Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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 illustration...giving 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.