How Much Is It To Adopt A Rescue Dog?

Well the price of adoption can vary from shelter to shelter or organization to organization.

I can already hear the dog snobs saying, “if you can’t afford to pay for a dog then don’t get one.”

Well don’t be bitches, dog snobs. We aren’t all rolling in cash, are we…

Moving on.

The purchase price to adopt a dog from a shelter is usually between $200 to $400. This is a great deal because the dog comes with all of it’s medical stuff done already so you don’t have to pay for that. If you’re looking at a shelter that has not done the medical work on the dogs (neutering/spaying, vaccinations and worming) then you might want to consider looking for a rescue society that provides the medical work, especially if they are still charging you money for the dog.

Now it’s true that the initial purchase price of any dog usually becomes fairly insignificant over time. Not just because of the ongoing costs of dog ownership adding up, but because you form a bond with your dog and he or she then becomes priceless.. Aaawwww!

Nevertheless, let’s look at some of the expenses that you’ll need to keep in mind when preparing for dog ownership, or if you’d rather, preparing for your newly adopted furry child.

Desexing (spay/neuter) –

$200 – $500 depending on the vet. Rescue dogs – DONE. Cha ching! Money saved.

Worming –

For intestinal worms, at least every three months but most done with a monthly wormer. This is done when you adopt your rescue dog but is obviously an ongoing cost. Worming can be combined into one monthly wormer.

Heartworm –

As above, most are every month and can be combined but you can also get a yearly injection from the vet.

Fleas -

Most are a monthly application or a flea bath. Your adopted dog shouldn’t come with fleas. The rescue organization should fix up anything like this before putting the dog up for adoption.

COMBINED monthly flea, heartworm and intestinal wormers vary by brand but comes to roughly $60 – $100 per month depending on the size of your dog.

Equipment (collar, lead, bowl, bedding) –

Don’t be skimpy. You get what you pay for. Get good quality gear. A set up of all the above and good quality will range from $100 to $200 depending on dog size. You can also do this on a budget but then you may end up spending more when it all falls apart.

Food –

Check out raw feeding. Seriously. Do it.

You want to feed your dog the best diet you can from the get go. A raw natural diet promotes a healthy shiny coat, gets rid of that “doggy smell,” cleans the dog’s teeth and promotes calm and stable behaviour. Check out Going Rawr for a complete guide to getting it right with a raw natural diet.

Not only that, but the cost is often less than a decent dog food. Total cost depends again on the size of the dog but I’d estimate the average cost to be around $20 – $30 per week for a medium to large sized dog.

Training –

Ah, my area of expertise! Make sure you see a reputable trainer. You may be better off with private lessons rather than group classes. Of course with the new and upcoming Rescue Dog Academy you can train at home without pressure or judgement and have all the knowledge you need to get off to a great start. Training is ongoing for the life of the dog but you needn’t keep spending money on it. You can learn plenty to do at home yourself.

If you require in home lessons from a behavioural trainer, this is usually for more serious behaviour problems such as aggression. Make sure you find someone who know’s what they’re doing and has plenty of experience and testimonials proving their results. So many “trainers,” are all talk and may even make the behavior worse if they aren’t experienced.

Pet Insurance –

I highly recommend pet insurance, at least for the first two years as this is when genetic issues can crop up. After that, pet insurance provides peace of mind if there is an accident or illness that happens suddenly. You don’t want to be caught out not being able to afford vet bills if something happens to your new best friend. Pet Insurance costs between $60 to $80 per month depending on the provider and the plan. Make sure you read the fine print!

Pay them back…

You may pay the bills but you’ll be paid ten times over with love from your newly adopted rescue dog. Don’t forget to pay them back ;

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