My fiancé and I have been considering buying a dog for some time now. When my roommate’s fiancé came to the town we are playing baseball in, she brought their dog and this gave new life to the conversation. We could see the joy the dog brought them, but we could also see some of the difficulties involved in having a dog in such a transient time in our lives. We know the breed of dog we would like, but we haven’t decided if we want to move forward. This is a big decision and we know it shouldn’t be taken lightly. We determined there are a number of different costs we need to take into account when making this choice.
The breed we are considering is called a Cavabear. It is part Cavalier, part Shih Tzu and part Bichon. The cost of purchasing from the breeder is $500. With initial shots, toys, a bed, a collar, a leash and puppy training, the cost can get a bit expensive. We are expecting that this will be at least $1000 total on the front end. If we were anticipating living in one place for a while, we wouldn’t think twice, but with my job being on the road half of the year, the decision has become a bit more difficult. How much are you willing to pay upfront?
During the off-season (September through February) my fiancé and I will be living in an apartment in the town where she works. This means if we want a dog, we will need to pay pet rent. The apartment where we are going to live charges a non-refundable $250 deposit, plus $20 a month. This would equate to $370 over our six month lease. Having a dog would also mean a smaller number of options for future apartment searches as well. Sometimes, living arrangements make it more difficult to buy a dog.
It costs money to buy food and treats for dogs. I estimated this at around $400 per year. With this cost added onto pet rent and initial costs, my fiancé and I are looking at just under $2000 for the first year of owning a dog. Now we have to decide if that cost outweighs the benefits.
Making the Decision
We know we will buy a dog in the future, but we haven’t decided if the right time is now. The benefits of owning are obvious, but our current situation makes the costs higher than normal. If my fiancé comes with me next baseball season, it might not be feasible to have a dog tag along.
These principles are applicable when you are thinking about getting any animal. How have you gone about your decision?