thread: How much would you pay for a puppy?

  1. #37
    Registered User

    Oct 2007
    Caroline Springs

    I wonder if maybe they think, 'Well if you can't afford x amount of dollars initially, then how can you afford to 'appropriately' care for it' (immunisation, worming, flea treatment, grooming, emergency vet costs eg if it were hit by a car etc, annual registration, desexing, kennel fees for when you go away on holiday etc etc etc)...
    I must admit that I was going to write something similar to this. Sure, it's great to be able to get a wonderful companion at a bargain price, but it's also very important to make sure that you have budgeted for any ongoing costs associated with having a pet, as well as knowing that you would have the finances to care for the pet if a medical emergency or condition arose. Even the most strictly bred dogs can develop some kind of medical condition that can be treated with lifelong meds, and it's best to know that you can cope with the additional financial strain that may be needed if your pup is one of the unlucky ones.

    But on the upside, if you have already considered all of that and would still like to get a dog/puppy, then rescue groups are a great place to start looking. They take on dogs of all sizes, breeds, ages etc... and the dogs are often placed with foster families until they are adopted. This means that they are not kept in cages, and are interacting in normal family situations. The foster carers make detailed evaluations of each dog and make recommendations as to what sort of home the dogs would be most suited to (for example, whether they should go to a home with or without children, whether they should go to a home with existing pets etc). The organisations are usually pretty strict about who they adopt out to and make sure that you get a pet that is suited to your home. They put a lot of time and effort into saving and rehoming dogs, and want them to find their forever home If you would like any contact details you can pm me and I can pass them along to you.

    As for me personally, I paid $750 for my purebred Japanese Spitz from a registered breeder and it was worth every cent. He's actually sleeping across the doorway into the study as I type, lol, what a life!

    EDIT: Just wanted to add that I think Dantri's post was fantastic!

  2. #38
    Registered User

    Jul 2008

    We have just spent $500 in the last week on vet care for our dog because she got a severe gastro/enteritus thingy <sigh>.

    Dogs are expensive. There is no way around that. If you can't afford $500 or even $1000 to buy a dog in the first place, you will be in trouble once that inevitable first large vet bill comes along (and it will, sooner or later - we had to spend thousands last year because Rosie needed emergency surgery. What else would we have done? Let her die?)

    10 years ago I paid $800 for Rosie, a purebred miniature schnauzer puppy from a good breeder. I'd expect to pay a lot more now, though it does vary considerably with the breed of dog. This cost is trivial compared to the cost of caring well for an animal that you take responsibility for.

    There are two good ways to buy a dog. Either get a puppy from a good breeder or get a dog from a shelter.

    When you buy from a shelter you are:

    - saving a life

    - getting a dog that has been temperament tested as being suitable for your situation

    - you can choose a dog that is already toilet trained, etc, saving you a lot of time and effort in the first year.

    - getting a pet for good value (considering vet bills for worming, desexing, temperament testing etc)

    - supporting the work of the shelter, keeping other dogs and cats from being killed just because they were wrongly bought or bred in the first place.

    When you buy from a breeder you're getting more than just a purebred dog.

    - You're getting assurance that the dog's parents, grandparents, great-grandparents etc are free from whatever the main congenital disorders of the breed are, you should be given the certification that proves this (after you've done your research on that breed, of course).

    - Just like humans, dogs learn particular kinds of things at particular states in their development. Weeks 4-12, roughly, in a puppy's life, are critical for developing social skills both with other dogs and with humans. When you buy from a good breeder you're getting assurance that this dog has been raised for those first critical weeks in a good environment, getting the right sort of education from its mum (and preferably dad and other relatives), and also from the breeder allowing the puppies to interact with the household and other humans, and to encounter normal household situations like a vaccum cleaner or a dishwasher. You get to meet the mum (and if she rushes out and bites you you know what kind of temperament her puppies will have...), and to discuss with the breeder what kind of upbringing those pups have had in their first 8 weeks. Getting this early education right is priceless and you can end up having to spend a lot more than the puppy's cost, in things like vet consults, dog training, etc, if the puppy hasn't been given this opportunity to learn the right things at the right time.

    By the time a breeder has paid for the costs of the mother's whelping and vet bills, the puppies' immunisations, feeding, etc, they don't get a lot of change out of charging your a few hundred dollars or more for each puppy. Most breeders do it for love, not for money, as the only way to make money from breeding dogs is to do it in a "puppy mill" kind of a way. They put in countless hours making sure that you get the best possible family pet. This is, in my opinion, well worth paying for.

    When you buy a puppy from a pet shop, here's what you know about it:

    - you may have no clear idea what breed it really is. You don't know how large it will grow and what temperament it will have.

    - you don't know whether it has congenital problems or not. You don't know what the cost in vet bills of any such problems could be (friends bought a cute maltese X puppy from a pet shop on impulse and had to spend several thousands correcting its leg deformity so it could walk without pain)

    - you do know that most likely its mum has been forced to give birth too often too fast and has had inadequate nutrition and exercise for her good health. Here at BellyBelly we know what difference this can make to human babies - it's the same with puppies!

    - you do know for sure that the puppy has been removed from it's mum too early (earlier than 8 weeks) and that it has spent time in transport and then in the extremely stressful conditions of being in a pet shop and poked and prodded by people. This means it is more likely to be sick from stress lowering its immune system. and also that it is missing out, day by day, on crucial socialization that needs to happen in roughly weeks 4-12 of it's life. It isn't learning from adult dogs how to behave towards other dogs and it isn't learning from humans how to behave rightly in a human household. Both of these lacks can cause big behavioural issues later on.

    In my opinion, pet shops in Australia should not sell puppies or kittens at all. Too many problems are caused by this indiscriminate selling of living animals to people who don't know enough about their needs or care to take care of them properly. The many thousands of animals we kill each year because they have been dumper in shelters are testament to the scale of the problem. In Melbourne, half of the dogs that go into the Lost Dog's Home (largest animal shelter) are killed. And 90% of the cats. I am sure the figures would be similar in other cities. It's a disgusting indictment on the way our society treats animals as disposable things rather than living creatures for whom we are responsible.