See Spot Run…Up a Bill

Dog ownership that costs an arm and a leg—make that a paw and a hind leg

About 43.5 million U.S. households own at least one dog, and more and more dog owners are lavishing pets with amenities like nail-polish “pawdicures” and banana biscotti-pampering that takes a serious bite out of the bank account. Consider these three classes of dogs and what their varying lifestyles cost in the Chicago area.

dog


MIDDLE CLASS MUTT

Food: Kibbles ‘n Bits, 4 lb. bag (Pet­co)$4.99
Grooming: Top Paw Oatmeal Shampoo (PetSmart)$4.99
Fitness: A brisk DIY walk around the block$0

Training: Urban Dog: The Ultimate Street Smarts Training Manual, by Cis Frankel (who trained Oprah’s cocker spaniels)
$19.95
Kenneling: Beg a family member or neighbor$0

dog

SPOILED PUP

Food: Science Diet Canine Maintenance, 5 lb. bag (Petco)
$8.49
Grooming: Self-service dog wash facility; includes shampoo and brushes (Scrub Your Pup; 773-348-6218)$18
Fitness: Daily walk by a certified dog walker (Urban Tailblazers; 773-388-9800)$13

Training: Eight weeks of basic obedience (Call of the Wild School for Dogs; 773-539-1088)

$250

Kenneling: One night of cage-free boarding (Citizen Canine Bed & Breakfast; 773-935-3853)
$35-$45

dog

HAUTE COUTURE HOUND


Food: Six canine cannolis (Galloping Gourmutts; 773-477-5959)
$10.50
Food: Innova Evo, 6.6 lb. bag (made entirely from fresh red meat without grains) (Doggy Style Pet Shop; 773-235-9663)$16.89
Grooming: Including hand drying and nail trim (Streeterville Pet Spa and Boutique; 312-787-7792)$50 and up
Fitness: Five swimming lessons$200
Fitness: 30-minute treadmill session$20
Fitness: 60-minute aromatherapy massage (Pooch Chicago; 773-661-0632)
$60

Training: Four in-home dog obedience training sessions
$999.99

Kenneling:
One night in a glass-walled room, with river views, a toy chest, fresh flowers, and prints by photographer Keith Carter (Stay; 773-509-0001)
$75

dog

REX RX

Like human health care, veterinary medicine can also translate into four- or five-figure hospital bills*

1. Canine cataract surgery: $2,000-$3,000

2. Cost of your dog eating a sock: requires surgery totaling $1,500 or more

3. Cost of your dog eating pills from your medicine cabinet: $500-$800 (includes induced vomiting, blood work, and overnight monitoring at facility)

4. Puppy wellness physical exam (exam only, not including vaccinations, etc.): $33 average

5. Canine spaying, less than 25 lbs.: $148 average; canine neutering, less than 25 lbs.: $128 average

6. Total hip replacement: about $4,000

7. Kidney transplant: $10,000 and up (includes dialysis)

Sources: Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove; American Animal Hospital Association
*Costs can vary, depending on geographic location and other factors

DID YOU KNOW?

So, you go out and spend $500 or so for a dog. That’s kibbles and bits, compared with the lifetime cost of caring for a dog, which can go as high as $50,000 and beyond.

AVERAGE ANNUAL COST OF OWNING AND CARING FOR A DOG (by Size)

$3,321
Giant dogs
(Great Dane, mastiff)

$2,569
Large dogs
(Labrador retriever, golden
retriever, German shepherd)

$2,628
Medium dogs
(cocker spaniel, corgi)

$1,831
Small dogs
(Boston terrier, shih tzu)

AVERAGE ONE-TIME COST OF DOG OWNERSHIP

$2,100
Includes expenses such as: spaying/neutering, emergency vet care, training, and supplies


Source: American Kennel Club

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