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Adopting a Dog, Initial Costs?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Yaboosh, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. Yaboosh

    Yaboosh Diabloii.Net Member

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    Adopting a Dog, Initial Costs?

    My girlfriend has wanted a dog for a while now, and her birthday is coming up and I am considering getting her a dog from a shelter. So, I come to the crew here to see if I can get an idea of what the costs associated with adopting a dog will be.

    The cost for adoption is $50 for dogs here. Assume the dog is already neutered/spayed.

    We have no equipment for a dog, so whatever will be necessary should be included.

    We live in a 2 bedroom, second story apartment. Also, assume that the dog will be house trained (it will probably be at least 2 years old, is this an unreasonable thing to expect?)

    So what expenses beyond the $50 fee will I be looking at? Shots? Hardware for taking care of the dog?

    Also, what amount should I expect to spend on the dog's care?
     
  2. Sir EvilFreeSmeg

    Sir EvilFreeSmeg Banned

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    It really depends on the dog. Since it's already 2+ years old you can safely assume it's housebroken.

    You'll need the following:
    Leash
    Collar
    Food dish
    Water dish
    Toys.

    I suggest a leash that is retractable, a heavy nylon collar and perpetual food & water dispensers. Toys can be as simple as a tennis ball. To play tug, cut off the leg of an old pair of jeans and tie a knot on both ends.

    Dogs don't need a bed. Put your pants down on the floor and let the dog sleep on them. They love that. They get to sleep in their special place with your scent all night long. Otherwise you'll have a bed buddy that'll just wind up farting in your face at night.

    Food costs depend on the dog. As you're in an apartment I'm assuming it'll be a small to mid sized dog. 20 lbs will last quite a while. You likely don't have room to store more than that.
     
  3. oscarmk1

    oscarmk1 Diabloii.Net Member

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    They are more expensive that the simple food and care, because they can destroy things hehe.



     
  4. Sir EvilFreeSmeg

    Sir EvilFreeSmeg Banned

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    I forgot that you should get yourself some pet odor remover as well. A good enzyme based one is what you'll need.
     
  5. Bortaz

    Bortaz Banned

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    Your dog will require a 'home', that is, a place for him/her to sleep, be kept during the day, etc. Dog crates are the best thing you can get for a dog. If he isn't crate trained, it should be your first priority. Not only does it provide a safe den for the dog, it also prevents your stuff from being messed up and messed on. It helps with travel as well. Also, since dogs prefer not to poop in their den, if you train your dog to a crate, he'll be much easier to potty train. If you and the gf work 8 or 9 hours a day, your dog must be trained to hold his waste at least that long. He'll be miserable if he has to poop where he sleeps.

    Remember, dogs are not humans. A dog cannot get enough exercise by simply running around the apartment. You need to walk your dog often...most good owners do it at least 2 times a day.

    Vet care for a dog can be quite expensive, especially for some breeds. I spend probably $3000 a year on vet bills, checkups, ongoing care for my bulldog. Now, most dogs don't require that kind of care, but they all need to receive regular checkups and shots at a vet.
     
  6. Merick

    Merick Diabloii.Net Member

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    You might want a brush and dog shampoo too. Maybe a toothbrush/paste and nailclippers and your vet will give him/her shots periodically. Treats will be nice for rewarding the pooch.
    My dogs don't chew up stuff, depends on breed.
     
  7. Bortaz

    Bortaz Banned

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    Yes, hygiene items are a must, unless you like to smell dogstink.
     
  8. Dutchman

    Dutchman Diabloii.Net Member

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    Ongoing costs in a normal situation are pretty modest, but as others have mentioned it can be a killer if they get sick or have ongoing problems. My dog has chronic ear infections, and a visit to the vet ends up being about $300 between drops, antibiotics, and the cost of the visit. Untill I discovered that polysporin ear drops were pretty much the same thing that the vet was charging me a fortune for this was about every 3 months.

    Then there are the one time issues. Kidney stones cost me about $800 when all was said and done. Surgery to widen his ear canals to "maybe" fix the problem the vet wants about 4 grand for.

    Fun and games, but once you fall in love with the little buggers you don't tend to put money ahead of their needs.

    Dutch
     
  9. Thelioness

    Thelioness Diabloii.Net Member

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    Most likely you will have to retrain your adopted dog and get it used to your schedule. Expect accidents. Not to mention, that you don't know exactly why the dog was turned in, so you may have to work to overcome bad habits, they could be lack of house trainning or destroying property, or perhaps agressive behavior. Ask about obedience training. Local pet stores may offer it or be able to give you leads on finding classes in your area.

    Expect that you will have medical expenses. Animals in shelters tend to pick up nasties from their fellow inmates - ear mites to kennel cough. Most vets will want to run a battery of tests for parisites, etc. This tends to be costly; however, follow up visits don't need to be nearly as expensive. Prices vary, so call vets in your area.

