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Step 1: How long will your dog live (years)?


Step 2: Calculate start-up costs

Purchase price
Leashes and collars1
Puppy shots
Dog crate2
Spay or neuter3
Obedience class
Sacrificial couch4
Sacrificial kitchen table4
Sacrificial carpet4
Sacrificial glasses, shoes and socks4
Bitter apple to prevent sacrifices5
Piss pads/housekeeping items6
Urine cleanup suppplies7
Dog bed
Nail trimmers

Step 3: Calculate recurring costs


Flea prevention (per month)8
Heartworm prevention (per month)9
Bag of dog food10
Dog toys, shampoo, bones, etc.11
Boarding while traveling
Dog walker

Step 4: Estimate veterinary costs

Yearly vet visit13
Dental procedure14
Major orthopedic procedure15
Exploratory abdominal surgery16
Skin disease treatment17
Heart disease treatment18

Step 4: Recoil in horror

Annual cost
Lifetime cost

Don't know what numbers to use? Try these …

1. Leashes and collars:
The price will depend on how fancy you are. Most people go through at least 2 leashes and 2 collars in their dogs life. A good estimate is that a leash will cost $10.00 and a collar will cost another $10.00.
2. Dog crate:
If you are smart you will crate train your dog. If not, leave this one blank. A dog crate costs between $50-200.00 depending on the size of the crate and the quality.
3. Spay or neuter:
Plan on breeding your dog? You have bigger issues. For the rest of us, get your dog spayed or neutered. The price will vary depending on the part of the country you are in but $500.00 is a good place to start.
4. Sacrificial objects:
You will sacrifice at least one of your prized possessions to your puppy. Couches, carpets, glasses, shoes, they will destroy something. Whatever that object WILL be, you are only kidding yourself if you leave this entry blank. Some breeds are more prone to destroying your house than others. The breedfreak breed profiles let you know which dogs are most prone to destroying your house before they eat your valuables.
5. Bitter apple:
Don't leave the pet store without stinky, bitter, nasty spray to spray on things to help prevent your dog from chewing on them. Bitter Apple is one brand. Tabasco also works wonders if you can stand red stain all over everything. Estimate at least $10.00.
6. Piss pads:
You can use newspaper like your grandmother did in 1950. We prefer those absorbent blue pads they put under incontinent old folks to absorb smells and keep the flood at bay. You can get them at pet stores or medical supply houses. Magic. Depending on how stupid your dog is, you should estimate anywhere from $50.00-200.00. The breedfreak breed profiles let you know which dogs are the "Einsteins" of the dog world and will be the easiest to housebreak.
7. Urine clean up supplies:
Febreeze and detergents just push smells around. To really get rid of smells, use enzymatic cleaners to break down the urine smell. Natures Miracle is one we like. Estimate $75.00 or more depending on how long it takes your dog to learn to go outside.
8. Flea Prevention:
All dogs have fleas. Sorry. Modern flea medications work great but can be expensive. Estimate $8.00/month for drugs like Frontline and Advantix.
9. Heartworm Prevention:
Heartworms are just about everywhere. Chances are you will need heartworm prevention. Estimate $7.00/month.
10. Bag of dog food:
The cost of dog food varies with the type of food you buy and the size of your dog. If you need the fancy stuff because your dog has allergies or you believe the marketing hype that you need to feed your dog a gluten free diet, estimate $40-50.00 for a bag of food. If your dog can handle the supermarket stuff, estimate $20-30.00 for a bag of food.
11. Dog Toys, Shampoo, Bones, etc:
Everyone is a sucker for toys and bones. You know you are too. You will spend more when they are young. For our pooch we estimated $5.00/month over the life of the dog. Make up your own numbers but don’t think you are not a sucker for squeaky toys. Also do not underestimate how expensive dog shampoo, that won't dry out your dog's coat, can be.
12. Groomer:
Like that long, pretty, coat on your dog? So does your groomer. Estimate $50.00/month if you have one of the breeds we identify as a "beauty queen" in the Breedfreak breed profiles.
13. Yearly vet visit:
Plan on seeing the vet at least once a year. This might be for shots or because your dog is puking all over the place. Hopefully they will just send you on your way. The cost can be difficult to estimate but you should plan on at least $200.00/year. Plan on more if you have a breed that we identify as a "veterinarians best friend" in the Breedfreak breed profiles.
14. Dental procedure:
Sounds funny now but what do you think your mouth would smell like if you ate dirt and sucked on tennis balls for 10 years. It would stink and your dogs mouth will to. In ten years you will pay anyone anything to make it smell better. Hopefully you only have to do it once and you wont have to pull any teeth. Extractions cost more. The price is all over the place but estimate at least $500.00. If you have a breed that we identify as prone to dental problems in the breedfreak breed profiles better estimate $2000.
15. Major orthopedic surgery:
This one is optional but if you have a breed that we identify as is prone to orthopedic disease estimate $5000 for each joint. Pray you do not need to do more than one joint. Pray again while you are at it.
16. Exploratory abdominal surgery:
Hope and pray your dog does not eat a sock or your kids action figure or they will be cut open to get it removed. This one is optional but if you have a breed that we identify as prone to eating the house in the Breedfreak breed profile you better estimate $3500.00.
17. Skin disease treatment:
Forget about it. If you have a breed that we identify as prone to skin issues in the Breedfreak breed profile you better estimate AT LEAST $5000 for shampoos, vet visits, and all the rest.
18. Heart disease treatment:
If you are planning on getting a breed that we identify as prone to heart disease in the Breedfreak breed profile, get ready for echocardiograms, EKG's, x-rays, and loads of cardiac medications. Plan on at least $4000.00.
19. Cancer treatment:
Some dogs are prone to cancer. If you chose a breed that we call a "cancer factory" breed in the Breedfreak breed profile, and you decide to treat, estimate at least $10,000.00.
20. Euthanasia:
You will only do it once but you should budget for it. The sticker shock of euthanasia gets people all the time. Most dogs don’t just go in a corner and never wake up. Most of the time you will be at the vet spending at least $400.00 for the procedure and cremation.