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Old 10.03.2009, 14:50
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Cost of dog

Hello,
My husband is very eager to take a dog in addition to our 2 cats!
But he is complaining already of the costs of yearly injections for the cats and I am guessing costs for dogs (tax, microchip, vaccinations) will be even higher. Can anyone give me an approximate of what to expect on yearly basis? We are living in Geneva...
Any recommended dog pounds to look at cute dogs?

Thanks!
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Old 10.03.2009, 15:03
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Re: Cost of dog

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Hello,
My husband is very eager to take a dog in addition to our 2 cats!
But he is complaining already of the costs of yearly injections for the cats and I am guessing costs for dogs (tax, microchip, vaccinations) will be even higher. Can anyone give me an approximate of what to expect on yearly basis? We are living in Geneva...
Any recommended dog pounds to look at cute dogs?

Thanks!
Well, If you are worried about the expense then don't do it. I have been keeping dogs for many years and I am fortunate not to have to worry about the costs, which over the years have been very high, in both time and money. Scamp my 11 year old Jack Russell has just cost us a small fortune because of some treatment that he is getting for a skin condition at Bern University. Another dog that I once owned had a problem with it's spine and he had to have two very expensive operations at Cambridge Vet School. Veterinary fees are high. Good quality nutrition isn't cheap, kennels are expensive, bedding, toys,treats, dog walkers, fencing, etc etc. I reckon that if you add it all up, an average sized dog will cost you about 25,000 Chfs over it's lifetime.
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Old 10.03.2009, 15:17
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Re: Cost of dog

+dog licence which varies in price according to your canton.
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Old 10.03.2009, 15:40
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Re: Cost of dog

Dogs in Geneva are pretty expensive. You need to pay for taxes (107.- for one dog), plus the new classes for owners, plus food and vet bills of course. You can ask about all that at the dog pound (SPA).

The dogs up for adoption:
http://www.sgpa.ch/Default.asp?30533...6E62361334D36E

The link about the classes
http://etat.geneve.ch/dass/site/sant...9&themeId=3162
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Old 10.03.2009, 15:46
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Re: Cost of dog

Our 2 Newfs cost us at least CHF 2'000/year each when they were young and healthy (food, tax, kennels when we went on holiday, vet costs for shots, toys, public transportation, damages to flat). Once they started to get grey around the edges obviously vet costs went up a lot
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Old 10.03.2009, 15:57
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Re: Cost of dog

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Our 2 Newfs cost us at least CHF 2'000/year each when they were young and healthy (food, tax, kennels when we went on holiday, vet costs for shots, toys, public transportation, damages to flat). Once they started to get grey around the edges obviously vet costs went up a lot
Yep, pretty much concurs with my post! And my lifetime costs are only an estimate. OP remember this will be pretty much the same for any dog. A giant breed will only live for ten years, if you are lucky, whereas a small breed will live for maybe up to twenty years. Therefore your lifetime costs may actually be more for a small breed. Remember a dog is for life.
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Old 11.03.2009, 11:54
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Re: Cost of dog

It's great that you are researching what responsible dog ownership entails!

The cost of owning a dog can indeed be expensive - but I could also fritter away an equal amount of money on shoes, or model trains, or collecting widgets. I choose to spend it on my dogs instead. The difference is that my hobby involves sentient beings; in taking them on I have made a commitment to their care and well-being, come what may. As Brightonite says, 'A Dog Is For Life'.

Based on my experiences:

First, there is the cost of adoption or purchase price. All but one of my dogs were/are rescues; One came for free, for the others I paid adoption fees ranging from CHF 400 to €800. Most shelters have the adoption fees clearly stated on their websites.

Purchasing a pedigreed dog - well, the sky's the limit. From a well-respected breeder, champion stock, parents fully health checked, etc - expect to pay upwards of 1500 - sometimes very much upwards.

But of course, the cheapest thing about owning a dog is the purchase price...
---

Expenses stemming from the various dog laws:

Dog tax - prices vary by commune. Some a flat fee per dog, some an escalating fee based on the number of dogs in the household. Check with your commune for the current fees.

Chipping, registration by your vet - ca CHF 50-100.

Liability insurance (mandatory in some cantons) - Part of our private liability/household policy, I pay less than CHF 50 per year for CHF 5 mio. coverage.

Mandatory theory course for first time owners (Federal law) - price seems to vary by trainer; I'd expect ca CHF 100-300.

