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Old 10-22-2009, 07:36 AM
 
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Ok, we ARE getting a dog. She is coming tonight to meet our family and to make sure she's a good fit. I'm just curious and I'll probably get slammed for asking, but about how much do dogs cost these days? When I had a dog growing up, we fed her crappy food from the pet store and she went to the vet once a year. Now it seems like there's much more maintenance involved. So, assuming she has no health issues, and if I want to feed her quality dog food, what do you think? Maybe $400 per year? I'm just curious and am willing and able to pay, but someone mentioned that heartworm meds are really expensive these days, and my friend also mentioned that she pays $50 a bag for her dog food.
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:57 AM
 
Location: California
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Dog food: Check out different brands here: http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/
6 being the best. I pay upwards of $60 per bag for Wellness Core.
Check out here: 1800PetMeds - America's Pet Medication & Pet Supplies Pharmacy for flea and tick prevention, as well as heart worm meds. You can also buy them from your vet, but I find them cheaper here.
You don't say if your dog is a puppy, but if so, he/she will also need vaccinations. Puppy usually gets 3 sets of puppy vacs and a Rabies vac. If it is a puppy, he/she will recieve them again next year, but after that, it is every 3 yrs. If it is an adult dog, and has all it's vacs., you have 3 yrs. before vacs will be due again.
There is also spay/neuter which you will want to do.
I think your $400 is very low...If I take my $60 per bag food x 12...and he probably doesn't quite go thru a bag a month, but close, that alone is over $700. You still have prevention meds, and any possible vet bills that may arise.
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:58 AM
 
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i budget $100 a month for my dog. that factors in the fact that she may get sick and require expensive veterinary care now and again, so i don't spend that full amount every month but the balance becomes a fund i hold on to in case of emergencies. i'm not sure how much she actually costs for the routine stuff - that can vary a lot too, depending on what kind of food you use, what brand of heartworm meds (getting them online is usually the cheapest though), what size dog you have, whether they need regular grooming, etc.

$50 a bag (for a 30 lb bag or so) is probably pretty premium food. kibbles & bits or whatever is more like $10-$15 for that amount. but you get what you pay for. of course, depending on the size of your dog, a 30 lb or bigger bag can last quite a long time if you don't overfeed. better food also has less fillers so you can actually feed less for the same nutritional benefit.

heartworm meds aren't that outrageous, maybe 70-80 bucks for a year's supply. decent flea meds are more expensive - like $200 a year or so if you use it year round, depending on what kind, the size of your dog, and where you get them. you can get much cheaper flea meds, but they generally don't work as well if at all and some of them are actually dangerous to pets (hartz).
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:03 AM
 
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shelbygirl - rabies is 3 year, but my dog gets parvo & distemper yearly, and bordatella twice a year. with a yearly checkup and vaccinations her routine vet stuff comes to $100 or so a year.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:05 AM
 
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Have to say this, I'd avoid the "chain"-like vet places, and look for a small, private practice.
We found out the hardest way that, along with buying out the smaller practices in our area, they are apparently pressured to up-sell, up-sell, up-sell.
You will also find a revolving door of very young (inexperienced) Drs. who probably can't even diagnose an ear infection (we learned this the most painful ways possible.) Oh but the "veteran" doctor will certainly be the one talking to you when it comes to adding those dentals and other things to any surgery or other bigger procedure.
You will be going back again, again, and again, and all they'll do is sell, sell, sell because they are pressured to do so, and "high-volume's" the name of the game.
There's a reason for all that 'convenience.'

Hope you do research :>) It's a biggie -- especially when it comes to nutrition and vaccines -- foremost the rep of a particular doctor.

GREAT veterinarians do not need to be salespeople. Their reputations give them over-flowing business.

Last edited by Travel'r; 10-22-2009 at 08:22 AM.. Reason: type too fast
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:07 AM
 
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that's good advice. more than anything, look for an older vet. someone who's been a vet for a long time is more likely to know how to (and decide to) diagnose a pet by observation and palpation, avoiding expensive tests. my friend's vet is an old school guy whose practice was bought by a national chain, but he is an excellent vet. i am actually thinking about switching to him.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:08 AM
 
Location: California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groar View Post
shelbygirl - rabies is 3 year, but my dog gets parvo & distemper yearly, and bordatella twice a year. with a yearly checkup and vaccinations her routine vet stuff comes to $100 or so a year.
Guess it could be determined by the vet or the vac.....Just looked and my guys are def. every 3 yrs. Bordella every 6 months if I so choose.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:09 AM
 
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I think if you feed your dog a non-crappy (but not necessarily super-premium) food, and spend the money on a yearly vet visit and all the appropriate vaccines, plus heartworm preventative and flea and tick, and county licenses, etc., you're probably looking at around $700-$1000 per year for the dog.

Those fees may go up or down depending on the size of the dog. Bigger dogs are more expensive.

In reality, I think you can expect to spend about $900-$1300 on your dog, maybe more if your dog is a rambunctious animal who likes to get into stuff and chew, etc. It's a sad fact of dog ownership, but vet visits happen.

But also, factor in things like grooming. Is the dog you're getting going to require grooming? Does it have hair or fur? (Fur stops growing at a certain length; hair doesn't. So dogs with hair...many of the terriers, for instance, and poodles...will likely need to go to the GROOMER to be clipped. Also, if your dog has an oily coat, he's likely to require more baths...if only to keep the doggy smell under control. Are you going to do the bathing at home, or send him to a groomer for this?) Then consider "start up" costs of getting a dog, like buying a kennel or a baby gate or toys and water and food bowls and collars and leashes, etc.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:14 AM
 
Location: California
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LOL...toys...I forgot about toys!
I'm guessing Dylan probably has $400 worth of toys sitting here in his basket! (JK)
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:15 AM
 
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She's 6 months old and already has been spayed and up to date on vaccines. We have a nice local area vet that we will use, not a chain. Do you have to give your dog flea and tick prevention all year long? We live in North Carolina where the ticks and mosquitoes are abundant. I'll have to research the food thingy... I saw a woman carrying out a huge bag of dog food from Costco and thought... hmmm... I never thought of the cost of dog food for our new dog. Thanks for the links. She's a smaller dog and super cute. I really hope she's the one, I've been wanting a dog for a very very long time. ANd now that my kids are up and running (6 and 3), I think I have the energy to bring up a dog.
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