If you have added a new member to your family that has four legs and offers endless love and affection, then you have taken the first step toward creating a happy and healthy environment for a very lucky puppy. However, with puppy ownership comes a lot of unexpected expenses.
The first type of expense you need to consider is the most basic: that of purchasing the dog and the ancillary 'front end' expenses. These include the purchase or adoption fee, shelter fees, agency fees, and maybe more (licensing, micro-chipping, etc.)
A crate will be necessary when you purchase a puppy. Remember that you will need to purchase a crate that will either grow with the puppy or one that will give the dog enough room when it reaches full size. You may have to guess at this size but you can get a general idea by researching online and speaking with your breeder or veterinarian.
Then you have the expense of a good source of nutritional food, along with appropriate dishes to accommodate eating and drinking. Remember that a puppy will go through dish after dish if it is made from plastic material, because that type of dish will serve as a wonderful teething toy when the pup craves chewing. But don't reach for your china or stoneware – you might have bowls the right size, but those are breakable and an energetic push from a puppy's nose can mean disaster. Look for stainless steel bowls: they are safe, you can toss them in the dishwasher to clean them, and they can't be torn up. Pups may be able to carry them around (and make noise when they bang them!) but they are not going to destroy them.
Then there's the necessary expense of a good leash. Remember that a dog will chew its leash on occasion, so it must be made from the best material. To save on subsequent expense, invest in one that is adjustable as the puppy grows into a dog.
Occasional yet regular expenses include veterinary visits. Your puppy's first doctor visit will serve as an overall health check-up and to provide the schedule of necessary shots and vaccinations that the dog will need to keep it healthy in your area. That may be the only care a healthy dog ever needs, but if your pet becomes ill or injured, it may need emergency veterinary care and that can get very expensive. You may want to consider purchasing a dog health insurance policy or program, which will reduce your out-of-pocket expenses drastically in return for an annual set fee.
If your pup does develop unforeseen health problems, medication expenses will arise as well. As the puppy gets older, it may need heart worming, or flea or tick medication to stay insect-free in your particular geographic region. These expenses are annual; you may find medications are less expensive by ordering them on the Internet rather than purchasing them from your veterinarian. Some national pet veterinary clinics have a matching-price policy. Ask your animal health care providers for advice on controlling these costs.
Training and obedience classes may also be something that you want to consider as an investment. After all, you want your puppy to be a well-mannered part of the family. Large or small, dogs need training to be the kind of pet we desire. Walking on a leash, heeding human instructions and other behaviors might best be learned by you and your pet when you get instruction from an experienced trainer.
You will need to purchase dog food in stages: puppy food for puppies, then growing food for the 'teen' years. Then switch to adult dog food, and finally, to senior dog food for our aged companions. Check out food prices at the stores in your neighborhood before deciding on the right puppy for you. Obviously, a Rottweiler eats considerably more than a Chihuahua! Be sure you can afford to provide the proper nutrition for the breed you select.
These are the major different expenses to consider when raising a puppy. It will be worth every penny.
References The National Council on Pet Population Study & Policy (NCPPSP) http://www.petpopulation.org
The American Veterinary Medical Association http://www.avma.org (see U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics)
"How Microchipping Works" Home Again, A Lost Pet's Best Chance, Intervet, Inc. a Division of Merck & Co. Inc.
L.A. County Online, Department of Animal Care and Control, License Fee Schedule 2011
Petco.com, Product Q&A