Puppy Mother: Let’s Talk Price

The other day, sweet reader Angela sent me an email about dogs. More specifically, getting a dog. Yep, it’s the post you’ve all been waiting for: life with Roo and how I juggle being a single puppy mother with the rest of my life! I was going to write a single post on this, but I realize there’s a lot to it, so it’s going to be a multi-parter! Woohoo!!!

Disclaimer to those of you who are mothers to actual living children: I am not here to claim that being a puppy mother is anything like that. At all. So please don’t take offense! Then again, if you’d take offense to this, you probably wouldn’t be reading my blog to begin with. Just keeping it real here, folks.

Glad we got that out of the way. Now, onto the reason we’re all here!

Roo Roo!

Or Roo Boo. Or Roo Bear. Or Rooey. Or Roooooster! Or Roo Beans! Or Roooooootabega.
This kid has a lot of nicknames.

When I decided to get a dog, I had been thinking about it for more quite some time. In fact, pre-blog and pre-Roo, I actually adopted a boxer. That lasted about 3 days. He was very sweet, but also very aggressive towards strangers and had a bladder problem that I just couldn’t manage. It broke my heart to have to take him back, but I realized I was in over my head and couldn’t handle a dog with so many issues on my own. So I knew that when I got this dog, it would have to be the right fit and the right time in my life.

Since I was working from home, this past winter seemed like the perfect time. I could be home with the puppy all day, get her housebroken, and not have to feel guilty about leaving her for long stretches of time.

Knowing that I wanted a vizsla, I started researching breeders and found one a couple of hours away where they had a little that would be ready right after the New Year. As soon as I met my little girl, I was smitten!

But aside from the fact that she was adorable, there were a few things to consider beforehand, and now that I have her, there are a few more things to consider. I’ll divide these into a few posts, but today we’ll talk dolla bills.

But I’m so worth it!!!

Having a dog is NOT cheap. If you choose to adopt, it’s a little easier, but if you’re getting a purebred vizsla, well, it’s going to cost more than your mortgage. If you can get past the sticker shock of that, then there’s the cost of a crate, food, toys, vaccinations, puppy school, spaying and microchipping, x-rays and IV fluids when you go out of town and she stops eating due to separation anxiety, treats, more toys, dog walking, boarding (if you ever have to travel), etc. etc. etc. Oh, and your sweet puppy will probably destroy a few shoes/clothes/brand new sofa slipcovers in the process of doing puppy things, so be prepared to fork over a good portion of your savings/checking account. I have a feeling some of these costs will dissipate over time, but it’s too soon to tell.

Cost breakdown thus far:
Breeder: $1500
Crates (I’ve had 3—puppy, travel, grown-up size): $250
Food: ~$40/bag every 6-8 weeks
Toys: ~$20/month
Puppy School: $125
Boarding: $45/night every time I have to travel for work
Dog walking: $10/walk
Vaccinations: ~$150 total
Unexpected Vet Bills: $409
Spay/Microchip: $200
Treats: ~$8/month (I get the dog jerky from Trader Joe’s and she LOVES it)
Random Replacements for Things She’s Destroyed: ~$400

Is she worth every penny? You betcha. Can’t put a price on puppy kisses!!!

Do you have a dog? How much would you say it costs you monthly?


22 thoughts on “Puppy Mother: Let’s Talk Price

  1. Holy shiz. And I thought my bunny was expensive. Well, she is. We did have to file and repaint baseboards she destroyed. But I don’t know if I could handle an animal that destroys my clothes. Then again, maybe I would love it because I would “have” to buy more of course.

  2. I completely relate to this. I got my dog during my second year of grad school. Not the brightest idea because she was a handful and almost got my kicked out of my apartment. She was super expensive as a puppy (I only paid 300ish for her though, the cost of her vet visits) because she was sick and required special food. Boarding, toys, multiple carry bags, training classes, fees for flying with her etc.

    But I would pay it all over again. 🙂 She is so sweet. I love my 10lbs of maltipoo fluff!

  3. love this post, i adopted a red long eared doberman almost two years ago who I absolutely could not live without…she came with some serious chewing problems…cannot begin to tell you what I have spent replacing couches, mutiple pairs of brooks running shoes, dozens of pairs of underwear & socks, pillows, duvets, hairbrushes, kitchen utensils, bedsheets, towels, etc, etc, etc….but I always tell myself that my parents never threatened to give me away when I was bad…so we persevere and she is my best friend all day everyday….we were meant to be together…destruction and all!!!!

