September 5, 2008, Newsletter Issue #11: The Cost of Caring for a Puppy

Tip of the Week

Your children have emptied their piggy banks in an attempt to persuade you that the family can afford to buy a dog. However, you are hesitant to agree to their wish, since you are sure there are other expenses involved. Should you accept the puppy on your tight budget or should you turn a deaf ear to your children's pleas? Since the cost of caring for a puppy is higher than the purchase price of the dog, it is a good idea to take a look at the expenses before you make your decision.
Puppies need immunizations, just like children. Expect to pay around $200 for your puppy's shots during the first few months at most veterinary hospitals.
Ideally, you should plan to neuter your dog at around six months. For a medium sized dog, a spay/neuter program for your area can keep the costs around $50. Very large and very small dogs often cost more because of veterinary fees associated with more difficult surgeries.Flea and tick medications and heartworm preventatives are almost essential during the Spring, Summer and Fall seasons. You should expect to pay another $100 a year for these medications.A good diet helps puppies grow up to be strong and healthy. Most pet owners opt to feed a quality dry kibble diet. Depending on the size of your dog and the brand of food you buy, your costs could be as low as $100 a year or as high as $1,000.
Your town or county probably requires pets to be licensed. The fee for this is usually minimal and neutered pets often receive a discount.

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