By: Revanche

Doggle: The True Costs of Our New Pet

June 11, 2011

I feel like we’ve had our Doggle for ages. In reality, it’s only been a few weeks so it’s a good time to see for the best to start counting up the first month costs to see the damages in stark bleeding red.  Just in case anyone was under any illusions about how “fun” and “exciting” and “easy” it would be to adopt a pet. 😉

Our tab started at $290 from the gate, and that was before any creature comforts for our new beloved beastie.

With that in mind, and my off the cuff refusal to spend $500 in the first month of dog ownership, my (insane) quest was to gather all the most needed things on the list for under $100 since we still had to visit the vet, he had some meds to continue, and a license to obtain.

We were lucky that he’s generally so low maintenance in the daily-occupation department.  He hasn’t been a toy-loving pup, he’s uniformly ignored them at his foster mum’s for the past several months and other dog companionship isn’t terribly important to him either. I don’t have to feel guilty that he’s not getting a sibling any time soon! Turns out, dog stuff has gotten much more expensive since I last shopped for it.

The list of Stuff:

1. A bed: he squished the life out of a gifted bed with all his huffy-puffy flopping (see below) so he needed a secondary.
2. 2  1 leashes (I normally keep a backup and he’s still learning leash manners so we may eventually own 2. Will just buy one for now). $20, plus tax
3. A secondary collar for training, $21, plus tax
4. Food, $30
5. A car hammock, the interim solution instead of a new car. $40, plus tax
6. Food and water bowls. $30, elevated bowls as he’s an older, taller dog
7. Shampoo
8. Comb & Brush. $19
9. A tie down $18
Total:  $250

That’s a pretty spectacular fail on the budgeting front.  Economizing on the really little things, we don’t actually need a second leash – he’s a puller but not out of control. He had a grooming right before we picked him up so I opted out of buying shampoo, I’ll be brushing him out regularly and since PiC really doesn’t want his fur stopping up the drains (he’s got some mega-thick fur that clumps) and we don’t have a yard, we’ll be bathing him at the local Pet Food Expresses. Oh. Yes.

Baths: $45 for 4.

By the by, my pricematching reveals that Amazon is failing spectacularly where it was once brilliant at undercutting the B&M retailers on many of these items.

His visit to the vet included an exam, baseline bloodwork because of some previous history, medications, vaccinations, treatment and came out to: $250.

Three weeks in, and we’ve clocked $835 on the dog cost meter.  We still have licensing to go but that won’t be more than $36.  If PiC was unconvinced before about my setting the emergency and maintenance fund at a $5,000 minimum, he’s come over now.  I’m about to kick that up to $10,000 at this rate!

Because this guy is older, and has had at least one questionable bit of medical history, he’s more prone to the age-related illnesses. The visit was only up about $80 due to the medical history and not really an age thing, though, any dog with  Of course, we are already ridiculously attached to him, and it makes sense to set aside a huge e-fund for him. I’m not willing to make serious medical decisions based solely on finances.


As to the Doggle himself, he’s been a hoot. He’s been with us visiting family and friends, north and south, and he’s been coming out of his shell with each step. The lucky fella was gifted a bed and bag of goodies on his first day home by our fellow dog loving blogger friends and he’s slowly deciding that chewies are good times. But already he’s getting curfewed – no chewies after 10 pm.

He’s trying to train us, particularly his Alpha human, that packs must always travel together and therefore bedtime is the same for everyone.  Safety issue, perhaps?

He’ll go stare at PiC, wagging his tail slowly, a grin on his face, turn and pace to bed, whoomp into his bed.  Wait fifteen seconds to see if it worked. PiC doesn’t appear? Repeat. Over and over and over … and over.  Night after night, he tries to wheedle PiC to conformity.  This tactic literally smooshes the stuffing out of his beds.  (And does not work as PiC is not trainable.)

It’s entertaining because he doesn’t whine, bark, growl or otherwise vocalize frustration.  Just whoomps wherever he’s making his stand.  He’s pretty great all around, truth be told, mostly quiet, though almost puppy-like on occasion when he catches a scent or sees a smaller dog he’d really like to meet.  Good with strangers, people or canine, he’s like a cat during the day, hanging out while we work and morphs back to a goofy dog, loping over pleased as punch to see us when we come home at night.  He was definitely not a fan of the air dryer when we bathed him and probably not so much of being washed in loads of soapy water for fifteen minutes either but he still let us do our thing without making any real fuss.

I’ve been evil ear lady since he came home, and though he almost matches me pound for pound, I can basically – under protest – clean and medicate his ear solo. We wrassle, but I still get the job done between an iron grip and a strategically broken up Pupperoni stick.

It’s been a huge change working our lives around his needs. His routine is our new routine, he has to go out twice a day because we have no yard, and we are learning how to live with a new family member whose needs we have to plan around. But to be perfectly honest, he’s been well worth it. Even if we do Swiffer three times a day now. 😉

13 Responses to “Doggle: The True Costs of Our New Pet”

  1. You sound so happy!

  2. Holy Moly, adoption fees are a bit more out there in sunny CA! Here you can expect to pay $100 , which includes a basic vet visit. Did you guys get him from a breed rescue or is that what it really costs out there?

  3. Karen says:

    Are there any dog parks where you can wash the dog for free? That’s what I do; it’s free ($1/hr to park tho). And I don’t bathe mine weekly as she is not an outside dog.

  4. Sense says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Sense says:

    puppy (kind of)! he sounds soooo cute and perfect for your lifestyle. i’m very jealous, even of the cost/time/energy commitment. CANNOT wait to get one of my own one day. are you going to get pet insurance?

  6. Pictures!!!

    Let me just say, even the stories of him are just too cute, and he is worth every penny. If only he could learn to Swiffer himself.

  7. “Whoomp” goes the old man in a dog suit…

    Just like old men who expect you to listen to them because they’re sitting in their comfy chairs.

  8. The Quest says:

    Any chance of a pic? Would love to see your new pet. We are just about to bathe our chocolate (yum) lab outside because it’s 80 degrees and time for a bath.

  9. Bonnie says:

    We got our French bulldog from an awesome breed rescue group ($500, but included leash, collar, crate, etc.) and then I had to write another $500 check to my landlord for a pet deposit. Ouch! She’s worth it, though.

  10. You better post a picture, young lady! My Maverick is very perturbed that I refuse to be herded into bed. I’ve had him for 7 years now, though, and he still hasn’t stopped trying. Even though I’m surrounded by the pungent odor of dog farts right now, i wouldn’t change a thing.

  11. LOL! I love this! I’m forwarding it to M’hijito. “His” puppy was just born a few days ago.

    Two hunnert and fifty dollah to adopt a dog? Wow!

    You’ll pay that much to the German shepherd rescue here; but most of the rescue organizations would pay you to take a dog, if they just could be sure you wouldn’t abuse it.

  12. Revanche says:

    @FrugalScholar: I can’t help it, he’s so cute, and funny.

    @TheLostGoat: I hope this post helped clear it up:

    @Karen: I’m going to look!

    @Sense: Mostly – he’s still *really* strong on leash so that’s going to take some training. Probably no on pet insurance, savings should be adequate.

    @stackingpennies: He is oddly disturbed by the camera! I am about to attach Swiffer pads to his paws… experimentally of course … 😉

    @chipsforsupper: He’s such an old man.

    @nicoleandmaggie: *proudmamabeam*

    @TheQuest: He gives me the dirtiest looks when the camera comes out.

    And the dog farts. HOMIGOSH.

    @FaM: Hard to begrudge when they did surgery … but yeah. Definitely a chunk of change.

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