Can I Afford a Second Dog?

Can I Afford a Second Dog?

Author WDF Staff


One of the best things you can do for yourself and your family is to get a dog. Dogs are an endless source of joy, laughter, and love. They are also a responsibility. Nevertheless, many dog owners start thinking about getting a second dog pretty soon after getting their first dog. It is true that getting a second dog means doubling the joy and fun around the house. Plus, they can keep each other company, so they will be less lonely while we’re away.

However, we need to consider the second aspect of dog ownership - dogs cost money. Getting a second dog will undoubtedly make you ask yourself this, “Can I afford a second dog?” The truth is that you will have to have an honest talk with yourself and your family about getting a second dog. It is true they are double the fun, but they are also double the cost. Here are a few essential things you need to consider before you decide to get a second dog.

How much does one dog cost?

If you never sat down and did the actual math about the cost of owning a dog, we don’t blame you. You can probably afford a dog without any issues if you have a steady job. However, if you consider getting a second one, you should know how much one dog costs to determine how much you’ll spend on two dogs. Based on our research, the initial cost can vary from $754 - $4.850. The exact costs will depend on whether you’re buying a dog or adopting. Of course, some pureblooded or designer dogs can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but those are exceptions we will not include.

two akitas playing

Adult dogs need high-quality food, insurance, vet care, toys, equipment, and treats. If you have a busy schedule, you might have to pay a dog walker or a doggy daycare that can take care of your dog for you. All of these things cost money. Again, based on our calculations and research, average owners spend $915 - $2.960 a year on their adult dogs.

If you want to know more about how much one dog costs and what potential costs might be, check out this article - How Much Does it Cost to Own a Dog? You can compare your costs to our projections and maybe decide how you can balance your budget or where you might be spending too much money.

How much will a second dog cost?

The easiest way to think about the cost of a second dog would be - double, right? However, the second dog will actually be cheaper, given the dog is healthy or doesn’t have any special needs. Things like veterinary diets and treatments cost a lot of money. However, those are rare situations, and most dog owners have healthy dogs.

two black dogs

The truth is that you can save quite a bit of money on your second dog, especially if you get the same breed or size as your first dog. That means you can repurpose collars, leashes, bowls, clothes, toys, and different equipment. For example, if you have two dogs, that doesn’t mean you need two different dog brushes. You can easily use one brush for both of your dogs, given they have similar coats.

You can buy bulk food and get discounts on services. For example, a dog walker can charge you their full price for your first dog, but the second dog might be cheaper. They are already coming to your address; the only difference is they need to take out two dogs instead of one. Even many vets give discounts to owners that bring in multiple dogs. That’s good news because you can save quite a bit of money.

How much should I prepare for?

The safest thing you could do is prepare for different situations. Dogs can have unexpected costs, especially in the vet care department. Things can happen, and your dog might need emergency surgery or some other type of treatment that will cost money. Just to be sure, prepare for the second dog like you’ll spend the same amount as for the first dog. That way, everything you save will actually be a bonus.

two bernese mountain dogs running

How can I make sure I’m ready for a second dog?

If you have a stable, well-paying job, you don’t need to worry about money. If you have a partner whose working, talk about splitting costs. If the money is sorted out, think about how much time you can actually dedicate to working with two dogs. That means twice as much training. Some situations require you to separate your dogs and work with each of them individually. It might not directly cost you any money, but time is a valuable resource many of us don’t have enough of. Here are the two options you have;

  1. If you’re worried about money, you can delay your decision to get a second dog. Waiting is an option, and you can start saving, so you’re ready for a second dog in the future.
  2. You can go for a cheaper option. You might have a pureblooded Golden at home, but your second dog can be of a different breed and size. Smaller dogs will eat less, so the food will be cheaper. Instead of buying, look into adoption. Adoption fees are smaller than purchasing costs. Look for a more affordable option you might fit into your budget.

Here is a helpful article that can help you decide about getting a second dog - Should I Get a Second dog? When's the right time?

What’s the verdict?

In the end, dog owners who want a second dog will find a way to afford them. We will often change foods, vets, and make all sorts of adjustments just to be able to get a second dog. However, there are different options, and we should accept that NOW might not be the right time to get a second dog. Postpone your decision or look for cheaper alternatives that will allow you to get a second dog. Overall, we got to the average cost of $4.736 for two dogs per year. If you can afford that, you can comfortably afford to get a second dog.

World Dog Finder team

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