Stocks and Cents

We got a puppy!

Jackson the jack russell beagle mix

My new dog, Jackson

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

Crate:               $100

Food:                $75

Toys:                $20

Leash:               $25

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!

2 Responses to We got a puppy!

  1. Nick B

    Look in to pet insurance…. Mine is 22 dollars a month, but the coverage is rather inclusive and they even offer assistance with finding a lost dog. Vet bills can climb in to the thousands very easily. So it may offset the cost of having to make a tough decision if something happens. It would also depend on how active the dog and you are. Couch potatoes don’t require as much coverage!

  2. Jackie C

    I agree that dogs are an expensive addition to the family. Food, toys, vet visits, and the occasional groomer’s appointments can add up. I’m not completely sure what to think about pet insurance though.

    There were a few incidents that pushed us to get pet insurance for Meka. We’ve now had pet insurance for 15months and although we’ve had about $1400 of vet bills but only one of those occurrences could be claimed. Our policy covers accidents, emergencies, and medical issues but not procedures like spaying or routine check-ups. The one claim we filed was a $400 emergency that after the $100 deductible and a 20% co-pay, saved us only $240.

    I’m torn. If I knew I would spend this much on the policy and rarely be able to make a claim, I would not have gotten it. Although, superstition seems to have a stronger hold on me than I would like and I keep thinking Murphy’s Law is going to kick in as soon as I cancel. The $400 emergency previously mentioned occurred days after I called the insurance company to cancel and the lady I spoke to convinced me to hold onto it until the exclusions were removed (the exclusions were a possible hip problem and a reaction to a vaccine, both discovered before buying the policy, therefore having to be disclosed and not covered until the vet could verify they were no longer an issue). Had I cancelled, i would not have been reimburse the $240.

    I’m not too sure how any other pet insurance policies work and I don’t know if there are any differences between Canadian and American pet insurance policies, but I know that it’s hard to tell if you’ll need insurance and often if you don’t have it you wish you did when something goes wrong. What I’ve learned is that as a dog ages, it’s more likely to get sick and have physical problem which is why insurance companies here exclude common problems specific to certain breeds and price your policy based on breed and age. As your pet ages, your premium and deductible also increase. So as you need the insurance more, you pay more.

    I don’t know if we ever get more than peace of mind from having pet insurance.

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