How much does it cost to have a dog?

Discussion in 'Pets & Animals' started by ThankDog, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. ThankDog

    ThankDog (Banned or Deleted)

    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Messages:
    3,875
    Location:
    Ballarat aka Boganville
    One of the reasons why I haven't gotten a dog is that I'm worried about the regular costs. I realise that irregular costs like emergency vet bills and whatnot are a possibility but that's a separate issue to what I'm asking about. I'm asking about the regular, normal costs of keeping a dog fit and healthy. Food, equipment, grooming or supplements/medications (I mean like flea or tick kinda things), etc.?

    If I was to ever do it, I'd want to know I could be a responsible pet owner so I think that making sure I could afford it is the first consideration.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention size and breed. Most likely a lab about 12-18 months old.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014
  2. The Sentinel

    The Sentinel Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2002
    Messages:
    2,766
    <laughs at username of OP>
     
  3. broccoli

    broccoli Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Messages:
    19,171
    Location:
    Perth
    You really need to look up prices at City Farmers (or somewhere) and work it out yourself.

    All of the costs - food, worming, flea stuff, injections, beds, boarding, toys - cost more for a big dog than a little dog. I don't know how much a lab gets through food-wise, hopefully somebody with a big dog can give you an idea.

    Injections are about $100-ish dollars a year for the combined and something for the heartworm (if you get injection for that), say allow $200 for that. Flea stuff is about $70-ish for my dogs, probably 80-ish for a big dog, for a six pack.

    Unless your dog destroys things, his/her bed will last for ages. He can always sleep on some rugs in a box, there's nothing to say they have to have a proper "dog bed". Same with toys, you can spend a fortune, but they can be happy with an empty milk bottle or something. EDIT: also, depends if your dog is a destroyer or not as to how much you get from toys. You can just buy teddy bears from the op shop if you've got a destroyer dog.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014
  4. ck_psy

    ck_psy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Messages:
    4,223
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Bigger dogs will live shorter lives so they balance out.

    I've always had larger dogs (kelpies, staffies) and they've never had to go to the vet for an emergency. More resilient I guess.

    My friends with the smaller toy dogs (shitzus, malteses, etc) always seem to go to the vet every few years.
     
  5. broccoli

    broccoli Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Messages:
    19,171
    Location:
    Perth
    Just the luck of the draw, I'm afraid, I don't think there's any correlation between size and vet visits.
     
  6. ck_psy

    ck_psy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Messages:
    4,223
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    hmm..

    OH

    and get a mutt, they will have more balanced genes and be less susceptible to common breed diseases
     
  7. Cyb3r

    Cyb3r Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Messages:
    2,606
    Location:
    Sydney
    Also depends on what quality / type of food you want your new addition to eat.

    Mine have a raw diet (10KG dogs), it costs about $50 / 5KG of food that lasts for 25 days.

    So roughly:

    $650 in food
    $160 in flea / heart worm
    $100 for yearly vet checkup / vaccination
    $360 on grooming
    $300 in boarding fees (2 weeks holiday roughly per year)
    $140 in Dentastix
    Probably another $40 in raw bones (chicken necks, chicken wings, mixed bones from butcher etc)

    They don't have much in the way of toys... should probably get more to keep them from digging up the back yard!

    I would imagine out of the above, the only that that would go up considerably would be the food component.

    20KG dog would double the costs, 30kg tripple etc.. (on a raw diet they eat 2% of body weight per day)
     
  8. OP
    OP
    ThankDog

    ThankDog (Banned or Deleted)

    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Messages:
    3,875
    Location:
    Ballarat aka Boganville
    Well, I have a neighbour who works with Guide Dogs Victoria as a puppy raiser. I know I wouldn't be able to get a reclassified dog but I also know she could help me find a puppy so it would be a lab. I'd also be training it properly so I don't think the "destroyer" thing would be an issue.
     
  9. Inspyah

    Inspyah Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    239
    Location:
    Gold Coast, QLD
    Prima facie this makes sense in light of the horrible practices most 'professional' breeders use like inbreeding to accentuate a certain asthetic trait like colour.

