and return immediately upon one call...all this within days of meeting a human who didn't even know his name?!?! (Amazingly, I learned later that the very unusual name I gave him was extraordinarily similar to the one his owners had given him. Same first syllable, etc. This may have helped, but obviously he was very well trained as well as very receptive.) I cried for days and days after they took him. I want him back.

scrubbyfish

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #70 on: December 05, 2014, 02:54:50 PM »
^ Okay, this is funny... Through this whole thread, I was kind of thinking on one level, "What the hell am I asking this question for? I'm not actually 'a dog person'." And then I wrote the above post. I laughed to realize that, yeah, I'm not 'a kid person' either, but I love my kid, and am fierce about his care, and am so grateful we share a life, and wouldn't want it any other way! So, I don't want "a dog", really. I want to be prepared for "my dog", so that I can receive and keep him whenever he shows up.

scrubbyfish

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #71 on: December 05, 2014, 02:59:23 PM »
p.s. The dog I grew up with was also very, very mixed and also a good part Rottweiler. Such a good, kind, sweet, gentle dog. I want him back, too. But at least I got to have him from pup to very old age, not just for some days.

sf56

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #72 on: December 05, 2014, 03:21:15 PM »
We have a ten year old great dane. She has been my best friend for those ten years, but I don't think we will get another when she is gone. I needed a good friend early on, but now that I am married and have a kid my life is a lot more full. For the record I still think Danes are unbelievably cool dogs. Great temperament and lots of fun, but low energy and won't tear your house apart. I've never understood the obsession with smart dogs. I like dumb dogs. Smart dogs get into things, chew things, and basically start trouble when they are bored. Unless you are keeping up with them it can mean they are bored a lot. I've been too busy most of my dog owning life to really play for the extended period time required for most sporting dogs in good health. Big dumb dogs just want to get loved, eat, and sleep. They will play for a while but get bored of that pretty quick. The downsides for Danes and other giant breeds are all the health and management issues. They need to be fed on a certain schedule, shouldn't play or ride in a car after eating, etc. They also have many potential growth issues, worn out legs and hips due to extra weight, heart issues, bone cancer... the list goes on and on. We've been militant in managing our Danes and they have rewarded us with relatively long and healthy lives. At ten my girl is still fairly spry and lives a pretty solid life. That's a long time for a giant breed. I did some rough math and would put my total costs pretty close to $15,000 for the past ten years. That includes the best food possible, various medications/supplements, getting spayed, and two minor emergency surgeries.

I don't regret any of it, and I continue to take care of her as if she was family, but owning an animal like this isn't really in line with my current belief system (financial or otherwise).

windawake

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #73 on: December 05, 2014, 03:44:52 PM »
I once had a foster dog who I fell in love with. I wasn't ready at the time to commit to a dog and after she was adopted I would feel weepy and sad that I didn't keep her. I remember meeting a guy at a party who said that whenever I found a dog, I'd love mine even more.

He was right. My current dog is both a better fit for me and a better dog in general. I can't say it will always work out this way, but it's encouraging nonetheless.

I have a great support system for my dog. I'm single and live with one roommate. She's often home and can watch my dog for weekend trips. My parents live nearby and are watching my dog for 3 weeks in May when I go to Europe. Because my dog is so mellow and well trained, I have offers for dogsitting up the wazoo. It helps if you have lots of friends and family who like dogs. For similar reasons, I can bring her to extended family events or have a friend watch her during these things.

samburger

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #74 on: December 05, 2014, 04:12:31 PM »
I've never understood the obsession with smart dogs. I like dumb dogs. Smart dogs get into things, chew things, and basically start trouble when they are bored. Unless you are keeping up with them it can mean they are bored a lot. I've been too busy most of my dog owning life to really play for the extended period time required for most sporting dogs in good health.