Mandatory practical training course (Sachkundenachweis - required of all owners who acquire a dog after 1 Sept 2008, federal law) - again, expect to pay in the neighborhood of CHF 100-300.

---

Training classes beyond the mandatory minimum are recommended. I have a yearly Familienhund abo CHF 600 for each dog, ca. 40 one hour classes. Special classes or private training are often more expensive. Of course you can (and should!) train by yourself - but I've found both my dogs and I benefit from the social aspect of classes.
----

Medical costs:

Routine vet care has been quite affordable - my healthy youngster runs maybe a couple hundred a year for the annual check-up and vacs, and preventative care. I would include the cost of spay/neuter in preventative care. My young girl cost ca CHF 800 for an ovariectomy, neutering my middle-aged male was ca. 400.

In contrast my older lady, critically ill with pyometra, needed an emergency ovariohysterectomy and prolonged hospitalization - cost was many thousands. My older male needed emergency neutering and bladder surgery because of complications from a grossly enlarged prostate, at the cost of a few thousand. My senior who cannot be neutered has now developed an enlarged prostate/ testicular cysts, requiring on-going hormonal treatment and regular ultrasounds for monitoring; at least a thousand per year.

All of those costs - and suffering - could have been prevented if my muttleys had been spayed/neutered when young and healthy. FYI, many dogs adopted from shelters will already be neutered.

Even with good preventative care accidents happen, unexpected illnesses happen. As Möpp and Brightonite have said, emergency or specialist vet care can be very expensive. Hopefully you won't be faced with this, but every owner should be prepared. To give another example, oncology care for one of mine ran into five figures.

You can also look into medical insurance plans; because most of my dogs were older when I adopted them, I found the insurance plans I looked into didn't make financial sense for us - but your situation may turn out otherwise.
-----

Other expenses:

Food - We feed Magnusson, a premuim dry food, ca 120 per 15kg bag. Add in fresh veg daily, and my 15kg dog costs about CHF 2 per day to feed. On the other hand, my mutt with IBD can only eat home-cooked; he eats better food than we do.

Holiday care: expect to pay CHF 20-50 per dog per day for kennels, full-time in-home dog/house sitting will run CHF 200-250 per day. Plan to book well in advance for any holiday care.

Gear - collars, leads, harnesses, bowls, bedding, first aid kit, grooming tools, etc: you'll need a couple of hundred to put together the necessary stuff. Less if you buy outside Switzerland.

Don't forget the cost of fencing, if your garden isn't already secure. We got a quote from a professional firm to fence our garden for 15,000. My husband then did it himself for less than 1000.

And then there is all the cool stuff you don't really need: expect to leave the pet store with an empty wallet.
------

On the other hand, my dogs help me save thousands per year:

In the winter we go snow-shoeing with the dogs rather than skiing; in the summer we hike all weekend long. Fresh air and mountain trails are free.

All those pleading, begging eyes make snacking impossible. Cuts down on the junk food expenditure (not to mention our collective waistlines).

The dogs don't care how I dress; all I care about is staying dry. Function has become far more important than fashion. And who had time to go shopping anymore?

The mutts are essentially mobile hot water bottles. Since I always seem to have a dog or three glued to my side, I've turned the heating almost off.

No need for a gym membership; I get plenty of exercise walking the dogs throughout the day.

Wellness spas are also unnecessary; I had a free mud bath today when I lost my footing as the over-eager Hooligan dragged me through a mucky field.

No need for a therapist - the dogs are happy to listen to me witter on all day long. And their advice is pretty good, too.

All in all, I'd say that as a dog owner I come out far ahead...

----

Take a look at the Tierschutz database for a listing of the dogs needing homes across Switzerland. You can filter by canton, gender, age, other criteria.

http://www.tierschutz.ch/cms/de/tier...unschtier.html

Best of luck in your search.
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Old 11.03.2009, 12:11
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Re: Cost of dog

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No need for a gym membership....

Wellness spas are also unnecessary.....

No need for a therapist ....

All in all, I'd say that as a dog owner I come out far ahead...
Thanks for that - it sums up a great deal perfectly!
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Old 11.03.2009, 13:50
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Re: Cost of dog

As most has been covered I would just like to add that medical emergencies do cost alot here.

Rencently one of mine* had "hemorrhaging gastritis" and was thankfully saved. The bill came to 849 chf.

*Some of you might remember the "Lulu has gas" thread. It was Lulu who became ill. Btw, she doesn't seem to fart as much anymore.
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