    Otherwise a 'properly bred' pure bred dog is not genetically inferior to a mixed mutt. A mutt can also be susceptible to a massive range of issues.

    There's a great documentary called Pedigree Dogs Exposed. It caused such an uproar that Pedigree pal amongst other sponsors pulled out of this dog show. It showed what original german shepherds looked liked as opposed to the german shepherds today.

    read about it a bit here to get the gist of it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedigree_Dogs_Exposed

    King Charles cavaliers are now predisposed to a problem where there skull is too small for there brain thanks to breeders breeding to an aesthetic. English bulldogs snouts are too small etc. German shepherds bums slope down and cause hip issues.

    My breeder is not part of a kennel club because she does not adhere to sticking to superfluous things like colour. She also sources dogs as far as America to keep the gene pool as wide as possible and has them tested for inherited diseases. I have also been to her place and you can rock up pretty much un announced, she also encourages and hosts dachshunds games at her property to all owners.

    I have 2 long haired mini dachshunds that are cream. According to a 'kennel club' I could not put this in a competition (not that I would want to) because it isn't a recognised colour (because someone along the lines deems a dog should look a certain way irregardless of it's health.)

    People ask me if Frank is crossbred and he is not. Today I had a guy say wow he looks like a mini golden retriever when they saw him cruising around with a group of them. I have had other dachshunds owners comment that his snout is too broad and his legs aren't that short. Why do you think that is ;) - aesthetic breeding has given people a different perception of the dachshund.

    My breeder provided historic photos of the dachschund when I got him, and well Frank is pretty close to that.

    All I can recommend to the OP is you have to scrutinise the breeder hard! But sometimes a dog can be luck of the draw, regardless if it is purebred or crossbred.

    Good stuff. Have you done any research on training dogs or had any experience in the past? I'd recommend positive reinforcement with a clicker, I can link you to two excellent books by Dr Ian Dunbar which you should read
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014
  10. JugV2

    JugV2 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    6,049
    Location:
    Darwin
    Why not contact an Animal Rescue group in your area?

    Rescues tend to work with you after the dog has been adopted, and are likely to have support for you for a long time.

    Plus you are giving a dog a new home and life :)

    Also a big LOL from me about the destroyer comment. Hey in a perfect world right?

    It's a phase almost all dogs go through when teething, they chew and destroy. Pretty rare that you will get a dog that won't do that. Everyone will tell you their dog is different and an angel, just like every parent thinks their child is a unique snowflake.

    Buy cheap toys, expect them to be destroyed, be careful what you buy and make sure you try to stay away from cheap chinese stuff because they have been known to have little bits in them that are bad for dogs.

    EDIT: Big second here for Dunbar; wife went to see him in Perth this year and bought all his DVD's for our foster carers to use.

    http://www.amazon.com/Ian-Dunbar/e/B001K83EFO


    The biggest cost you will need to prepare for with owning a dog is time.

    Time to spend with the dog, training, playing, feeding, etc. This may sound corny but it's true.

    One of the main reasons animals get surrendered to our rescue is the owners don't have enough time to spend with the dog and it develops bad habits that are easily trainable.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014
  11. OP
    OP
    ThankDog

    ThankDog (Banned or Deleted)

    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Messages:
    3,875
    Location:
    Ballarat aka Boganville
    At this point I'm just trying to see if it is even viable at all. It's looking like it will be around $1k a year which, without a job, really isn't something I can afford. I think I kinda knew this already but reality sometimes takes a while to sink in :)

    I would definitely consider that. The only reason I'm considering a dog at all was because my neighbour got me thinking about it. I really haven't thought that far ahead yet.

    All I have is time and loneliness which is the primary reason why I thought a companion dog would be nice.
     
  12. JugV2

    JugV2 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    6,049
    Location:
    Darwin
    If you don't think you can afford the vet side of things maybe talk to a rescue about fostering.
    Rescues pay the vet costs and generally can help you out with other costs too.
    We get donations of food regularly and have had carers that need help with costs.
    These people have great hearts and want to help so we do everything we can to help minimise their outlay.
    The downside is that the dog isn't permanent or yours.
     
