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I have been doing a lot of consideratons and calculations for the past two weeks. I've always sprinkled knowledge of GSDs into my little brain, but I've been cramming it all in my head lately - I've gone into an uber obsession with them.


What I would like to know is:<span style="color: #FF0000"> How much money should you expect to spend on puppy supplies/a puppy? How much should you have stashed away for the upcoming vet visits for their vaccinations, and food?</span>

My goal is $3,000 total. $1,500-ish for the actual puppy, then the rest is for all of the supplies, like a crate, training supplies, the FURminator, etc.

I'm going to try and get a job soon, and I'm expecting to be paid minimum wage. I figure that if I'm paid $7.25/hr and work 20 hour weeks, then I'd make $145 per week. I'm not sure how much is taken out for taxes, but I asked ChaCha (not the most reliable source), and they said 15% is taken out for that. SO, I'd be making a little more than $120 weekly. I would put $30 every week to gas, and $10 to a vet fund, giving me about $80 to put to a GSD. I reckon it'll take about 10 months to get to my goal of $3,000 and persuading my mom to let me get a GSD. (Still working on that
)

<span style="color: #FF0000">Does that sound alright?</span> Btw, I grossly overestimated a lot of the costs of the supplies.

Also, <span style="color: #FF0000">what are some MUST HAVE items waiting for the puppy's homecoming, like food, crate, etc.?</span>
 

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Buy stuff a little at a time. Look on eBay and Craigs list. You can get a used crate very reasonable on CL. I got Mandalay a HUGE dog bed (she fits almost all the way on it when she is totally stretched out) on Freecycle.org. Check there for crates and the like, too. If you don't mind, you can probably even get bowls there.

Watch for sales on leashes, collars, toys, training supplies, etc at your local pet supply place or online and buy the things then. After you convince your mother (definitely start there) then buy things when they are on sale ans store them away.

These dogs rip up plushy toys like crazy, so instead of buying Mandi petstore toys, I (thanks to Lauri's suggestion last year) go to the Salvation Army or Goodwill and buy stuffed animals for 25 cents for her (just make sure to remove the bead eyes and the bean bags that might be inside first). MUCH cheaper than shelling out $10 to $20 for one from Petco.

If you absolutely still need to save money, and AFTER the vet checks your pup over, use the vaccination clinics at Petco (Luvmypet) for vaccination boosters. Please don't forgo having a vet check your pup first, though.

Instead of buying training books (which you should start reading now) use the library.
 

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Oh, ok, also....

chances are you will have a bday between now and then...ask for dog supplies. Ask for gift cards to pet supply stores so you can use them to buy food later on.

Also...instead of buying a puppy from a breeder, consider adopting a GSD from a shelter or rescue. That would save A LOT of money.
 

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Save your money on the FURminator. You can buy the cheaper knock-off by Bamboo for $9.99 or just get an undercoat rake (plastic teeth/tips) for about the same price.

We picked up some form of an undercoat rake at our Humane Society Thrift Store...brand new...still in plastic...for $1.00, and it works 10x better than the FURminator.
 

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Okay I'll play.

I did this with my kids in class once.

Puppy- $1500

Food- I average about $50 a month on food per dog for a quality kibble, so that would be $600 for the year.

Treats- I do a lot of training. And I spend a lot on treats for training and chews like bully sticks to keep puppy happy in the crate...At least $20 a month. That's $240 a year.

Heartworm preentative and flea meds- I live in Florida, we have to keep current on this stuff year round. Approx $25 a month. That's $300 a year.

Crates- I usually get 2, a plastic one for as a puppy and the car, and a wire one for the dog as an adult, but conservatively $150.

Vet care- You have several rounds of shots, and usually 3 vet visits. I would say that you're probably looking at about another $200. I had one puppy that had a respiratory complication from vacination on a Saturday night, trips to the E-vet are expensive. It was $250 and we had to follow up at the vet the next business day. I've never had a puppy that didn't need something beyond just the regular shots...even if it was just an extra worming. Consider also spaying and neutering, while perhaps not necessary, pet dogs should be altered at some point. We'll say $200 though assuming everything is pretty good.

