Choosing a Puppy #004 – Be Prepared

Choosing a puppy

When thinking about adding a dog to the household, many people just think of all the fun things they will do and all the wonderful cuddle time they will enjoy. There is much more involved. But before we go through the laundry list of responsibilities, I just want to tell you one thing. It’s all worth it! Dogs are wonderful and amazing. A dog’s friendship is unmatched.


Upfront costs will depend on the type of dog you want. If you have your heart set on a purebred dog, you may be spending a bit more. I will discuss breeders more in another entry, but know that if you want a healthy pup from a reputable breeder you will have significant upfront costs. Responsible breeders put a lot of time and effort into their pups. And most generally, they aren’t making much of a profit because the money goes right back into their dogs.

When you get your pup, if they have not already been microchipped, it’s $35 in most places.  Leash and collar will run about $20. A new crate and bedding can be $50-$200.

Food will be your largest and most consistent cost. Size of dog and type of food will affect this greatly. I’ve spent about $500/year on dog food for one large dog. Just keep in mind the better the quality the less quantity you will need. And that means less poop scooping too!

Veterinarian visits are necessary even if it’s just for wellness exams. These vary in cost, but you can estimate somewhere around $150-$200. This should cover the exam, vaccinations, flea prevention and heartworm medication. Of course, you should contact veterinarians in your area to get exact costs.

You may also want to look into pet health insurance for those unexpected veterinarian visits.

Grooming really varies, but it generally costs the same or more than a visit to the hair salon.

If you don’t plan on taking road trips with your new bud and don’t have friends and family that can watch your pooch, add boarding costs to your vacation plan.

You may want to take some training classes with your new pooch. This will be an investment you will see a return on every day. So many dogs are given up because the owners cannot handle them.  Do not let this be you.


If you are getting a young puppy, prepare to spend some extra time in the beginning. Training and socialization is so very important in the early months. Be calm and consistent.

You may not want your new addition to have the run of the house and keeping them in a crate for hours on end is not the best idea. Take them with you or make arrangements to check on them throughout the day. Enlist the help of friends, family and neighbors or consider doggy day care.

The days of taking trips on a whim might be over too. You will need to make sure you’ve made plans for your dog to either come with you, you be looked after. Taking your dog on a trip with you can be quite a joy. They are your best friend after all.


Be prepared to be committed to another living being for the rest of their life. For the dog’s sake, do not give up on them.  Invest the time and money in training and you will not be sorry. Things do happen in our lives that may change our situation. Try to get your puppy from a breeder that will always be able to take your pup back for any reason, so that they will always have a loving home, no matter your situation. If this is not the case, think of your dog like a child, is there anyone you know that would be able to care for him or her if your situation changed?

Don’t get discouraged. Just be prepared. Medical and food costs aside, you can get creative in savings. And in return you get an unlimited supply of warm kisses and wagging tails. A dog is a big commitment and they change your life. In my opinion, they change your life for the better. You really can’t put a price on the happiness they bring to our lives.

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