Yes! If I had one dog-related wish, I'd wish that everyone understood what energy level means in dog terms. It's nearly impossible to live peaceably with a dog whose energy level doesn't match your lifestyle. I grew up with an Australian Shepherd mix--great dog, but she was a working dog and my family didn't have the time or inclination to exercise her for 4 hours/day. She barked NONSTOP.

I have a low-energy mutt now, and she's perfect. She rarely barks, never excessively, and she doesn't destroy stuff. She can hike all day, and she can stay engaged in intense training sessions, but she's also happy if she spends most of the day on the couch. I'd make a fortune if I could clone her.

lvbhappy

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #75 on: December 05, 2014, 05:24:56 PM »
About half my credit card debt is due to my sweet sweet Sawyer pup--a black mouth cur, who just happens to think he can swallow anything.  Including squeakers from toys.  6 of them.  And other things. Plus we had him trained. (he no longer gets toys, or any non edible thing)

So I've spent about 5-6k on this dog, prior to pet insurance, and while I don't regret a PENNY of it because he is one of the utter and complete joys in my life....I wish I had gotten pet insurance the day I got him. Then, I would probably only have spent about $500-1000.  I did the math, and $40/mo for the lifetime of the dog (say a nice long 15 years) is only $7200.  I'm pretty much there already.

Our other pup--a doberman, of course I had insurance on day one, and she hasn't cost me a thing beyond normal vet shots, heartworm meds, and food.

One time costs for her of crate, leash, bowls, collars etc.  Sawyer pup is on his 3rd crate, after being too smart and destroying the previous 2, haha, my smart monster puppy. More money to chalk up to him.

I spent ~$100 month on pet food for them both, and probably another $40 on bully sticks (edible chewing toys), and $30 on treats/training.
BTW--awesome discount pet site.  Very very nice..  www.petflow.com

Boarding is super expensive.

We don't have kids, and don't plan to have kids though, so our puppies are our babies. 

I love pet insurance.  Having to decide whether or not to do surgery to save my 9 month old puppy was agonizing, and I do not want to have cost matter at all ever again in that decision.  We ended up not needing it, but overnight vet stays, and meds, and IVF still added up to so much money. AND my company will cover things like hip surgeries or any genetic condition or cancer...We pay a $250-500 deductible and then 10%.  Such a relief to the mind. I am with Healthy paws (no yearly limit) and Petplan(20,000/yr limit)
« Last Edit: December 05, 2014, 05:32:50 PM by lvbhappy »

iris lily

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #76 on: December 05, 2014, 06:43:30 PM »

..
Lulu, the one who scratched her cornea, is now not scratching because she's on a brand new drug. It's such a new drug it's difficult to acquire due to shortages. It is called Apoquel and was worth every penny: she stopped within days of going on it.

The fish and sweet potato food they sell at Costco has a lot of natural oil from the fish, and that also helped both dogs.

Good luck!

Hey, my dog is on Apoquel, too! And hyeah, we've had trouble getting it and in between shipments he has had to go back on steroids and it's a mess.
Apoquel is half the cost of his previous med, Atopica. The Atopica worked 100% on his skin but he had very bad side effects, so he had to go off it.

Apoquel is about 90% effective for his skin. I guess I'll take that. He's got horrible skin condition. He's a rescue dog and his previous family gave him up because of that. I adopted him because he is hilarious, he makes us laugh every day. And yes, he had been extremely expensive--kidney stones, entropian (eyelid surgery). So far all this and he's only 5 years old.

DH and I have no children and bulldogs and rescue are our luxuries. And, this silly bulldog guy fit well into our household. He gets along with the bossy Frenchies and doesn't chase our cats too often.

sheepstache

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #77 on: December 05, 2014, 06:57:38 PM »
I've never understood the obsession with smart dogs. I like dumb dogs. Smart dogs get into things, chew things, and basically start trouble when they are bored. Unless you are keeping up with them it can mean they are bored a lot. I've been too busy most of my dog owning life to really play for the extended period time required for most sporting dogs in good health.

