Last weekend, I got a dog! I have wanted one for a long time, but the nomadic lifestyle I have led for the past 10 years didn’t really fit with owning a dog. Now that I have a place to call home, and some staff to take care of said place and all the animals if/when I am away, I thought it was the perfect time to get a dog. BF wanted a Great Dane, so I had put an ad online a couple of months back asking for one as a surprise for his birthday, but then he started talking about not being ready for a dog right now, so I stopped looking. But the ad was still online and someone called me last week to check on 2 month-old puppies he had.
We took the motorcycle to go check them out, and $150 later, I was the proud owner of Napoleon! Only two months old and he is already as big as BF’s adult Schnauzer dogs.
I had checked shelters before but wanted a male, and they only had females with all sorts of problems I was not ready for, plus they asked for donations in a similar price range, so there was that. After a quick search on Craigslist in the US, Great Dane puppies sell for $500 to $1,000+, some with papers of their pedigree, some with nothing.
The previous owner showed us pictures of his parents, who are huge at over 6 feet standing, but he looks a bit small for his age, and skinny, as the guy was complaining about how much he ate, he came home and had two bowls of dog chow. His shots were up to date but he needs new shots this week and I have no idea how much that will be.
On the next day, I went to the store to get him some puppy stuff. I was amazed to see how marketers can make you spend so much money for a pet!
There were $30 dog treats in a tiny bag, which is the cost of 10lb of pork meat, 4 whole chickens or 8lb of ground beef here
This $6 dog brush looked just like a $2 human brush if you ask me…
Or you could go for the $30 brush as well
$8 tearless shampoo AND conditioner!
There is no way Napoleon is getting a $50 bed
Or a world cup t-shirt…
Anyway, I ended up going to the dollar store which happened to have a dog brush, bought him a couple of toys and a sticky mat to put his bowls on so he doesn’t spill his food all around, then went to the supermarket to buy some puppy chow ($15 for 8lb), a couple of big bowls ($3 each) for water and food, and I got him a necklace ($5) and a leash ($8) for a total of $38. I also bought a $3 blanket so he can sleep warm and cozy on his new bed: a cardboard box.
The supermarket (Walmart) had the best deal on dog food, about half price from the specialized pet shop and 25% cheaper than the kind of Home Depot that had a pet aisle. For $10 at the pet sore you could get an engraved plate with his name and your phone number, which seems like a good deal but it was an 8 days wait and I am in Guatemala City, so will try to get it when I get home. Hopefully he doesn’t get lost in the meanwhile…
I totally understand new parents now, who would spend any amount on their kid, but lil’ Napoleon will have the bare minimum to be happy and healthy. After reading a bit about Great Danes, they are quite delicate as puppies, because they grow up so fast, reaching 5/6th of their adult height (the biggest dog race there is) by the time they are a year old, that if you don’t feed them properly and give them their shots as per the schedule, they can have bone pains and trouble carrying their weight.
So I bought the best food there was (Puppy Chow) and will keep a close track of his monthly anti-parasite treatment and quarterly shots. I have no idea how much he will eat and cost in monthly feed, but I’d say a good $30 by the time he reaches his adult size. I am also happy he is just a puppy and hopefully will soon get used to being around the other animals at home, as I was afraid an adult dog would play with the chickens and kill them.
Here is our first selfie, proud parents posting 12 times a day on Facebook, I get it now
Grand total for 2 days of dog ownership: $191.
Melanie @ My Alternate Life says
Napolean is so cute! Congrats on getting a dog. That world cup shirt is hilarious! I desperately want a cat, but can’t justify the expense of pets with how much debt I have. One day though!
They are a big hole in the budget, but if they get you to exercise outside instead of the gym for example, they could be justified!
Aaw good for you :)) He’s super cute, I do love Great Danes but I’ve had only small dogs in the past. My pup Hamlet lives with my family now since I went back to school in March (while still working full-time) and I save about 35€ per month for their expenses for him. Food, vet and insurance.
I absolutely agree with you that dogs don’t need all that sh*t. A blanket, some toys, good food, visits to the vet, walks and lots of love from their humans, that’s it 🙂
Enjoy your time with Napoleon!
