Buying the puppy is only the first step! Understand the different costs of buying a puppy or dog — that you may not have considered.
Purchasing a puppy, whether, from a breeder, SPCA or pet store requires a lot of money. While it can be tempting to bring your puppy home right away, you will need to be sure you have everything you need, supplies and finances – before bringing him home.
Puppy Cost- Mutt and Pedigree
Puppies can range in price, depending on pedigree, size, and age. Pedigree dogs (American Kennel Club registered dogs or AKC for short) are generally more expensive than rescue dogs, ranging from $500 up to 3000 dollars, for specific breeds.
If you are looking to adopt from your local SPCA, check to see whether the cost of needles or neutering is price included, or whether you will need to have that done at your own expense. Neutering should be done (as with spaying) if you intend to have a family dog. If you are hoping to breed your puppy, understand that the dog will reach a young age where he begins marking his territory (peeing on various things in your house). It is common for a puppy around six months of age to go through this.
Puppy Shots and Supplies
Every puppy will need three sets of shots; one at about eight weeks of age, another at 12 weeks, and the final game a month after that (around 16 weeks of age). These shots can range from about $60 to $120, depending on the vet, and your location. Dogs will also need essential items like training, food, dishes, toys, crates and of course a leash and collar. Although it may not seem like a lot at first, these costs quickly add up.
Tattoo or Microchip
Ideally, a pet owner should also have the dog tattooed or microchipped, should the puppy get out from the yard, or escape from the house. Microchips cost approximately $100-$150, again – depending on your location and vet.
The chip is needle inserted, under the dog’s skin at the back of the neck. Tattoos are usually done in a dog’s ear or on its inner thigh. They consist of an alpha-numeric code that is the database stored. Should your pup be found, animal control will search the database for your information or will scan the dog for a microchip.
Should your puppy get out and animal control seizes him, you will also have to pay a fee. The fees range greatly – depending on how long he was there (you will have to pay for his “stay,”) as well as a fine. The price can be around $150, although it can go up from there.
Vet Costs and Emergencies
Finally, a puppy will have to go for an annual check-up, shots, and exams. The average price for vet exams is about $150. This is only an average, although you will have to consider that puppies tend to get into trouble (they are similar to a toddler until age 2). They will eat things they aren’t supposed to, sometimes causing emergency vet trips. As such, you will need to make sure your pup has an emergency fund, or about $500-$1500. This cost is for primary Emergency care, as it does cost more than the average vet bill. Should your puppy get hurt (hit by a car or injured by another dog,) the average cost can almost triple?