(GRAY NEWS) - National Puppy Day is Saturday, but before you find yourself making an impulse decision to act on an adoption special, here’s a look at how much that new puppy will actually cost.
The price of a puppy goes beyond the initial adoption fee. Many families experience a one-time cost of about $1,500 that is unique to puppy ownership, according to answers from a Rover.com survey.
Medical care is the most expensive and obvious reason why puppies cost so much. Many new dog owners have to pay for an initial exam, spay or neuter surgery, a microchip, heartworm prevention, flea and tick prevention and vaccinations.
Depending on the age of the puppy, owners can expect several trips to the vet during the first year for shots. The American Kennel Club recommends at least four separate rounds of shots up to the first 12 months of a dog’s life and additional DHP and rabies vaccines every one to three years after that. People in the survey also said they spend about $730 every year after those initial vet bills on an annual exam and pet insurance.
Sometimes, pet shelters will administer some shots and other medical care before the dog leaves the facility, so it’s important to ask for vaccination records during the adoption process. The average pet adoption fee in the US can cost nothing up to $500, but even at several hundred dollars, this fee can end up saving a pet owner in initial medical bills, according to Petfinder.com.
Emergency vet bills are more costly, with pet owners spending on average between $500 to more than $1,000.
After your wallet takes a hit from vet bills, there are other essentials a puppy needs to thrive. Expect to pay several hundred dollars more for things like a collar and leash, shampoo, brushes, food bowls, a crate, toys, potty pads, stain and odor removers, chews and poop bags. Pet owners need to continually buy many of these items, adding up to about $150 per month, according to the Rover.com survey.
There are other costs new pet owners need to consider. Training, teeth cleaning, pet deposits for renters and pet sitting can cost hundreds of dollars each. The total pet owners in the survey spend on their dog each year is about $3,370.
Puppies come with a non-monetary price tag too. The survey asked dog owners what they wish they knew before taking home a puppy. They didn’t expect a change in lifestyle that can include sleepless nights and more time at home.
Also, they were surprised at the amount of attention a puppy requires for things like basic obedience and house training. Many in the survey said they spent about 50 hours caring for their new pup in the first month alone.
Finally, pet parents wish they had a little bit more information about the breed they picked, saying they didn’t know about the basic quirks in their dog's genetic makeup. Examples of those quirks could include how some breeds are more prone to barking while others display herding tendencies.
The survey was sent to 1,601 people in the U.S. who experienced puppyhood with their dog.