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You paid how much for that dog?

March 27, 2015

I’ll admit it – I had no idea what it meant to own a dog. I vaguely assumed we’d rescue a dog when/if  ever got one.  I also thought a medium sized dog would be best.  And that was all of the thought I put into owning a dog.  I might have even judged on my blog my friend for getting a $1600 bernese mountain dog.

Then we actually decided to get a dog. We put a lot more thought into it. We decided not to rescue.  I’m happy to share why if you are curious, but it is great that people’s first instinct these days is to adopt a rescue.  Everyone should consider a rescue.  We did consider it, but chose not to go that route right now. (If you end up considering a puppy from a breeder, please do LOTS of research and find out how you can ensure you are not supporting puppy mills or irresponsible breeding.) Dogs are one of the few things that it is unadvisable to buy over the internet these days. We had a hard time  getting started on find the reputable breeders, and even ended up going to a dog show to meet some in person.  (We are not dog show people.)

Anyway, here are the “start up” costs of our soon-to-be latest family member:

  • $1,800 the puppy itself.  Yep, for reals.  It is possible to get this breed for less (as low as $1000 in the midwest, + flight to get them to us), including from reputable breeders (maybe?), but not locally.   By “locally” I mean in the state of California.  We wanted to meet our breeder in person, so far away wasn’t a good option. I can’t even explain why I think it is OK for the puppy itself to cost that much.  It is absurd, right?  I will say that we talked to several breeders, and our breeder is the most fantastic of them all.
  • $300 for puppy kindergarten classes. Our breeder requires this for 6 weeks, we’re doing ~10 weeks.  They are 1 hr/week.
  • $250+ for puppy supplies: crate, toys, dog dish, nail trimmer, etc.
  • $? – initial vet visit / shots.

So, that’s a ton of money, and I almost didn’t post this, because… Well, I think it is obvious why one might hesitate!  But this is going to be a big part of our finances this year, and it deserves to be discussed in the open. The dog is “saving” us money, because we’re forgoing some intended travel this year. We thought about it, and I really wanted a dog more than I wanted to visit Hong Kong in June (as a tag a long to a work trip T has). I spent 6 months in Hong Kong in college, so this wasn’t a decision I made lightly. (That is probably a different post – my travel priorities have shifted pretty majorly in the last couple of years.) Our new puppy comes home next month, and I hope it will bring us years of food bills, vet bills, and joy.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 27, 2015 2:02 pm

    If you’re anything like me, don’t forget to add the cost of constantly buying your puppy treats and toys…because, you know, she doesn’t already have enough…

  2. March 27, 2015 5:05 pm

    One of the things I don’t want to have to budget for is doggy daycare, but I don’t see a way around that without a fenced yard. Ah well, we aren’t there yet anyway.

    • March 28, 2015 9:02 pm

      We basically started looking for a dog immediately after I accepted a job with a 4 minute drive commute (or longer walk), with the expectation of reasonable hours. Husband is also close (not quite so close) to home, and has a relatively flexible schedule this spring/summer at least. But the key is both of us having minimized commutes. Before that, we wanted a dog but just couldn’t.

  3. March 28, 2015 6:41 pm


    I have dog fever so hard but until we buy a house it is just impossible. Rescue places won’t even let you take one of theirs because they know what the rental market/landlords are like. (Not sure what sellers do – they probably won’t care as long as you fork over the $$)

    I too always assumed we would go rescue eventually but I’ve read a couple of things lately that give me pause. Ah well, that’s still a long time away for us.

    • March 28, 2015 8:51 pm

      It is tough to have a dog in a rental here, but you can do it if you pay more (usually). But the rental situation where you are sounds quite a bit worse in terms of quality of rentals / tenant conditions / etc. I hope your new living situation is going well 🙂

      In this area “good” breeders are fussy about who they sell to, as typically aren’t in it as a full time business and many have more buyers than puppies. We actually had to jump through a few hoops just to get a local-ish puppy from a breeder we trusted. But you can certainly find someone to sell a puppy to you with fewer hoops. Also, some breeds might be easier, but I’m not sure.

  4. April 1, 2015 10:22 pm

    Tip: carrots are cheap and healthy treats. Seamus looooves them. Just to save you some cash 🙂

    I’m excited for y’all. Oh and I’m trying to recall but I think Groupon does have some pet related deals for your startup stuff, I’ll send you a link if I’m right.

  5. April 8, 2015 11:23 am

    Dogs are the greatest! I’m so excited for you guys!

    What breed did you decide to go with?

    • April 19, 2015 9:19 am

      He’s a vizsla – future running partner for me!

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