Well, he’s not actually a puppy. He’s a full grown dog at this point. By now, we’ve had him for a full month and he’s doing extremely well in his new surroundings! He’s pretty healthy and he’s forcing me to go on more walks than I used to. He also, however, is costing us a little more money.
Like reasonably responsible people, we adopted Jackson, a Jack Russell-Beagle mix. Neither myself nor the girlfriend would ever get a dog from a puppy mill. We found him at an adoption event nearby for Life 4 Paws, a local rescue that does a pretty great job finding homes for their dogs. We found this little guy and instantly had a connection. Pretty much, he loved us from the get go. So, we filed our papers for adoption and started to get ready to take this guy home once we were approved.
If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice we forgot something: money. Adopting a dog isn’t free and that was and is the case with Jackson. You might be wondering why I’d be willing to take on another mouth to feed and additional expenses when all I’m trying to do in life is minimize the money going out of my pocket. Well…he’s adorable. Also, this is one of those recurring expenses I’m willing to take on. I’ve wanted a dog my whole life and I won’t lie, it’s a different experience having a dog just unconditionally love you. It adds something to the day to day and helps relieve the stress and tension you build up from work.
So how much did Jackson cost exactly? Let’s take a look (numbers are rounded):
Adoption Fee: $200
Pet Deposit: $500
Total Cost: $920
That’s actually a bit of a doozy. And this is without us taking him to the Vet (his first appointment is on Tuesday, settle down now). The good thing is most of this is up front expenses and won’t be recurring. The pet deposit is refundable and so far, he hasn’t shown any destructive tendencies in the apartment, as well as being an expert at bladder control. Hopefully our apartment agrees when we eventually move out! If in the long run he costs maybe $50 a month, I think that’s something I can live with. The benefits of having a dog (lower blood pressure, decreased stress, increased physical activity and overall well being) well outweigh the costs in the long run.
I’m going to start keeping a tally on the cost of Jackson and will update it every month in my Net Worth Update. I’m pretty sure that in the long run, the average monthly cost will be between $50 and $75 but we will find out for sure in time.
If you have a good dog adoption story, please feel free to share here! I’d love to hear other takes on dog ownership from people trying to achieve Financial Independence!