Monday, June 16, 2014

Costs of puppy ownership

It’s been quite a busy couple of weeks with baby Abby!  We’ve had her for a couple of weeks now and she has been an excellent fit.  We were lucky to be given the opportunity to adopt Abby for free.  We have also been lucky to receive a lot of dog “hand-me-downs” for free such as: collar, dog crate, bed, pee pads, toys, food, and treats.  This has saved us a lot of money in initial costs.  But this doesn’t mean dog ownership is cheap.  I wanted to share some of our costs of puppy ownership so far.

Direct costs
The first round of Abby’s shots / vaccinations at the local humane society were $39.  Her nails were clipped for $15.  We ordered a nice dog tag from Amazon for $3.50 (with free shipping).

Last week, Abby was spayed at the humane society for $85.  She has been wearing an E-collar (aka cone of shame) that we purchased for $10.  This is necessary to protect against Abby licking her surgery wounds, and slowing down the healing process.  We paid Abby’s vet $26 for implanting a tracking microchip.  This includes registry of Abby with all of her home information, in the event that she gets lost and loses her tag.  We purchased pain medication for $40 for Abby to take after her spay and microchip surgery procedures. 

After Abby’s surgery, she was very weak and tired, and would not eat much food.  We needed to get our pup to eat her pain medication and antibiotics right away, so we went to the local Petco down the street.  While big chain pet stores usually charge more for pet products, they offer great return / exchange policies in the event that a certain food or product doesn’t work.  We found a product called Pill Pockets, which worked great for getting Abby to eat her medications.  We paid $9.99 for a 30 count package of Pill Pockets.  It was well worth it to see her happily gobble up her medications like a treat.  Afterwards, I found out that you could order Pill Pockets from Amazon for only $5.99 with free shipping.  Next time. 

Gas expenses
The humane society and Abby’s vet are located 27 miles from where we live, which is about a 32 minute drive from our home.  The GasBuddy trip calculator, which takes into account the distance of the trip, vehicle information, and average gas prices in the area, tells me that a trip to the vet and back costs $4.53.  We have already made two trips to the vet, for a total of $9.06.

There will be plenty of other fuel related expenses in the future.  Abby has to go to the vet one more time next week to get her second round of shots and to have her surgical stitches removed.  To save money on gas, dog food and supplies, we will be buying as much as we can online (mostly from Amazon). 

We have been spending a lot of time with Abby over the last few weeks.  Raising a new puppy is a lot of work!  We have been encouraging good behaviors and disciplining poor ones.  This involves a lot of patience and repetition.  Also, Abby demands a lot of attention from us.

Prior to her surgery, we took turns walking Abby 2 to 3 times a day around our neighborhood.  Our community is very dog friendly, and offers free “poop baggies” for residents to collect and dispose of dog poop.  Since Abby’s surgery, we have been spending extra time with her inside our home.  We have not taken her on any outdoor walks since we don’t want to risk infection.  Our vet told us not to have Abby do any excessive playing, running, or jumping for 2 weeks. 

Abby has to wear her E collar (cone of shame) for 1 more week before she gets her stitches removed.  Then we’ll be able to resume our regular routine with her.  Our total costs so far:  $237.55.  While this is a lot of money to be spending in 3 weeks, the initial costs associated with a new puppy can be much, much higher. 

All the time and money we have been spending with Abby has been worth it to us.  We love Abby very much!

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