Cost of having a dog -- Nearly $60k for life of dog? - Page 3 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #21 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 06:46 PM
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I like that article! If you read it, it does give a much wider range of estimates. I will say that I've figured it out for my dogs and it's more like $15k for a 10-year lifespan (with a $4k emergency fund built in, which has been enough so far even with the 12-year-old who needed a $1500 surgery after being hit by a car; I have been lucky that my older dogs are healthy, but I also have a cap on how much I will spend on an old dog). I have them on year-round flea/tick and heartworm preventatives, and do a yearly vet checkup with dentals and vaccinations as needed. I also feed top-quality food.

I think a lot of it is that I live in a cheap area. Vet costs are low, because overhead is low. I used to pay a lot more in veterinary bills, probably $200 more per dog per year. I also used to have to order good-quality food online, which cost about $20/month per dog due to the high shipping costs.

I work from home or have short workdays, so I don't need doggie daycare and I don't need a dog walker. I don't travel often and usually take my dogs when I do, so no pet sitter. I am capable of handling their training, socialization and grooming needs on my own. I pursue dog sports for fun, but do not compete and generally only join training groups with minimal or no fee, compared to more expensive classes. I also don't think most people who adopt companion dogs are seriously training or competing in dog sports, I must admit. I do K9 SAR, but my team pays for our training in that and I'm not counting my personal gear (survival equipment, GPS, radio, etc.) as dog expenses because I'd be involved with a non-K9 team requiring the same personal gear otherwise. I build or make as much gear as I can; for example, my agility set cost less than $100 because I made virtually all of it myself.

So I guess it really depends, is my point. The linked article quotes $60k from Bloomberg from a New York family who takes their dog to doggie daycare; the lowest estimate was around $4500 IIRC. I think that's a good a pet proper care is expensive, but it varies so much depending on the individual circumstances and the cost of living in their hometown that it's really impossible to do an accurate general estimate.

The rowdy dogs:
Hector-2 y/o GSD (mix?) rescue
Scooter-12 y/o ACD/Border Collie mix
Bandit-8 y/o ACD
Wooby-14 y/o ACD
Abutiu "Abi"-ACD puppy and hopeful future SAR dog!

Last edited by RowdyDogs; 01-15-2013 at 06:49 PM.
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post #22 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Cheyanna View Post
$60k? What are they feeding the dog? Champagne and caviar? Even with Fiona's service dog training costs added in, I am not going to hit that much. I would have, but 8 weeks after having her I noticed that I was spending $100 a month on just toys and treats. So I cut way back and budget her in, kind of like a kid.

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Just like RowdyDogs pointed out, 60K is probably a number for a NYC family with a dog. Pet walking here in NJ and in NYC can range from $10 for 15 minutes to $30/hr pending the company/walker. And I've seen plenty of pets in this area rocking Burberry, Chanel, Gucci collars, leashes, etc. Some of them have super premium branded carrying cases like a Louie Vuitton. And have you seen the type of dog spas (really just a grooming) and their prices --- like whoa. A different lifestyle for different people if you can afford it, have the disposable income, and if it's something that person prefers.
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post #23 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 07:22 PM
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I think it depends on the dog. My first dog got a 30$ bag of food every month, his yearly vet visit at 100$, and the 10$ every three years for his license. Add in the maybe 30$ a month for treats/toys and that was the routine for 15.5 years. I don't ever remember him being sick outside of the very end when he passed from Lymphoma.

Now, Baxter, my second dog has ear problems, ate a rooster (feathers and all) and was violently ill afterwards, and has basically needed a vet visit every six months if not more. He's also on grain free food due to allergies and we went through extensive dog training; some paid for by the rescue we got him from, the other by us. For him, I wouldn't be suprised if we hit 60k or close to it in his lifetime.

I think it also depends on the vet care. I'd bet on the fact that, for a simple well pet visit and standard shots, the invoices around this board would vary in price wildly; I bet there'd be easily 100$ or more between the highest invoice and lowest invoice.

So, while 60k seems like a huge number, I can completely see it for some dogs.

RIP Sebastian, Baby, Cheyenne, Baxter. Gone but never forgotten.

Finnian The Irish Lad WGSD: SAR
Abeni the Little Warrior: Pomeranian rescue.

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post #24 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 07:56 PM
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It probably does depend a lot on where you live. Everything is more expensive here - vet costs, training classes, boarding, probably grooming too, but I've never been to a groomer so I don't know exactly what that would cost. My vet charged $18.00 the last time I had a nail trim done on one of the cats (I dremel the dog nails myself).

We spent at least $15,000 on Cassidy over her lifetime, but she only lived to be 4 years old. Dena's vet bills were nearly $6000 in three weeks. We lost her to lymphoma at 4 years old.

I just spent over $400 to remove a cyst from Keefer's head last week. It's a happy (and rare!) day when I get out of the vet's office for less than $100. I think a basic office visit/exam is $60 or $70. That adds up fast, and then there's training, food/supplements, toys, bully sticks.... I really don't want to know!


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post #25 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 10:48 PM
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Money pit of a dog in a pet home.
Love spending money on her. It helps with the guilt of working long hours.
Easily 5000+ in our first year together with food, vet, basic things like leashes, crates, and trainers thrown in.
Just in the last 6 months, not counting toys, backpacks, treats...
Dog class: 400 for 8 sessions
Spay and vaccine: 1000
Medicine: 100
Food: 6*80=480


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Last edited by marshies; 01-15-2013 at 10:51 PM.
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