2017 First Year Rescue Dog Costs

Pets are not the best for your budget, but, the love you get when entering the room after a day away and your dog jumps on you like you are the most important person ever: priceless!

We always knew we wanted a dog but were scared of the work and responsibility now that finally our kids were becoming a little more independent. Finally, and in alignment with our purposeful living goals, we decided this year is now or never, especially if we want to retire early as nomads.

And so, in early February this year, we rescued a beautiful 9 week old girl, we think Pit-labrador mix but don’t know for sure. She is full of energy and yes, sometimes I wish I had my freedom back but in the end, a great addition to the family. We got her while I was going through a difficult emotional  time so I credit her a lot with helping me keep pushing forward and see the other side. For that, I am extremely grateful.

Before getting her, we did research on costs of ownership and found many general guidelines but not much on specifics. Below are our new puppy expenses for 2017 (from early Feb through Nov actuals, plus December estimates), perhaps it will prove useful to someone else.

It was actually very eye opening to see the numbers! (and makes for a good place to look into spending less for 2018).

2017 First Year Dog Expenses

Boarding/ Training $1,250
Food & Supplies $1,205
Vet/ Meds $400
Dog Purchase $295
Total $3,150

The cost of purchase was steep but it included vaccines and neutering. As for the vet / meds, we don’t have insurance so this is all out of pocket.

Where it really added up was food, supplies and boarding for when we go on vacation. My husband went a little nuts at first and got her a ton of toys, a crate, a bed, and several leashes (she ate 2!) etc. and only the best food for his puppy. This has started to calm down thankfully but he is still totally in love with our girl.

As for boarding, we do travel a lot and put her in a nice place when we leave. We also took her to puppy classes after she ate (and returned in the middle of the night) 3 of our socks, a rug, my only sentimental value book left, the stairs, and my son’s headphones. Hey, at least she helps us with our minimalism!

I don’t want to do the math on how many more months or years we will have to work because when it comes to owning my dog, I prefer to focus on the quality years (and maybe added time) of life she is giving us!

Tell me about your feelings around pets and financials!?

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