Training- We do a lot of training. Standard rate is $20 a lesson/week. A standard class is about $120 in this area. Conservatively I would say $300 for training the first year. Right now for my 4 dogs I spend $210 a month on training. Which does not include the gas and treats.

The extra stuff- bowls, leashes, collars, toys. This category has a lot of room for variation in cost. With new dogs I usually like to budget $100 or so for "things", although truthfully as I get more dogs I buy less things, and the new guys get hand me downs.

So if we total it up...
I get $3300.

I agree that adoption could really save you some money. Look for deals. I like Craigslist for crates. Garage sales can be helpful. My humane society has a thrift store where they sell donated items. Goodwill and the Salvation Army here get stuff in sometimes too. I love to shop the clearance at my PetsMart. I also have a lot of friends at training that will pass around "puppy" things. If you pick things up slowly over time, it doesn't all hit you at once.
 

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Check with the local pound for low cost vax. On second thought, that may not be a good idea for a puppy. But if you adopt an adult, it should be OK.

My DH is working at the shelter right now and they get alot of PB GSD. He was really surprised. Even puppies. Maybe when you are about ready to get one, contact them and have them call you when a young dog comes in? You never know.
 

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If you have a pet food express in your area, they have buy 3 get one free... for food, toys, chews, etc. I nearly always shop there. Plus (they don't advertise this), they lead test ALL their products, so I buy my toys there instead of walmart/target because of this fact alone. Nice to know there won't be lead in the products from China.
 

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If money is that tight, I STRONGLY recommend budgeting for health insurance (approx $30 per month). It's a big expense, but the problem is, you never know when you'll have a HUGE veterinary issue come up. If you don't have the money (thousands of dollars all at once), and don't have someone that's willing to lend it to you, you'll be in a dire situation.

Some people will tell you to "self-insure," to put a bit of money away in a savings account each month. That's a great idea, unless your dog decides to get sick or injured before you have a chance to save up enough money. My two dogs (ages 7 months and 20 months) "decided" to need knee surgery, dental procedure and have a hip problem (which we're not going to operate on at this point, but the diagnostics ran $500, plus surgical consultation, plus we're going to start physical therapy.).

I'm looking at THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of dollars all within a few months. If I had put away $20 per month when I got Meri and added to that when I got Celo, I'd have about $560. I'd still thousands of dollars short. Fortunately, I have health insurance on them. My out of pocket costs should be rather minor. Plus, Meri had to go to the emergency room over the summer, when we were on vacation away from home. The insurance picked up that $600 tab too.

The problem with dogs is that we never know how much they're going to cost. My dogs came from highly regarded breeders and I take very good care of them, but they're living creatures, so nothing is guaranteed. Things go wrong.

I was once in the emergency room with another dog. I witnessed a young couple who was desperate because their dog had been hit by a car, had a broken leg and pelvis and they simply could NOT afford to have the dog operated on, even after the hospital waived its profit. It was heartbreaking.

You don't ever want to be in their shoes.

Health insurance (with a reputable company like Trupanion or PetPartners). If you're in a position of needing to figure out what a pup will cost, then you're almost certainly in a position that you need the backstop of insurance. I hope you NEVER need it. But if you do, you'll be glad you have it.
 

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Originally Posted By: 3K9MomIf money is that tight, I STRONGLY recommend budgeting for health insurance (approx $30 per month). It's a big expense, but the problem is, you never know when you'll have a HUGE veterinary issue come up. If you don't have the money (thousands of dollars all at once), and don't have someone that's willing to lend it to you, you'll be in a dire situation.

Some people will tell you to "self-insure," to put a bit of money away in a savings account each month. That's a great idea, unless your dog decides to get sick or injured before you have a chance to save up enough money. My two dogs (ages 7 months and 20 months) "decided" to need knee surgery, dental procedure and have a hip problem (which we're not going to operate on at this point, but the diagnostics ran $500, plus surgical consultation, plus we're going to start physical therapy.).

I'm looking at THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of dollars all within a few months. If I had put away $20 per month when I got Meri and added to that when I got Celo, I'd have about $560. I'd still thousands of dollars short. Fortunately, I have health insurance on them. My out of pocket costs should be rather minor. Plus, Meri had to go to the emergency room over the summer, when we were on vacation away from home. The insurance picked up that $600 tab too.

