Q:

What are some financial costs to consider before adopting a free puppy?

A:

Quick Answer

If the puppy is not vaccinated, microchipped, and spayed or neutered, the new owners must take care of those expenses. This can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars in the first few months of ownership, although puppies from animal shelters usually have had these procedures done prior to adoption.

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Full Answer

New dogs cost between $1,314 and $1,843, as of 2015, depending on the size of the dog, estimates the ASPCA. Depending on the health of the puppy, it may be more expensive. Surgical care, heartworm treatment and other emergency problems can occur at any age. Puppies from inexperienced or poor quality breeders may be more likely to be sick than healthy puppies purchased from an ethical, experienced breeder, but puppies from good breeders are not free.

Puppies need high-quality food and may destroy lots of toys, which need to be replaced so the puppy has an appropriate outlet for chewing. Puppies also need bedding or crates. They tend to do well with puppy training classes to teach them good manners and how to interact safely with other dogs and people. Young puppies may need to go to doggy daycare or have a dog walker let them out during the day if their owners work long hours, which can be expensive. Long-haired dogs may need regular grooming to keep their hair trimmed and manageable.

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