Kansas State University


Powercat Financial

Pricey Puppies

Everybody loves dogs, right? Although our love for these furry friends may be abundant, there are a lot of things to take into consideration before adding an additional member to your household! I am going to outline some of the potential costs that are associated with owning a pet. If you are planning on purchasing or adopting a pet, you may want to ask yourself whether you will be able to afford the potential expenses associated with being a pet owner.

According to ASPCA the average annual cost of owning a dog varies by size:

  • Small Dog – $1,001
  • Medium Dog – $1,214
  • Large Dog – $1,448
Expense First Year Each Year Following
Adoption Fee/Purchase $0-1,500+ N/A
Food/Treats $120-500 $120-500
Food/Water Bowls $10-50 N/A
Collar(s)/Leashes(s) $10-50 $0-50
Bed/Crate $25-250 $0-250
Toys $10-200 $10-200
Health (Vet visits, Vaccines, checkups, heartworm prevention, flea/tick prevention, etc.) $700-1,500 $700-1500
Pet Insurance $9-55+ $9-55+
Pet Deposit if Renting $0-95+ $0-95+
Boarding Fee if Traveling without Pet $0-45+ $0-45+
Total $884-4,245+ $839-2,695+

These costs don’t include “one-time” expenses such as spay and neutering fees, carrier bag, etc. If you are thinking what I am thinking, that’s A LOT of money. As a college student we are constantly pinching every penny we can in order to pay for books, rent, utilities, so is there room in our budget to add a pet? I understand you may be thinking, “No way it costs this much money to have a pet!” To give a better idea of where the money is being spent, I broke down the yearly expenses that are associated with puppies.

*Note that prices may vary due to the bread of the dog, whether you are purchasing or adopting, and other factors.

As you can see, a dog may be an expensive addition to your college years. Another financially related topic I would like to point out is the cost of destruction that may occur, especially if you purchase a young pup. Dogs sometimes tend to get into things they aren’t supposed and chew up valuable things of ours. Now this isn’t the dogs fault, as they are learning what they can and can’t do, however, if your adorable new puppy chews up your only pair of tennis shoes, then what? Most likely you will be forced to head down to the mall and purchase another pair…which adds to your additional monthly expenses.


Now that I have touched a lot on the financial side of things, I wanted to end with one more thing you should take into consideration when thinking about adopting or buying a dog. Will you be able to give the dog the attention that he/she deserves? I believe this is one of the most important things to consider. If you work 40 hours a week on top of taking 15 credit hours, and attempting to have a social life is it fair to the dog to be left at home, locked up and receiving minimal attention every day? Even if you can afford the expenses associated with purchasing a pet, it may not be the right move. As a future financial planner we are taught to always act in the clients’ best interest, so I am asking you to act in the dogs’ best interest.


For my closing thoughts I want to be clear that I don’t think there is anything wrong with having a dog while in college. I simply want to make sure that all things are taken into consideration before making the decision. Personally, I plan to wait until post-graduation to bring my first puppy into my life!







Jack Giardino

Peer Counselor I

Powercat Financial

302 K-State Student Union