  13. Inspyah

    Inspyah Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    239
    Location:
    Gold Coast, QLD
    I'll let you know now...sometimes an older dog is way better than a puppy, especially for your first dog, or a dog that is yours, so don't look past a rescue :thumbup:.

    A puppy is going to test you, and you'll be at tipping point, and Labradors are real naughty...they will cry, destroy shit, piss and shit all over the place and keep you awake. They will chew anything if you don't guide them with what they can and can't chew and you'll find baby teeth everywhere! You need to teach them to be the dog you want, a dog is a reflection on the owner.

    I have my new puppy coming this Friday, and I already have a playpen setup, a myriad of treats and a leash to keep her by my side pretty much all day and I have taken a month off.

    I think my puppy went through 3 pairs of my gf's thongs in 1 week, it's like I would go buy them to replace them and he'd get them (I was sleep deprived ok!), and had a good go at my birkinstocks I had for a week. I still wear the birkinstocks all fucked up today because I refuse to buy a new pair! He now doesn't touch any shoes on the shoe rack.

    Do you live at home still? What is your source of income, because it is doable, you just need to re assess your wants and needs. Try get a nightfill job even. All that being said after all the drama the dog has put you through, they will somehow change and you'll love them so much and feel a little anxious without them. It requires mad effort!
     
  14. broccoli

    broccoli Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Messages:
    19,171
    Location:
    Perth
    It's silly, isn't it, that people who have lots of time available don't have the funds, and when you are working ridiculous hours, you don't have time...

    As for the "destroyer" comment, some dogs just like chewing and pulling things apart. It's fun for them. It isn't really something you can train them out of (you can train them not to wreck stuff you don't want them to wreck, but they need their own stuff)
     
  15. SLATYE

    SLATYE SLATYE, not SLAYTE

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2002
    Messages:
    26,823
    Location:
    Canberra
    Regarding the "destroyer" problem: the issue is that dogs are very good at selective rules. If you teach it not to eat your shoes, it will learn not to eat your shoes - and promptly eat your slippers. If you teach it that eating the broom handle is not acceptable, it'll ignore the broom handle and chew on the table legs instead. Or the laptop power cable. Or the loaf of bread that was carelessly left on a shelf that the dog could reach after jumping onto the kitchen bench. Or your computer mouse. It's also very possible that the rule it'll learn is "do not eat ThankDog's shoes while ThankDog is watching" with the result that every time you go outside you come back to a pile of shoe pieces.

    All you can really do about it is give the dog lots of toys and try to teach it that destroying the fluffy bunny is much more fun than destroying the slippers.



    If funds are limited, you could consider volunteering to walk dogs at the local pound or RSPCA. It may be heartbreaking (a lot of those dogs will be put down) but you're giving them a bit of real enjoyment before the end - and they will really, really appreciate that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2014
  16. Inspyah

    Inspyah Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    239
    Location:
    Gold Coast, QLD
    Pretty much why I strive to only work part-time for my professional life and retire early. Pretty easy when you realise how much shit there is you don't need. Careers are shit haha.
     
  17. broccoli

    broccoli Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Messages:
    19,171
    Location:
    Perth
    Our dogs' home also asks for carers for the dogs who can't stand being at the "orphanage". Fostering would be a good way to "get your toes wet" and see what it's like to have a dog (although dogs from the orphanage might have some issues, or be old, or something like that. Many might need an experienced person, but others might just need some friendly loving care).
     
  18. wordplay

    wordplay Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Messages:
    210
    Location:
    Adelaide
    just out of interest could you post a pic of your dachshund please?
     
  19. broccoli

    broccoli Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Messages:
    19,171
    Location:
    Perth
  20. OP
    OP
    ThankDog

    ThankDog (Banned or Deleted)

    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Messages:
    3,875
    Location:
    Ballarat aka Boganville

Share This Page