PS: http://instagram.com/p/nCxJhTvXXq/ this is Hamlet. I’m guilty of posting lots of photos of him, too…
Thanks Andrea, Hamlet is really cute too! I like the color and he has a very friendly face.
Congrats on your new doggie!
I hope he ends up costing as little as my 12-year-old dachshund has. Other than annual shots and food, he’s been dirt cheap! =)
Dirt cheap would be good! I hope he isn’t prone to those rapid growth bone problems, I don’t know how well fed he was previously.
Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says
Great Danes are the sweetest dogs, Pauline!! You will love him more and more as he gets older. Well worth the expense, if you ask me. 🙂
I hope so Laurie!
Anne @ Unique Gifter says
That’s going to be a HUGE dog, you’re crazy!! haha, I kid, it sounds like you know what you’ve signed up for. I’m glad to hear that you got good food, as cheap dog food really isn’t very good for dogs.
Those are only the fancy dog things presented to you in a regular pet store, too! Luxury brands make all sorts of crazy stuff for pets, like diamond studded collars. People are insane!
I totally need one of those :)! What I don’t get also are super luxurious dog hotels where they get massages and all sorts of stuff. Pretty sure they don’t get anything actually, since they can’t complain to their owners, but the owners pay a fortune to put them there.
Beric Maass says
I recently lost my Special Little Boy, 110 lbs of doggy loving, so I read your post a little wistfully. My wife came with this black bundle smaller than my daughter’s Yorkie. Only $250. I can’t even remember the costs of neutering, and shots, but 3 weeks in, he got into chicken wings. That was $2500 to fix. Now he was a *real* dog:-) After that he was fine for 10 years, then: ACL surgery.
Abandon hopes of a frugal life once you bring one of those special creatures into your life. You can get back to that later 😉
Sorry to hear about your dog passing, I never had one but already love that little one so I imagine how hard it will be to lose him some day.. and yes, I know he is going to be an expensive part of the household.
So cute!! And worth the expense! I want to get a dog as well- but I still live a somewhat nomadic lifestyle. I foster for now- which basically lets me watch a dog for a few weeks until they find a more permanent home. It is the perfect solution until I can commit to a full-time doggy!
Sounds pretty perfect indeed, I never thought about that as a way to have a pet for a few weeks, I guess I would get too attached to let them go!
Oh my god Napoleon is so cute! I am in love.
Congrats on Napoleon – he’s a beauty!
Funnily enough I was going to write a similar blog on my own site. I was going to research the lifetime costs of a>cats b>dogs c>kids!
Anyone got any good research they could share?
No idea if cats cost more than dogs or vice versa, I’d imagine big dogs are more expensive just for the food they eat, otherwise pretty much the same.
Even Steven says
We went through a rescue to get our pup, which was the cheaper and “feel good” way for us. Yeah expenses certainly add up, I remember we went to Target spent $40 on the dog and spent $3 on us. It has gotten better but going away and vacations can prove costly as well.
I imagine, thankfully we have some staff at home to take care of him if we go on vacation. Can’t imagine the trouble to have him fly to France with me.
Hannah @ Wise Dollar says
Woah, Napoleon is a very cute dog! That’s cool of you. We had dog here, Japanese Spitz, and he’s so adorable.
I didn’t know that race, they’re pretty cute too!
Glen @ How To Save Money says
SO CUTE! I’m really happy for you and Napoleon – I love dogs. I hope you guys have lots of fun together.
We’re off to a great start!
Canadian Budget Binder says
Getting the essentials may be a bit costly but the food and treats are actually cheap compared to what a visit to the vet will cost. Our dog cost us thousands in the end but we paid the money because he was part of the family. A pet is a big investment on time and money so I always hope that pet owners stay true to this investment because pets have feelings too. Love your dog mate… 🙂
Jason Hull says
One word: awwwwwwwwwwww. Prepare to be the crazy dog lady that you swore you’d never become!
As mentioned above, I have just blogged some more research on the costs…
Thanks for the inspiration. I have also linked back to this page.
Good luck all!
Dogs are so awesome! Take as many photos as you want and be a proud parent.
Nice to read such an article full of information for those like me who want to own a dog. I think every dog owner should be shampooed for their pet like Poodles regularly. What is your standpoint on this matter?