The problem with dogs is that we never know how much they're going to cost. My dogs came from highly regarded breeders and I take very good care of them, but they're living creatures, so nothing is guaranteed. Things go wrong.

I was once in the emergency room with another dog. I witnessed a young couple who was desperate because their dog had been hit by a car, had a broken leg and pelvis and they simply could NOT afford to have the dog operated on, even after the hospital waived its profit. It was heartbreaking.

You don't ever want to be in their shoes.

Health insurance (with a reputable company like Trupanion or PetPartners). If you're in a position of needing to figure out what a pup will cost, then you're almost certainly in a position that you need the backstop of insurance. I hope you NEVER need it. But if you do, you'll be glad you have it.
I agree with this. We have Veterinary Pet Insurance for Siena (started when she was 10 weeks old before her health issues came about)... The bigger the vet bill, the less they pay (but in our case, every dollar we get back helps). We've had to do two surgeries (and another pending) and from those two, we got about 25% back for everything. We did all the same calculations you did and read up on what it should cost over the life of the dog and the estimate was about $15K. We spent that alone in the first year. So just be guarded that you don't get yourself into trouble with finances. There are quite a few genetic problems with GSD's and my dog seems to have them all
We had a reputable breeder, health guarantees, etc. and in the end, it made no difference because in order to collect on those guarantees, we'd have to give her up (and she'd be put down). Breeders don't like to have 'sick' dogs in their line as it makes them look bad.

That's just my two cents worth.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Craigslist is always one of the first places I look for a good deal on supplies of any sort. I got a Ferret Nation 142 cage (which is a $200ish cage) for $90 in awesome condition!

I just like to overestimate how much I'll need so that I don't make my goal $____ when I needed $____ more. I just like knowing I have enough. I'll keep my goal at $3,000 and put the rest in a vet fund. (Not only for the dog, but for my other pets as well).

Earlier I was thinking how I would be able to raise a puppy being in school and having a job, but then I realized that by the time I save enough money, I'd be a senior - going to school for only 4 hours every day (five hours max), then coming home to hang out for a little while, then go to work.


I tried to get my mom to apply for veterinary care credit and she wouldn't. She needs to, especially with 3 older dogs, one being a lab, and 2 French bulldogs which are known to have respiratory issues.
 

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Don't forget puppy classes! It is very important to get the proper socialization for a puppy during the critical socialization period of 8-12 weeks, and puppy kindergarten classes help a lot with meeting the needed socialization goals.
 

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And... when you figure you can afford the above, figure your time.

A GSD needs a lot of your time.. for training, for play, etc... Will your job allow you the time to fit this breed into your lifestyle.

If you like to go out a lot, be away from home (places where you cannot take your dog), if your friends won't want your dog around, reconsider.

This is a breed that can't be bought and forgotten.

Just sayin' ....
 

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I just want to make sure I'm reading this right. $80.00 a month towards your GSD? In 10 months you'll only have $800.00. I suspect you're living at home, and you don't have any bills. Car insurance, phone bill, Internet/cable, food....

Sounds pretty reasonable with what you're trying to accomplish.
 

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A little advice, you can never fully be prepared to own a dog.
I have a job & have very few bills to pay(car insurance cell phone bill electric, food, but its still hard.
Ready? lol

50$ for food every week.
an average of 100$ a vet visit
Leashes, collars maybe 50 $ a month
frontline, heartguard 30$ a month
NOT to mention the unexpected.
My dog was limping & also his gland was swollen.
Xrays & pills-around 400$
Anti biotics 80$

Dont forget playtime & training!


But if I want something (shoes, makeup) it HAS to wait.
Just make sure your baby always comes first!

GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!
 