Yes! If I had one dog-related wish, I'd wish that everyone understood what energy level means in dog terms. It's nearly impossible to live peaceably with a dog whose energy level doesn't match your lifestyle. I grew up with an Australian Shepherd mix--great dog, but she was a working dog and my family didn't have the time or inclination to exercise her for 4 hours/day. She barked NONSTOP.

I have a low-energy mutt now, and she's perfect. She rarely barks, never excessively, and she doesn't destroy stuff. She can hike all day, and she can stay engaged in intense training sessions, but she's also happy if she spends most of the day on the couch. I'd make a fortune if I could clone her.

Yes! My mother does rescue work with australian shepherds and this is the issue the majority of the time. People think they want one because they're beautiful dogs, sort of like a more distinguished looking golden retriever. But these people just want family companions and would be much better off with, say, a golden retriever. The working dogs have an intense energy and need to work and if the owner doesn't put in the time to give them that then they get neurotic and bored and wretched.  My mom has 3 of them and loves it :) She has an agility course in the backyard and has friends who have sheep she can take the dogs to to learn herding.

@scrubbyfish I've had regrets too about animals I met but couldn't take at the time, but the regret is much greater for a dog we lost, so think of it in terms of how grateful that family was you got the dog back to them and how happy the dog must have been.

Tieke

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #78 on: December 05, 2014, 10:36:29 PM »
Lots of good stuff on here about costs already.  I'd say that once you've costed it out, you just need to take into account a) that the costs for ANY dog can escalate hugely if they get medical issues (so can you afford the worst case scenario?) and b) that it's often not that predictable as to whether a dog will get medical issues on the basis of breeding.    It's true that a lot of purebreds are prone to particular problems, but a lot of mutts are the offspring of two poor-quality-purebreds - and that can result in the exact same type of problems.  I've had two friends with dogs that had hip dysplasia when they were less than one year old, and both were crossbreds.  In both instances, both parents came from breeds that are prone to hip dysplasia, so the cross did nothing to help breed out that problem (which is largely the result of a recessive gene).

Which isn't to say that you shouldn't go ahead with your rescue-dog plan, but I'd just go into it with eyes open and see if you can find out a bit about the breed of the parents.  If you're picking a crossbred, you ideally want one that's come from parents that are unlikely to have been prone to the same kinds of inherited problems as each other.  Picking a pure-bred rescue is probably dicier in some ways, since both parents will always have had potentially similar defects that they can breed into their offspring.

I guess it's a little bit of a risk no matter what you do, but let's face it, the pay-off is pretty huge if you're a dog lover!

theorem23

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #79 on: December 06, 2014, 07:25:49 AM »
We have 65 lb, pure-bred, female golden retriever. Here are the associated costs that we have incurred:

Non-Recurring Costs
1. Purchase price - $700
2. Spay - $250
3. Flea Treatments - $350
4. Antibiotics for Urinary Tract Infection - $100

Recurring Costs (Yearly)
1. Food - $450
2. Heartworm pills - $70
3. Yearly Vet Check-Up - $150
4. Toys, Grooming, Leashes, Collars, etc - $50

Our dog is 2.5 years old, so we have spent roughly $1800 on recurring expenses. Adding in the $1400 we've spent in non-recurring costs we have spent a grand total of roughly $3200 on our dog over the last 2.5 years.

Oh, and don't let your dog get fleas! :)
« Last Edit: December 06, 2014, 07:27:36 AM by theorem23 »

pagoconcheques

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #80 on: December 07, 2014, 01:34:13 PM »
Here's a nice chart that shows the cost/benefit of different breeds: 

http://www.slate.com/blogs/wild_things/2014/11/12/big_data_dog_graph_popularity_of_dog_breeds_mapped_against_their_overall.html

Obviously, this is more of an exercise in graphic presentation of data than anything else, and I won't vouch for the veracity of data underlying the chart. 

iris lily

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #81 on: December 07, 2014, 03:27:39 PM »
Here's a nice chart that shows the cost/benefit of different breeds: 

http://www.slate.com/blogs/wild_things/2014/11/12/big_data_dog_graph_popularity_of_dog_breeds_mapped_against_their_overall.html

Obviously, this is more of an exercise in graphic presentation of data than anything else, and I won't vouch for the veracity of data underlying the chart.

