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Tuesday Tip- Getting a Dog...

We are SO EXCITED to get a puppy.

If you are thinking about it, allow me to do a little research for you.  You see, there is a lot to think about when you are getting a puppy.  Things like a place for him to sleep, food for him to eat, toys for him to play with.  And then there are the medical bills that come with a puppy and the decisions that need to be made.

Please, keep in mind, I grew up with dogs but I was not the one that bought any of the stuff for them nor understood the expenses that came with them.  My job was to love them with all of my heart and play with them whenever I could.  So, tonight and the past week has been a bit of an eye opener for me.  And Scott.

When we started thinking about getting a puppy, I called my sister.  She has a little black schnauzer.  I asked her how much they spend on their dog a month.  She said that it averages out to about 50$ a month with shots, haircuts, food etc.  I figured 50$ a month we could swallow.  I could cut out my manicure and dye jobs – oh wait, I don’t do either of those but I figured we could manage some how to add a dog to our family.

I told Scott it would be about $50 a month and he said “fine.”

Let me tell you the price tags of all of the things I have bought so far (as much of it as possible was purchased at Walmart and the rest at Petsmart)…

1.  Dog Bed $20

2.  Leash $4-8

3.  Collar $2-5

4.  Chew Toys $1-9 each (and apparently you need a rope, rubber toy, plush toy and a “Kong” so that he can decide what he likes.  Also, a “Kong” is the only toy that is allowed in the kennel for safety reasons

5.  Dog bowl $3-15 (sure, you can use a bowl you have but if you are going to leave water out for him, you will have water splashed or spilled all the time.  We opted for a holder that has a bowl for food and a bowl for water.  I figure it is less likely to spill, but we shall see).

6.  Kennel $40

7.  Kennel Pad $10-20 (we were actually talked out of this as an immediate purchase.  The salesman said to wait and see if he chews on it or not and if he doesn’t, then get him one).

8.  Dog food $$$ (you can spend a LOT or a little but some food has all of the animal and stuff from the floor all mixed together and others grind up the bone with the meat.  We opted for the more expensive kind that is all natural blah blah blah.  We’ll see how he does with it.  Right now he’s eating Kirkland and doing great on it).

9.  Dog brush $8-12

10.  Dental care $10

11.  Dog Tag $10-20

12.  Pooper Scooper $20

13.  Bags for walking (In Utah there is a $250 fine if you don’t pick up after your dog and someone reports you).

The next couple of things we have to spend money on are the 2nd round of shots, and then the 3rd round and then the 4th round and those range from $50-100 depending on which shots he’s going to get.

Once you’ve done that you have to consider if you are going to get him fixed or not.  If you are, you can expect to pay around $150.  And there are benefits to doing it when he is younger if you decide to do it.  He will be quicker to heal, it helps him be less aggressive, it stops him from learning the marking behavior  and you don’t have to worry about him getting out and getting busy with the other neighbor dogs.

Then there are other things to consider like obedience school.  Petsmart charges $110-ish for an 8 week course.

Also, you can’t forget about grooming or bathing.  For us, there will be a grooming bill.

Plus, I would love to get a containment yard for him to use when we go to my parents or when we want to leave him outside instead of in his kennel- but that’s another $75 that I just can’t justify.

All of that adds up to quite a bit and that doesn’t include the cost of the actual DOG!

Man, getting a dog is not cheap.  But, I am confident that the love that he will bring into our home will be worth the cost.  The girls are so excited to have him with us and can’t wait until we have him home.

The memories that I have of my childhood dogs are wonderful and character building memories.  I will never forget studying for my “digestive tract” test on my puppy named Poppy.  She was such a good sport when I would lay her on her back and talk through what happens when she would eat.  Plus, the conversations I could have with my dogs when I really just wanted someone to listen without sharing an opinion.  Dogs are wonderful friends that can truly become part of the family – if you let them.

Don’t forget that Carol at Songberries still has a couple more of these super cute puppies.

Anything else I need to know and prepare Scott for? 🙂

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