Have you ever thought about how much your dog is costing you? Obviously the number varies – depending on your pet’s size, age, physical health, etc. There are dog owners who treat their dogs as just pets, giving them the bare necessities and not too much beyond that. Then, there are people at the other end of the spectrum, who lavish their fur babies with things that would even make humans jealous!

Private jets anyone? If you don’t believe me, do a quick Google search on “luxury pet travel” and you’ll see everything from pet masseuses to flight attendants who will cater to your pup’s every need while flying the friendly skies. Talk about a sweet life!

Although I can’t afford to do that for my pup Marshy, I am fully aware that I spend way more than the yearly average ($580 – $875 according to Bankrate). Without question, I see my dog as a family member, and since I don’t have any children, she holds an extra special place in my heart. I want her to enjoy life and have as many happy experiences as possible.

It’s natural for me to want to spoil her. Marshy is an amazing companion and returns my affection hundredfold. But I was also curious to see how much she was costing me each year. I did a little homework and this is what I came up with.

Note: I adopted my dog from a shelter when she was 2.5 years old. She’s now 6 years old but still suffers from severe separation anxiety, a condition that isn’t easily “curable”. That’s why I send her to doggie daycare (bulk of my yearly cost) while I’m at work. To me, it’s worth it though, because it gives her the comfort and structure that she desperately desires.

Other than that, she is healthy and happy. The following is just a rough estimate of how much it costs to be Marshy’s owner:

Annual Licensing: $10/year
Vaccinations & Preventative Care: $100/year
Food & Water: $300/year
Treats: $100/year
Grooming: $400/year
Hygiene Supplies: $100/year
Professional Dental Cleaning: $150/year
Pet Accessories (leashes, sweaters, toys, bed, etc.): $50/year
Veterinary Visits & Medicine: $100/year
Doggie Daycare: $3,500/year
Doggie Overnight Care: $200/year
Miscellaneous: $50/year

Grand Total: Approximately $5,000/year

Eek! Definitely a substantial amount. Some of you may question whether all of those costs are necessary, and to be honest, a few of them aren’t. However, I feel that if your finances are in order and you are able to provide little luxuries for your loved-ones (4-legged or 2-legged), then by all means, go for it. There’s no price I can put on Marshy, and I don’t regret a single penny that I spent on her…even those high daycare costs!

Whatever your opinions are about appropriate pet spending, remember that owning a dog is a long-term investment. It’s not cheap, and you should think carefully before shelling out money on inessential things – especially if your financial situation isn’t strong.

Dogs will love you even if you provide them with just the basics: food, water, shelter, veterinary care, love, and attention. However, if you are financially secure and are able to manage your money wisely, then there’s nothing wrong with giving your furry friend something extra every once in a while!