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Discussion Starter #1
I'm wondering what the average yearly total cost will be for a toy poodle which would include the once a year vet visit. Assuming no big health issues arise, what are we looking at a per year average cost?
 

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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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This will vary wildly depending on where you live, what supplies you already have, your choice of food, whether or not you’ll be attending training classes, whether or not you buy insurance, whether or not you plan to home groom, etc. but we easily spent a few thousand dollars in Peggy’s first year.

The best thing to do is write up an estimated budget, which accounts for all your personal variables. You should be able to find rough costs for everything online. Chewy.com is a great resource for food and other supplies.
 

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This was the approximate cost of caring for my toy poodle monthly last year in the Expensive NE U.S.A., item by item:

Food

$15-20, depending on which food I picked for the month

I like the Farmina dog food a lot, and the big bag Chewy has lasts both my small dogs about seven weeks:

FARMINA N&D Ancestral Grain Chicken & Pomegranate Recipe Adult Mini Dry Dog Food, 15.4-lb bag - Chewy.com

Remember that even if you choose a cheaper dog food, you'll still likely be feeding more of it--plus it's more likely that there will be a health issue caused by said food, which can cost lots of $$ to fix.

Toys:

$5

Treats:

$10-15

Vaccinations (annual thing):

Rabies 3-year vaccination: $33.20

Bordetella intranasal vaccine 1 year: $40.20

I had the option to come back in a separate visit for the lepto vaccine, but decided against it. It would likely have been priced similarly.

You might be able to go to vaccination clinics to get these for cheaper, but likely not by much. I'd shop around and see what's available in your area. You still need to take the dog to the vet for a physical checkup if you do this, however. Toy Poodles are susceptible to a range of health conditions that if caught early, could mean the difference between a few $ spent and many, many $ spent on surgery and the like.

Vet exam (this is also an annual thing):

$66.50 for exam

$76.75 for bloodwork

Heartworm medication:

$46 for a pack of six, so about $8 a month.

Insurance:

Fluffy's quote through Embrace Pet Insurance when I checked last was about $35. This covers emergency vet visits (up to $10,000, I think) but does not cover annual exam type visits or shots. If I wanted to, I could add a system where it reimburses me for said visits, but then my monthly premium would go up significantly.

Training:

If this is a new dog, you'll want to at least go to puppy/beginner classes and maybe a little beyond that. A typical class over here is about $115-$145 for seven weeks of training.

Grooming:

I do this myself. However, if I were to use a groomer to maintain a low maintenance cut, I'd probably want to bring Fluffy in about every three weeks or so. That would probably be about 40-60 dollars each time, just off the top of my head from when we did go to the groomer. If you go this route, make sure you seek out an actual groomer and not a pet store chain groomer--those have been known to treat dogs poorly (and a few dogs have died in their care).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
P.S. Are you planning to get a poodle? Or do you already have one? You mentioned in another thread that your questions were regarding a friend’s poodle, so just want to ensure I’m understanding. :)
I no longer associate with that person because I think she is a terrible poodle owner. However, I do miss spending time with her dog! It doesn't seem like I can afford to get a toy poodle of my own. The initial costs are already high for me: harness, leash, crate, dog carry bag, pen fence, bed, dog car seat belt, brushes and a comb, toothpaste, toothbrush, nail clippers, nail file, etc. I would do the grooming myself as I've done it before for other people's small dogs. I would also do the training myself as I've watched so many videos with so many techniques. This is not something I can afford as I have to deal with my own personal expenses ie home rent, car insurance, health insurance payments, my own food and water, etc. As I think about this more, it wouldn't make sense for me on my income level. Thanks for the info!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This was the approximate cost of caring for my toy poodle monthly last year in the Expensive NE U.S.A., item by item:

Food

$15-20, depending on which food I picked for the month

I like the Farmina dog food a lot, and the big bag Chewy has lasts both my small dogs about seven weeks:

FARMINA N&D Ancestral Grain Chicken & Pomegranate Recipe Adult Mini Dry Dog Food, 15.4-lb bag - Chewy.com

Remember that even if you choose a cheaper dog food, you'll still likely be feeding more of it--plus it's more likely that there will be a health issue caused by said food, which can cost lots of $$ to fix.

