Article | 2:18 min read

Are you Financially Ready for Your First Puppy?

You’ve been thinking about adopting a dog for a while—a little fur baby in the home has always been your dream!

A person holding a happy dog

But owning your own pet can be more expensive, and more responsibility, than what you might be anticipating. Are you prepared to shell out for the unexpected costs of being a pet parent?

Adoption fee

Unfortunately, Sparky isn't just going to trot into your home and curl up on the couch without a price. If you're planning on buying from breeder, be prepared to pay a high price, especially for a desirable breed. Some breeders in Missouri charge $2,500 for a golden retriever puppy [1]. Purchasing from a shelter is a good way to save money. The adoption fee at a shelter varies depending on the location, but you can expect to pay somewhere around $110 - $225 [2].


Vaccinations can be costly, as well. Every breed is unique-different types of dogs are recommended to receive certain vaccines that others are not. Petfinder estimates that vaccinations can cost between $60 and $150 each year, but that's dependent on your dog's breed and your personal choices [3]. Talk to your veterinarian to see what is right for your dog.

Emergency medical treatments

This is the part that no one wants to think about. When your pet unexpectedly gets sick or injured, it can be stressful. You won't want to find yourself in a situation where you can't afford the bills to ensure your dog's health stays intact. This cost is very dependent on specific situations, but costs can climb over $2000 [3]. It's a good idea to have a significant amount of money saved for emergencies.

Transportation and boarding

When go out of town, you're going to have keep your new best friend in mind. Consider whether Sparky would be a good travel companion. If you're going on a business trip and you'll be busy most of the day, the answer is probably no. You will either need to make arrangements with someone you trust to take care of him while you're gone, or find a kennel.

Depending on the amenities offered, boarding your dog can cost between $12 to $110 per day [4]. If you're heading to the beach and you think Sparky would enjoy a little R&R himself, bring him along! But be prepared to pay extra for taking your dog on a plane and a pet-friendly hotel.

Of course you're just dying to spoil Sparky with treats and chew toys and doggie sweaters, but you need to be aware of the necessary expenses, as well. Are you ready to take on this responsibility? Use Money Manager to determine a plan to budget and save for your future financial goals.


  1. [1] Storybrooke Goldens, Puppy Application
  2. [2] Adoption Fees for St. Louis City Center, Humane Society of Missouri
  3. [3] Annual dog care costs, Petfinder
  4. [4] Dog Kennel Cost, CostHelper

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