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Getting A Dog

Getting a dog can be an expensive proposition. Even if you get your dog free or for a small fee from a rescue organization, there are still many costs to consider. It is important that you go into dog ownership with as much knowledge as you can so that you are prepared.

1) Shelter Dogs need shelter and comfort. A dog house can cost $50.00 or more. Dog beds can cost $30.00 or more.

2) Dog Food There are many kinds of dog foods. Start by buying puppy food and move into adult food. You can buy dry, canned or packaged. Cost for one month: $10.00 - $40.00 or more depending on size of dog. Don't forget about treats for snacks and training. Cost: $5.00 You may also want to buy extra vitamins. These items for one month can cost $8.00

3) New Dog Check-up Your new dog needs a check-up from the veterinarian. Basic appointments run from $20.00 to $35.00. Young pups and adults need shots to protect them from illness.

4) New Dog Supplies 1 water dish: $3.00, 1 food dish: $3.00, a leash: $10.00, a collar: $5.00, an ID tag: $ 4.00, chew toys: $ 10.00, a brush: $ 5.00.

5) Update Collar You will need to buy another collar for your puppy after a couple of months, because most likely he will be growing. Be sure you can always fit at least 2 fingers between the collar and the dog's skin. If you can't, the collar is too tight and you will need to buy a bigger one. Cost of larger collar: $ 7.00 It will probably be time to get your dog licensed, also. Cost for one year: $15.00 The fee is usually greatly reduced if the dog has been spayed or neutered.

6) Grooming Your dog will need regular grooming. You can do it yourself if you have an easy-care kind of dog. You will need to buy shampoo and if your dog has fleas or a skin problem, you'll need special shampoos. Cost of shampoo: $5.00 If you have a breed that needs special trimming, you will have to take it to a dog groomer. Depending on the size of the dog, it can cost anywhere from $10.00 to $40.00.

7) Obedience Training To be a responsible dog owner, you should train your dog. If you need help doing this, you might call an obedience club in your area or look in the phone book for private classes. The cost can be anywhere from $25.00 for a year of classes through a club to $100.00 for 8 weeks of private training.

8)Veterinary Expenses and Maintenance Check-Ups You will need to see your vet at least once a year to get check-ups and necessary shots. Cost of shots each year: $30.00 and up. Illness Unfortunately, most dogs get sick at some point during their lifetime. They could get something as simple as an upset stomach or as serious as cancer. Will your family be prepared for the vet bills? We don't always want to think about these things, but they do happen and they do cost money. Cost: $50.00 and up. Spay/Neuter You should have your female dog spayed or your male dog neutered to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Cost of surgery: $50.00 or more. Teeth-Cleaning After many years of eating food, your dog may need his teeth cleaned. Sometimes this involves anesthetic and can cost as much as $100.00. You can help prevent this procedure by regularly brushing your dog's teeth.

9) Vacations If your family ever needs to go away, you may need to pay for boarding or for someone to come to your house to take care of your dog. Cost of boarding per night: $12.00 and up.

As you can see, owning a dog costs money. Sit down with your parents and be honest about your family's ability to pay for a dog's needs. If everyone knows what to expect, there should be no surprises.