What Does it Cost to Adopt a Dog?

"How much is that doggie in the window?"
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“Don't shop, adopt!” Chances are you've heard this slogan and understand the importance of pet adoption. However, many people are confused about the adoption process ... and the actual cost of that puppy in the window.

Places of Adoption

When people think of adopting a dog, they usually think of animal shelters. There is usually at least one shelter in every city, but shelters aren't your only option. There are also nonprofit businesses that adopt shelter dogs to prevent them from being euthanized. The adoption centers usually are not funded by the government and may have different prices than shelters due to their lack of funding.

Yet another option is pet stores. This doesn't mean pet stores that sell puppies, but rather those that have an adoption area used by local animal shelters. Lastly, you can also adopt dogs from other dog owners who can no longer take care of a pet. With all these options, there is bound to be a variance in adoption costs from place to place.

The Wide Range of Costs

There isn't a straight answer when it comes to the cost of adopting a dog. This is because each shelter, business and owner is different. One shelter may charge $100, while another might charge $200. There are also shelters that charge as little as $20. Sometimes owners that need to find a new home for their dog may charge nothing at all or a very small re-homing fee. The services that come with the adoption may also affect the price. For example, shelters may charge more for animals who have been spayed or neutered and are up to date on their shots. It's also not uncommon for nonprofit businesses to charge more for purebred dogs, especially puppies.

Other Costs to Consider

One thing you absolutely must consider no matter what the dog costs to adopt is that adoption is only the first expense. Many people make the mistake of adopting a free dog, only to find out that the dog is far from free to take care of. The dog will need to be fixed, fed, medicated to prevent fleas and worms, and provided with a number of pet supplies. In other words, adoption fees aren't the only cost when it comes to adopting a dog. You need to be financially prepared to handle the cost of care that puppies and senior dogs need.

How to Budget for the Adoption

Your first step is to consider how much you can afford to spend. You need to consider the cost of the supplies needed, the first vet visit, whether or not the dog will be fixed, how much the first doses of medication will cost, if the dog has all of her shots and how much the adoption itself will cost. You can then explore your options based on what you can afford. For example, if you're able to spend $200 after you've considered the other expenses, you can check out the options that have dogs in that price range.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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