  4. Angela says:

    Thank you so much for this post, Melissa! I’m glad you’re going to make it a multi-parter. Looking forward to reading more about your thoughts and experience so far! And the Roo pictures are so precious, as usual. 🙂

  5. We love our dogs. Fortunately they were both free, but they still cost money. Mostly food-since they are large dogs-and unexpected vet bills. Those have been tough. But, we can’t imagine our lives without our dogs.

  6. I adopted my dog, so the initial costs weren’t much. Plus, she was 2 when I got her, so she already had her shots, was spayed and out of her puppy phase. It doesn’t seem like much at first, but it can really add up: yearly vaccinations, boarding and unexpected vet bills (some type of lip infection — yuck). But, you’re right: it is SO worth it!

  7. terrid614 says:

    i loved this post. being a doggy mommy is soooo expensive, but soooo worth it. i, like you, wanted to make sure i got the right fit for myself and my lifestyle, and i wanted to make sure i went to a reputable breeder. i love the fact that there are so many rescue programs and so manhy great dogs out there, but i knew what i wanted and knew that it was going to be pricey. soooo after having one for about 9 months, i decided he needed a friend. yikes . so now i am paying double for everything and it is a lot of moola. again, would not change it. they are so much work, but i love that they give unconditional kisses, love and show me their affection by chewing up my new heels and eating my underwear and then pooping it out. uh yeah. true story. the little crazy girl actually goes tomorrow for her spaying and i am sad i will cry when i drop her off , and lets face it, i probably will…but obviously, i have my hands full with two, without getting a litter of crazy beasts! your little roooootabega is darling! i am sure she will bring you many nights of unconditional love for years to come! p.s. you forgot to mention the cost of those unexpected vet bills when they have chewed something and have a severe reaction. 🙂 yep. fortunately he didnt need surgery. jack ass. xo

  8. Awww Roo is soooo stinkin’ cute! Those puppy dog eyes are adorable. I have a dog at home, but a cat that is actually “mine”. And now, monthly I wouldn’t say she costs that much- but whenever we have a vet visit or something else out of the ordinary then it definitely puts a dent in my wallet! But I wouldn’t change it for the world 🙂

  9. When I first got my husky he ate EVERYTHING. Including at least 20 pairs of shoes. AT LEAST. I still tear up thinking about my favorite brown wedges that are no longer avaiable to buy.
    But yes. You are right. Fur-babies are worth it. Once they grow out of the chewing stage they are also much easier to love!

  10. I’ve been dogsitting for the past month, and when it’s over in the next few days, I don’t know what I am going to do without having a dog in my life! Seeing you break out the cost though brings me back to reality, and with a full-time job it wouldn’t be fair for me to have one right now. One day!!

  11. Really informative post! I’m in the dog-wanting/coveting stage (your lil Rootabega is SOOOO adorbs!!), but I also realize it’s not the right time for us. I suppose it’s good that my landlord won’t allow dogs for now. They sure are expensive, but those puppy kisses are worth it!!

  12. Informative post especially for people considering getting a dog. I have a purebred dog, but besides that initial cost there are definitely lots of hidden ones like you listed. One thing that has been helpful for me as a single doggy mommy is investing in pet insurance. I have VPI and it has been great. Depending on the coverage you opt for, it covers routine exams and pays for a portion of things like heart guard, tick protection and annual exams. I think it’s beneficial for any breed of dog since veg bills (especially for emergencies, xrays, etc) can be extremely pricey. We had some xrays and a hospital stay a couple of years ago that would have been a few thousand dollars but ended up being a fraction of the cost because I had the pet insurance. Just something to consider and can help out when you need to plan out your finances and factor in your baby!!

  13. My dad just bought a Chesapeake Bay Retriever (I just blogged about him). He is so adorable!! Not only expensive…they are very time consuming! Luckily I’m able to go home on my lunch break to let him out and feed him but puppies require constant attention! He’s too cute to be upset with though 😦 I’m completely turning into one of those weird dog people/borderline obsessed but, whatever. I’m not ashamed! Cute pup!

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