Why You Probably Can’t Afford a Dog

Lab Puppy

See that adorable pup to the right yearning for some love and affection? You may be wanting to take him home. Nothing wrong with that. After all, he’ll be your best friend.

Dogs can bring all sorts of joy to all sorts of people. They won’t discriminate or hold grudges. They just love endlessly and without reservation.

My parents own a yellow lab name Charles that I miss from time to time. However, the Cash Cow Couple will not own a dog and I’ll tell you why.

The financial side of dog ownership is a whole different animal (please laugh). You should consider a dog a luxury – yes, a luxury.

Why you ask? Well, unless you’ve stashed a mound of cash in the doggy fund, you should probably take a good hard look at the total cost of owning a new pup.

I’ve done some subjective research and I think I’m ready to share the true cost of owning a puppy.

One Time Expense:

We will begin with a young, pure bread chocolate lab – just like that lovable guy above – $300 (often higher than this)

Bed, crate, toys, treats, leash, name tag – $200

Training Classes? – $100

Vet Bills:

Puppy dog

1st exam (vaccines, booster shots, flea treatments) – $75

2nd exam (vaccines, booster shots, flea treatments) – $75

3rd round (spayed, micro-chipped (if the dog gets lost) third booster shots, and all sorts of flea/mite/puppy treatments) – $250

Recurring Costs:

Food – $40/month

Treats – $5/month

Possible (likely) Expenses:

Sickness or surgery – $100-5000

Dog boarding during vacations or trips – $100/trip

Grooming – $100/year

More toys/stuff/junk – $100/year

Flea/Worm medicine – $100/year

Carpet Cleaning – $200?

Total:

$1000 up front, $45/month recurring (almost $8,000 compounded over 10 years), with a high probability of spending more.

If the dog lives more than 10 years, it will cost you well over $10,000 .

The Bottom Line:

If you love your dog, that’s great. I understand that pets can be valuable companions.

But if you are in debt, struggling to get by, or trying to save more money, AVOID owning a dog.

Are my listed expenses accurate? Can you afford a dog? Please let me know with a comment.

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