Toys:

$5

Treats:

$10-15

Vaccinations (annual thing):

Rabies 3-year vaccination: $33.20

Bordetella intranasal vaccine 1 year: $40.20

I had the option to come back in a separate visit for the lepto vaccine, but decided against it. It would likely have been priced similarly.

You might be able to go to vaccination clinics to get these for cheaper, but likely not by much. I'd shop around and see what's available in your area. You still need to take the dog to the vet for a physical checkup if you do this, however. Toy Poodles are susceptible to a range of health conditions that if caught early, could mean the difference between a few $ spent and many, many $ spent on surgery and the like.

Vet exam (this is also an annual thing):

$66.50 for exam

$76.75 for bloodwork

Heartworm medication:

$46 for a pack of six, so about $8 a month.

Insurance:

Fluffy's quote through Embrace Pet Insurance when I checked last was about $35. This covers emergency vet visits (up to $10,000, I think) but does not cover annual exam type visits or shots. If I wanted to, I could add a system where it reimburses me for said visits, but then my monthly premium would go up significantly.

Training:

If this is a new dog, you'll want to at least go to puppy/beginner classes and maybe a little beyond that. A typical class over here is about $115-$145 for seven weeks of training.

Grooming:

I do this myself. However, if I were to use a groomer to maintain a low maintenance cut, I'd probably want to bring Fluffy in about every three weeks or so. That would probably be about 40-60 dollars each time, just off the top of my head from when we did go to the groomer. If you go this route, make sure you seek out an actual groomer and not a pet store chain groomer--those have been known to treat dogs poorly (and a few dogs have died in their care).
Okay, thank you so much for the detailed information. I now understand that having a toy poodle of my own is out of the question. Unless I win the lottery or somehow become an executive at a small company, it simply does not make financial sense for me to do it.
 

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I no longer associate with that person because I think she is a terrible poodle owner. However, I do miss spending time with her dog! It doesn't seem like I can afford to get a toy poodle of my own. The initial costs are already high for me: harness, leash, crate, dog carry bag, pen fence, bed, dog car seat belt, brushes and a comb, toothpaste, toothbrush, nail clippers, nail file, etc. I would do the grooming myself as I've done it before for other people's small dogs. I would also do the training myself as I've watched so many videos with so many techniques. This is not something I can afford as I have to deal with my own personal expenses ie home rent, car insurance, health insurance payments, my own food and water, etc. As I think about this more, it wouldn't make sense for me on my income level. Thanks for the info!
If you would consider breeds other than a poodle (just to have a dog around), you might consider being a foster pet parent for a local rescue. They usually cover the vet expenses at the minimum.
 

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It's possible on $15/hr with no debt. Continue to track every expense, asking yourself how & what can you reduce, and ask if the decisions I'm making today align with my long-term goal and still bring me joy. Let companies compete for your business (like auto insurance). Go through a few seasons of strict delayed gratification. Hit the pause button on consumerism and take stock of what you really need in your life.

Remember, faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see, so keep telling yourself that you hope it will work out.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you would consider breeds other than a poodle (just to have a dog around), you might consider being a foster pet parent for a local rescue. They usually cover the vet expenses at the minimum.
I would consider a breed other than a poodle as long as it is a small hypoallergenic dog. I live in a small place so my dog can't really be that big. Also, I'm not used to handling the bigger dogs. It doesn't even need to be a pure breed. I contacted this one local rescue about becoming a volunteer and they never replied. They never even replied to the people who were trying to adopt dogs of their own. I hate to say this but some non-profits just don't have their act together!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It's possible on $15/hr with no debt. Continue to track every expense, asking yourself how & what can you reduce, and ask if the decisions I'm making today align with my long-term goal and still bring me joy. Let companies compete for your business (like auto insurance). Go through a few seasons of strict delayed gratification. Hit the pause button on consumerism and take stock of what you really need in your life.

Remember, faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see, so keep telling yourself that you hope it will work out.
You bring up an interesting philosophical point! I'll continue to think about it!
 

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Frank, as people are able to get their COVID vaccine shots, more and more won't be staying home with their pandemic dogs. If you are retired and will be home, you will be in a great position to adopt a dog that doesn't want to be left home alone for 8+ hour stretches.

Some of these dogs are going to be small dogs - and they will come with shots/bedding/leashes etc.
 