I refuse to take this challenge lying down!

There you all see the bulldog over to the left, away from all other breeds. Looking left. That is supposed to indicate lack of intelligence.
Meanwhile, the French bulldog is further right, looking right, indicating more intelligence.

Ladies and gentlemen, I've had 20 bulldogs and 8 Frenchies thorugh my house in the last 20 years and there is NO contest as to brains: the French don't have them. The English (Bulldog) have them and will exercise them when it's convenient. It's all about convenience in the life of a bulldog. If brains will get him a cookie or a snuggle with his human, then you will see intelligence. If cookies and snuggles come regularly to him without effort on his part, you'll see no brain work.

When our last two elderly Frenchies die off there will be no more  here.

« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 03:33:03 PM by iris lily »

scrubbyfish

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #82 on: December 07, 2014, 04:24:18 PM »
Fun chart! :)

28 dogs in 20 years, oy!!!

iris lily

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #83 on: December 07, 2014, 07:04:53 PM »
Fun chart! :)

28 dogs in 20 years, oy!!!

I know, you probably wonder what we do to them.

Only some of those were our own dogs, we have up to 4 at a time, and we adopt fully adult dogs for our own pets. The record for shortest stay with us was 10 hours--we brought an 8-year-old senior dog home and he died in his sleep that night.

About 10 of the Bulldogs were rescue dogs that we fostered and were with us only a few weeks. Same for 4 of the French bulldogs.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 07:07:42 PM by iris lily »

sheepstache

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #84 on: December 07, 2014, 07:52:05 PM »
Here's a nice chart that shows the cost/benefit of different breeds: 

http://www.slate.com/blogs/wild_things/2014/11/12/big_data_dog_graph_popularity_of_dog_breeds_mapped_against_their_overall.html

Obviously, this is more of an exercise in graphic presentation of data than anything else, and I won't vouch for the veracity of data underlying the chart.

Oh good point! A lot of the breeds have specific health problems due to breeding. e.g., breathing problems in brachycephalic breeds, hip dysplasia, etc. Sounds like OP might be interested in yer standard mutt, though.

starbuck

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #85 on: December 08, 2014, 08:39:44 AM »
We have a mutt in the truest sense - she's a street dog from Puerto Rico. At 14 years old, she's got zero health problems (and hasn't had any either.) I just checked Mint and we've spent $775 on her in the last 12 months. $400 for her annual vet checkup and vaccines, $125 on flea meds, and the last $250 on food. (She's under 20 lbs so doesn't eat much.) So much of pet health is about what they eat and what they weigh.

Larger dogs cost more money because most (all?) pet stuff is based on size. Larger = bigger doses of flea and tick meds, bigger bags of food, bigger toys, beds, crates, etc. My ideal dog size is no bigger than 40 lbs - small enough that I can pick the dog up, but large enough to keep up when we climb mountains. Our 18 lb pooch loves to hike even at age 14, but after 6 miles she has a hard time keeping up, and she's not too thrilled about being carried. :) Forget about snow shoeing!

If you (and your son) can avoid getting super attached to every dog that comes your way, you might like fostering. I liken it to being a coach rather than a parent. Fostering is about getting the dog into tip top adoptable shape so they can land their forever home and then you can start coaching the next dog. YMMV on this one, some people are 'terrible' at fostering aka they adopt every dog they get. :)

scrubbyfish

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Re: how much does a dog cost?
« Reply #86 on: December 08, 2014, 10:51:40 AM »
some people are 'terrible' at fostering aka they adopt every dog they get. :)

:)   A lovely kind of terrible, yes!