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Checkups and Medications and Shots, Oh My!

There are all kinds of expenses that come with getting a new puppy!

With our and , I realized that having a puppy was very reminiscent of the infant stages of having a baby.

Of course, when we I knew there would be a lot involved, from training to adjusting to life with a dog to the cost of having a dog. Well, those costs certainly add up fast!

Max was up-to-date on all of his shots when we got him, but due to a new state law concerning , we had to pay an extra $50 in the adoption fee to guarantee we'd immediately have him checked out by a vet. Once we did, the $50 was refunded.

But, as anyone with a pet knows, just walking into the vet's office isn't cheap. Nevermind once you start adding up things like shots, fecal analysis and medications. 

Like many puppies, Max brought us a special treat–worms. Ugg. Just thinking about it makes my stomach turn a bit. It really wasn't a huge deal, just forcing pills down his throat twice a day for 21 days. 

Oh, and then there was a pill to get rid of any fleas. Though his flea check at the vet's office was negative, the vet said his skin looked like he had fleas in the past so to be sure they wouldn't come back, we got another pill.

And then there's the heartworm prevention pill, which they gave us as a sample since he was still growing. But that was just one and they need those every month. And then we had to go back because he had an eye infection, which required some ointment.

Much like infants, puppies need their shots in small doses, which means more trips to the vet's office and a charge every time you go. And unlike infants, we don't have health insurance to cover these charges.

There are options for pet insurance–my employer even offers a group plan–but by the time I'd looked into it, I'd already spent much of what I'd spend this year as far as preventative care goes. Of course, there's always the 'What if' question.

What if he gets sick? What if he gets hurt? What if he needs surgery? Like regular insurance, many of the pet insurance plans are there to cover these bigger costs, but is it worth the monthly payments? 

Luckily, he's a healthy little guy now and he has one more booster before we're done with shots for the first year. So here's hoping he stays healthy and we can stay away from the vet's office for a while! 

Jenn McCulloch December 18, 2011 at 05:24 PM
Here's a comment via Facebook from Karen: We actually do not for the dogs or horse... It didn't really seem worth it to me once you factored in the monthly premium and copays. However, if I had a crystal ball we would have known about all the medical issues each dog was going to end up with and may have done it. At 3 and 3 1/2 years old each, I would say each dog has cost about $5000. Bummer. What do you think?

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