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how old are you? do you live at home? i was willing to spend
$3,500.00 for a pup. after lot's of research ( just looking around)
i found a pup for $1,800.00. plus $200.00 to ship. he has all of the pedigree you could want ( so i think ).

we started putting away $25.00 to $50.00 a week away
for a pup. we could afford to take care of the pup
once we had him.

the first years and the last years are the most
financially stressing ( so i think). include the price of your pup
plus future med bills and supplies in your calculations. figure how out how much you can spend for a pup. don't be cheap in this area.

stay with the Forum. there's lots of info here.
well it's 10:15 pm here. my GF and I are going to
take the dog to this area we know about and let the dog
run around for awhile. we're going to play some retrieve
games.

good luck with your pup (when you get one,
).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm positive I can make time for a puppy. lol I don't have a social life at all outside of school, except for two people. Last weekend was the first weekend I spent with other people in well over a year. First place I went to when we got to the mall? The pet store! Of course I had to drool over the GSD puppy....
Next year I'm going to be at school for a maximum of 5 hours every day, and if I get a job and keep my same work schedule, I'll have more time to spend with a pup. I don't need to pay bills - just gas money. (I'm so thankful I have such an awesome mom!)

I've been looking around and there are several neat dog parks around here! There's one with a lake and an agility course. My friend (one that I have somewhat of a social life with) takes their lab Titan to the dog parks all the time, so I'm sure we could go together. That would be so much fun! I was thinking about puppy classes at Petsmart or something. It seems fun! When I go in there, I watch their classes when they're in session. I'll start paying closer attention to those. I love watching the dogs play in their 'hotel.'

After I'm done getting stuff for the pup initially, most of my money that I don't spend on the food and stuff will be going straight into the vet fund, since I don't go out and buy myself anything, really. And asking for gift cards to Petsmart and such won't be out of the ordinary for me. This year was HARD for me to think of anything I wanted for MYSELF for Christmas! My mom was so happy when I used some of my Christmas money for ME this year.


I wouldn't even consider getting a puppy if I didn't have the time for one. I was a bit concerned about that, but then I realized that there was no way I would be able to get one this year going to school full time. Not only due to time restrictions, but I can't save that much money that fast. LOL
 

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If you want to save money I would definitely say look for a dog at a shelter because it doesn't seem like it's the smartest financial decision to buy a $1,000+ dog. Just resist the desire to buy a puppy from a backyard breeder.

Vet bills are very steep, esp. at first. You're going to need to start saving now. I would highly recommend looking for a local shelter that can spay or neuter your puppy because that will save you A LOT. My vet charged $400 while the local shelter only $40, but we waited too long and couldn't get int until months after we wanted to get her spayed so we had to settle for the
ridiculous vet price. UGH.

I got Jerzey's crate for $10 at a tag sell, which is awesome. Crates are WAY expensive so start scanning tag sales and see if you can stumble across anything.

Food can be as expensive or as cheap as you want it to be. I, personally, cannot afford a completely grain-free kibble so I feed the highest quality food they sell at Petsmart (Blue Buffalo) but there are debates as to whether or not going expensive with the kibble will save you money in that the dog can eat less of the food and will be healthier. It's up to you.


When it comes to toys Jerzey generally had something hard (like a bone), something soft/plush and a rope toy. I found that this helped when she was teething to have a variety of hardnesses but I never had too many toys at once because it just gets expensive. Plus, she was content just chewing on a piece of wood and for the longest time that WAS her toy... just a thick piece of wood.

I just feel like you can NEVER EVER predict the expenses that will come with a puppy because you never know what is going to happen. I wouldn't try to get too committed to a budget of I'm going to spend this much on toys and foods and vet bills because that probably won't work and then you'll just get flustered. I would just save as much money you can until you can get your parents to allow you to have a puppy and then actually find one, which can take time.
 

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I am also going to recommend pet insurance. I pay $30 a month for Mandalay, but I figured that even after 10 years when I will have paid $3600, if she need HD surgery...I'll at the very least break even. Chances are, I'll need it sooner (I honestly don't even know how she made it through the 1st two years without needing it).
 

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Here is my advice, I raised 3 daughters, you should be concentrating on saving money for your education. You love German Shepherds, call some kennels and see if they are keeping any pups and would like some help with training and socializing. Call training facilities and see if they know any seniors who would love to have an assistant train or walk a dog, how about special needs people.
I know it seems like forever but I promise you time will pass quickly and it will be time to go away to school and there are very limited places to take the dog with you so you are leaving it home with mom. If you love the breed so much keep learning, volunteer or work with someone with them, but remember you can learn lots from all breeds, and go to school and get a real good educations o when you have the time and the money there will be no reason you can't have 1 or 2 or 3, they are addictive.
 
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