    As for accessories, they can be as cheap or expensive as you want to go. Collars start around $5 and go up from there, leads start around $5 for a basic nylon lead and then they go up from there. You can go to the dollar store and get some bowls for food and water, but to save your sanity, you might want to go for the no tip bowls from a pet store and they run around $5 up to $15 depending on size.

    Toys and extras really depend on the dog.

    Not that I would want you to give up the idea of adopting from the shelter, the other option is to check out animal rescues. They tend to keep dogs in foster care where they normally get more socialization than in a shelter, but they also tend to cost more.
     
  10. ModeratelyConfused

    ModeratelyConfused Banned

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    Cutting a larger dogs nails can be very interesting. We have 2 black labs, and to cut their nails it requires a large person (me, 220lbs) to lay on them and hold them down while someone else does the cutting. I still get thrown off like a rag doll most of the time.
     
  11. oban

    oban Diabloii.Net Member

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    Go to the shelter (or rescue) first. They'll be able to tell you much more specific things about each breed or even individual dogs and match a dog suited to your means and lifestyle (e.g. you probably don't want a working dog in an apartment). Go to the library and peruse some books on dog basics. Check the local pet stores for classes. When estimating costs, don't forget you'll probably need boarding at some point. Also consider pet insurance for medical expenses (VPI is the only one I know of, but there may be others).
     
  12. adamfgt78

    adamfgt78 Diabloii.Net Member

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    When we got our rescue dog, Oscar, he cost like 50 or 75 bucks. But he came with a really bad respitory infection and cost us over 1000 dollars in vet care within two weeks. So keep that scenario in mind.

    A lot of the expected cost depends on what kind of person you and your gf are. Are you DOG dog persons? Is the dog like a member of the household/family? Or is just kind of a fun animal to have around without any real attachment? The potential for vet bills is sky-high. Are you willing to lay down $1000+ to perform a needed procedure or are you ok with letting him die or putting him down?

    I'd say plan to spent maybe $200 on initial supplies/food. If the dog never gets sick, I'd count on about $200 or so on vet bills per year. Oh, and I almost forgot the flea/tick and heartworm medicine which will be about 15-20 a month.
     
  13. Dondrei

    Dondrei Diabloii.Net Member

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    They charge you $50 to adopt from a shelter? Here they can't give them away.

    Bloody hell. I don't think we ever walked our dog. Mind you we lived on half of a quarter-acre block.

    Ew.



     
  14. Bortaz

    Bortaz Banned

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    Most of the 'acting out' behavior dogs exhibit inside a home is due to a lack of exercise. Jumping on visitors, pissing on the carpet, becoming aggressive toward people/children, food dish aggression...these all can be limited by a healthy, energy-burning regimen of walking the dog.



     
  15. Freet

    Freet Diabloii.Net Member

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    I noticed that you said you are in an apartment. Most apartments charge a pet deposit that can be anywhere from $100-800 depending on the dogs age. You should also check with the manager since some dogs are prohibited in some apartments.

    Just so you know.
     
  16. Dondrei

    Dondrei Diabloii.Net Member

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    I'll have to remember never to get an indoors dog, that's way too much effort.



     
  17. Yaboosh

    Yaboosh Diabloii.Net Member

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    I am well aware of the pet deposit and have already taken this into account.



     
  18. BasTyra

    BasTyra Diabloii.Net Member

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    The only thing I was going to mention was vet costs for little 'accidents' or injuries, but Dutchie already mentioned it and its not really an initial cost anyway.
    When griever had his spinal injury it cost us well over $3000 to make him walk again.

    You have your food costs too. Do some research into foods other than commercial doggie crap. :)
     
  19. thejdawg2

    thejdawg2 Diabloii.Net Member

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    I got a dog in August. Much like you, I got him from a shelter, and he was already housebroken.

    So far, just looking around, the things I've bought are:
    A bed. He doesn't sleep in it that much, but he leaves his toys nearby, and occasionally plops down for a nap there. Cost: $65. It's a big bed for a big dog.
    Collar: $5.
    Toys: ~$60. I have a big, active dog. I walk him a couple miles a day, but he still has a lot of energy, so he chews through most toys. He's currently on his second rope (for "the pull game"), and third rubber ring.
    Rawhide: ~50. He really, really likes chewing.
    Treats: ~$30. Even though he was housebroken, he still needs to be taught that going inside your house is wrong, and rewarded when he makes you take him out. Anything you want to teach him as well requires rewards, most often coming in the form of treats.
    Cleaning: ~$40. Shampoo, brush, nail clippers. Shampoo lasts a long time, and brushes and clippers should last you a very long time.


    It's not a lot at a time, but the costs of it all really do add up.
     
  20. Dondrei

    Dondrei Diabloii.Net Member

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    How do you housebreak a pet, by the way?
     

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