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Frank, as people are able to get their COVID vaccine shots, more and more won't be staying home with their pandemic dogs. If you are retired and will be home, you will be in a great position to adopt a dog that doesn't want to be left home alone for 8+ hour stretches.

Some of these dogs are going to be small dogs - and they will come with shots/bedding/leashes etc.
How can I find out about these soon to be abandoned dogs?
 

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Contact rescue groups and shelters in your area and see if you can leave your name.

I've read that they're preparing for what they fear will be too many dogs to place. And I know that my area has an organization that helps seniors adopt dogs. Placing Animals with Seniors. PAWS. It's sponsored by the local agency on aging.
 

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You are wise to consider the start up as well as long term costs.

For more expensive durable supplies such as crates and ex-pens, members have suggested places like craigslist or thrift stores might be worth looking at. Many of your other listed items can bought at varying price levels, and don't have to be expensive to be useful. Later you can choose the things to upgrade and when.

The cost of the poodle will be the largest initial cost. If you want a poodle from a quality breeder who does proper health testing of the breeding parents, you are looking at $1500-$3000. Along with rescues, there is the possibility of taking on an older pup, young adult, or retired breeding dog, which may cost less.

Look for poodle specific rescues. The Poodle Club of America not only has breeder referrals for your area but often will have rescue information. That will be listed when available along with the breeder referrals.
These are the regional links but if you search online for "Poodle Club of _" (your state or city) some rescue information may also be listed.


You may luck out if buying from someone who doesn't, but the saying "pay the breeder or pay the vet" is based on much truth. By selecting a conscientious breeder who does this testing, you greatly increase the odds that your pup will not develop those debilitating conditions and will be of sound temperament fitting to your life.

If you don't have an emergency fund in place, strongly consider having insurance. Either of those can be a literal life saver for your poodle.

We have an active member who has spent thousands on caring for one of her beloved poodles and several members who have had to give their dog up to a shelter, look at going into thousands of dollars in credit debt, or as reported on my local Nextdoor newsletter recently, a neighbor who had to euthanize their dog because they couldn't afford the diagnostic procedures, let alone the treatment after being hit by a car. That choice is tragedy upon tragedy.

Normal living expenses can be budgeted and managed. The unexpected needs to be accounted for too.

This will be true for any breed of dog, even mixed breeds.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You are wise to consider the start up as well as long term costs.

For more expensive durable supplies such as crates and ex-pens, members have suggested places like craigslist or thrift stores might be worth looking at. Many of your other listed items can bought at varying price levels, and don't have to be expensive to be useful. Later you can choose the things to upgrade and when.

The cost of the poodle will be the largest initial cost. If you want a poodle from a quality breeder who does proper health testing of the breeding parents, you are looking at $1500-$3000. Along with rescues, there is the possibility of taking on an older pup, young adult, or retired breeding dog, which may cost less.

Look for poodle specific rescues. The Poodle Club of America not only has breeder referrals for your area but often will have rescue information. That will be listed when available along with the breeder referrals.
These are the regional links but if you search online for "Poodle Club of _" (your state or city) some rescue information may also be listed.


You may luck out if buying from someone who doesn't, but the saying "pay the breeder or pay the vet" is based on much truth. By selecting a conscientious breeder who does this testing, you greatly increase the odds that your pup will not develop those debilitating conditions and will be of sound temperament fitting to your life.

If you don't have an emergency fund in place, strongly consider having insurance. Either of those can be a literal life saver for your poodle.

We have an active member who has spent thousands on caring for one of her beloved poodles and several members who have had to give their dog up to a shelter, look at going into thousands of dollars in credit debt, or as reported on my local Nextdoor newsletter recently, a neighbor who had to euthanize their dog because they couldn't afford the diagnostic procedures, let alone the treatment after being hit by a car. That choice is tragedy upon tragedy.

Normal living expenses can be budgeted and managed. The unexpected needs to be accounted for too.

This will be true for any breed of dog, even mixed breeds.
I did not think of craigslist to get used items at a much lower price. This is good advice! I don't have an emergency fund. I only have my savings account. Given everything you've told me, I don't think this is realistic possibility. I can easily see my entire savings being depleted if the worst were to happen. Thank you for all the detailed information.
 

