For the last 2 decades, I’ve asked my fellow nurses this question, “why do new grads immediately buy a new car and a dog when they graduate from nursing school?” Why? Dogs are expensive and working 12-hour shifts means you need Rover.com to walk them. (Side note: I thought walking dogs would be a great side hustle but no one will hire me. Earn money, walking dogs here.)
Over a year ago, I even shared the knowledge of how much animals cost and to rethink it on our RN 2 Wealthy Facebook group.
This video estimates that the First-year for a new dog is $565
So here’s what happened, on our way home from our canceled spring break due to Covid-19, Mr. Miser said if there was ever a time we would consider getting a dog, now’s it. I was sad, scared, and had a weak moment with the kids. So on March 15th, we bought a dog.
Here’s how much we’ve spent on him during our first 2 months with him.
- $250 dog
- $70 chewy.com food, meds and treats
- $25 collar, personalized because our dog is special
- $129 pet smart bed, bowel, poop bags, toys
- $65 vet visit
- $275 teeth cleaning
- $60 grooming and nails
So there you have it! We spent $899 in the first 2 months of rescuing this dog. (People say “he’s a rescue” to feel righteous.)
It’s crazy when you get an animal for the first time. You have no idea what the hell you are doing. It’s like having a baby for the first time, you buy everything you might need, just in case. This pup came from a hoarder with 20 dogs and the clinic said he need help with his self-esteem. This made me feel extra compelled to dote on this anxiety-ridden furball.
Here’s another interesting observation, people will buy you “congratulations on the new dog” gifts. These are the same people who didn’t acknowledge your new human baby, you know who I’m talking about.
- We bought toys – dog doesn’t play with toys.
- We bought chew sticks – wrong size, too big for dog’s mouth.
- We planned on kenneling him – nope he sleeps in our bed.
- We bought him a bed – he sleeps next to it.
I also bought my first baby a bedroom set from Pottery Barn so apparently, I didn’t learn my lesson.
So here I am, I’m 40 years old and I’ve converted into a “dog person”. I’m still terrified of other dogs but I absolutely love this dog. He’s quiet, sleeps a lot, encourages me to go for long walks, and sits on my lap when it’s cold outside. Sure, he’s cost us nearly $1,000 but he’s made this coronavirus pandemic more bearable. He’s been along for only 1 hour since we brought him home 2 months ago. Even when things “return to normal” he will be alone very little. I have to believe that he’s the luckiest dog in the world.
So here’s the financial take home. Never go into debt to get an animal. Set aside $500-$1,000 for the first month of their life and then set aside a budget for your pet just like you would for yourself into your health savings account (HSA). Now that we spent all this money on the front end I’m hoping $50 a month will cover the cost of any new health costs, grooming, or dental cleanings. I’ve also watched a youtube video on anal glands so I won’t spend another dime on his anus. I’ve started brushing his teeth with meat-flavored toothpaste to avoid another tarter emergency. My next goal is to figure out how to give a dog a pedicure. He behaves clinically depressed with brushing so I’m not optimistic that I will be able to cut that cost.
Here are some pictures of my dog living his best life.