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May 6th, 2010:

Dogs Don’t Come Cheap

Since the early 1960’s when Patti Page sang on the ‘Hit Parade’, How Much is That Doggie in the Window, the cost of adding a dog to the family has skyrocketed! (In addition, who wants to buy a puppy from a pet shop anymore? No way! Check out rescues, Humane Society or reputable breeders. Do your homework on what breed is best for your lifestyle.)

 In 2009, Americans spent approximately $45.4 billion on pets. Now that’s a chunk of change!

 Average cost of a dog from puppyhood to grave (medium to large dog):

 Initial Cost (Average cost only, varies with size and breed):

 $ 35 and up for mixed breed     $350 and up for AKC-registered

 Pet Maintenance (Average cost only, varies with size and breed):

$30.00 average weekly (Iams or comparable food)

$175.00/year med-check (including flea/heartworm program, not including all puppy shots)

$500.00 yearly pet sitting fee (2 weeks per year, 3 visits per day)

With the above expense, the average cost of a dog from puppyhood to the grave, if the dog lives at least 15 years, totals approximately $33,525.

These costs are with a healthy dog with no extras, i.e. medical expenses or pet insurance, pet clothing, or graveside or cremation services when the beloved passes on.

Now some expense could be trimmed off by boarding your dog in a kennel instead of a pet sitter’s special services. Usually, smaller dogs are more economical because they eat less, however, they may require more medical care. It really depends upon the breed; and, of course, every dog is different.

(Based on 2009 rates. These costs vary too from state to state.)