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Frank, the cost of taking care of a toy poodle need not be expensive. Bottom basics:

1) One time purchase: Leash & collar: $15. Stuffed dog toys, $10, and throw in a 3-pack of Kong Squeakair Tennis balls for $2.

2) Small crate(s) from chewy.com: $36 for a plastic one for your car, or around $75 if you also want a wire crate for home). Or nearly free on Craigslist if run across a sale. My toy poodles sleep with me so the wire crate I bought was a total waste of money. The plastic crate, however, is a must-have.

473169



3) Your only monthly expense can be a small bag of quality dog food each month, around $15. Small so it will stay fresh. I like the Royal Canine for $16, also from Chewy. Your poodle will appreciate your leftovers too.

473170


3) If you keep the hair short, you'll only need a one-time purchase of clippers. Costs vary. Let the tail get fluffy and don't trim off ear hair, and you poodle will be cute,or at least cute enough.

4) Skip the health insurance. It's a big waste of money for a genetically healthy dog (you can find out if there are any DNA genetic diseases by buying Embark delux health kit which has big sales on major holidays) if the sire/dam were not tested. Otherwise most people do better keeping a cookie jar account. Chances are your toy poodle will be a house dog with minimal risk of accidents (just be careful if you have a rolling desk chair so you won't roll over it's tail or a paw if it's laying too close to your chair).

5) Skip the food & water bowls. Use your own.

6) No need for potty pads if you walk your dog several times a day.

7) For vaccines, vet clinics in poor neighborhoods charge a lot less than ones in wealthy high rent districts. Call around to comparison shop.
 

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While I agree there are cheap ways to get by, I personally would not trash the health insurance because a well-bred dog can still eat something poisonous or fall and break a leg, or be attacked by a loose dog. I specifically recommend health insurance for those who don't have $5k they can easily drop on a vet bill if things get rough. I am one of those people. I can pay $350 a year, but I can't pay a big vet bill. If you are able to have a savings fund with at least $5k in it, then I agree the insurance isn't necessary. But I do think it is important to consider what happens if there is a health emergency.
 

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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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While I agree there are cheap ways to get by, I personally would not trash the health insurance because a well-bred dog can still eat something poisonous or fall and break a leg, or be attacked by a loose dog. I specifically recommend health insurance for those who don't have $5k they can easily drop on a vet bill if things get rough. I am one of those people. I can pay $350 a year, but I can't pay a big vet bill. If you are able to have a savings fund with at least $5k in it, then I agree the insurance isn't necessary. But I do think it is important to consider what happens if there is a health emergency.
Yes to this. The truth is, it’s the people who can’t afford monthly insurance who probably need it the most.

There are other safety net options, though, such as a home equity line of credit if you’re a homeowner. Just get it set up before something goes wrong so the cash is readily available in case of emergency. The application process can take some time and you don’t want to be paying interest on a massive credit card balance.

And be wary of predatory lenders like CareCredit unless you know you can pay off that balance before the mammoth interest rate kicks in.
 

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...I personally would not trash the health insurance because a well-bred dog can still eat something poisonous or fall and break a leg, or be attacked by a loose dog...
I'm not aware what I said could be perceived as trashing health insurance for dogs. Many members here do. I was pointing out that:

Otherwise most people do better keeping a cookie jar account. Chances are your toy poodle will be a house dog with minimal risk of accidents
I'm curious which health insurance provider you use for only $350/year. I can't recall the name of the one I used for three years, but when they jacked up their cost to $129 per month for my two poodles, I was done.

My thoughts are that if someone wants a poodle, if they wait to have everything to be perfect regarding the breeder, living space, having enough for all the bells & whistles in supplies, and insurance, the average person will be waiting for years and may never end up getting one, thus forfeiting the joy they otherwise could have.

In general, I have learned in my many decades that a great many good things and experiences in life never happen b/c we wait for the perfect (dog/ school/ job/ partner/ baby/ etc). Or they go through all the steps and then xyz still has problems or disappoints.

“The question, love, is whether you want me enough to take the risk.”
― Lisa Kleypas, Mine Till Midnight
 

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Not including one time things like cost for her ($1200) or her spay ($120):
Around $180 a year for food, $200 puppy well check, adolescent check up, license and shots. $300 for grooming and then probably $50 for toys.
So $730 for her, but then there’s a second dog sooooo....
 
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