- Bargaineering - http://www.bargaineering.com/articles -

Our New Dog Expenses

For the last few weeks, my wife and I have been visiting the local shelters and adoption shows to try to find a little guy to join our family. A few weeks ago, we met Tobey, a 7 year old Beagle who hasn’t had a “real” home in quite some time (I say real because he’s been a combination of fostered and kenneled, but treated very well throughout the whole process). This past weekend, we had a quick home inspection and we passed! We were a little surprised but they let us keep him that very day!

Fortunately, we were prepared. We already had a dog bed, which Tobey loved, and some Milkbone treats but we didn’t have the right sized collar or leash or even his food (since we didn’t know we’d be getting him or what food he’s been eating).

I’ve written about the total cost of owning a dog [3] but projected costs are never the same as actual costs, anyone can tell you that. So we’re going to be keeping a tally of how much it actually costs us to raise Tobey. One thing to be aware of is that Tobey is already 7 years old, so we skip a lot of the puppy related costs (shots, microchipping, etc.), but this should still be a useful exercise anyway.

Acquisition Costs

Since we were rescuing/adopting Tobey, we only gave a $175 donation to the Partnership for Animal Welfare [4] to help defray the costs of caring for him. The $175 is tax deductible, since PAW is a registered charity, so the real cost is closer to $130.

Fixed Costs

We had some fixed costs: his food and water bowl, leads, leashes, collars, and a dog tag. For the most part we went to Petco for these things and bought them before we adopted Tobey because we knew the general size of the dog we wanted. We had to exchange some things, getting a size larger, but all told the costs were around $30.

We also ordered a dog tag for $6 from a website online. It was the recommendation of the rescue volunteers that the ones from Petco are pretty much junk and don’t last. We’ll be using a temporary tag until the real one comes in.

Food, Treats

We’ll be starting him on Iams Lamb & Rice and trying out Blue Buffalo Lamb & Rice. We believe the cost per month will be around $20-30 but until we get on a routine I don’t want to be declaring any numbers for sure. The same for treats. He definitely knows a lot of commands, since he’s 7 and was well-cared for, but we’ll need to retrain him so the treats budget will be a bit difficult to budget.

Crate, Bed

We ordered a Midwest Lifestages Double Door Fold & Carry Crate (36″L X 24″W X 27″H) [5] for $60 from Amazon.com and we bought a bed from Petco a few weeks ago for around $20 (I can’t remember for sure). We’ll need to get another one because we’d like to have one upstairs and downstairs (without having to move it each time).

Things I Didn’t Know About

Tobey has already been microchipped and so all we needed to do was activate his HomeAgain registration, which meant a $14.99 annual fee.


I’d estimate the fixed and acquisition costs at around $270 and the recurring monthly costs at around $30-40 at least in the beginning. None of this factors in any medical expenses, such as his Interceptor heartworm preventative medication or Frontline, so we’ll have to figure those out as they happen. How does that compare with our total cost of owning a dog [3] figures?

Meet Tobey!

Enough of the numbers, here’s a short video of me waking up Tobey, talking like Yoda for a few seconds, grabbing his ears and then saying good-bye. He pretty much sleeps while I work and I wake him up for walks every few hours so he can sniff all the wonderful smells!