Millions of pets end up euthanized or abandoned each year because the cost of keeping the pets is too high for the owners. That is why it helps to understand the financial costs of ownership before you buy a cockapoo.
Even if you already own a dog or three, you may be curious about how much pet ownership is costing you annually. This is especially true if you tend to lose track of your budget. Luckily, the ASPCA has come up with some answers for you. They have covered everything from different sizes of dog to guinea pigs, cats, and fish.
While you can click on the link in the above paragraph to see all those other estimates, we are going to focus exclusively on one category: small-sized dogs, as that is what many cockapoos are (although many are also medium-sized, slightly increasing the upkeep costs.) We are also going to adjust them to what we view as more realistic for cockapoo owners, adding and removing some costs. Keep in mind that these are just estimates, but they are still quite helpful guidelines.
First, let’s cover initial expenses for acquiring a new dog. Assuming you have already bought the puppy, he was a gift, or you have paid the adoption fees for an older dog, you still have the following “capital” costs:
- Spay / Neuter: $190
- Other Initial Medical: $70 (This covers things like deworming, blood tests, and a microchip)
- Collar / Leash: $25 (Seems high, but you may want a gentle leader or harness.)
- Carrier Bag: $40
- Crate: $35 (Whether you’ll want one of these depends on the size of your cockapoo.)
- Training: $110
The total of this initial outlay is $470. This cost assumes you are giving the dog old or donated toys, and little else that is not completely necessary, to begin life with. The ASPCA considers training a necessary cost, as do we. But we can make this a bit cheaper if you download and follow our free Cockapoo Obedience Training Guide. It works just as well. With that cost removed, the total is decreased to $360.
- Food: $55 (This estimate is supposedly for a “premium” brand.)
- Recurring Medical: $210 (Annual exams, vaccinations, flea, tick, heart-worm meds, etc.)
- Toys / Treats: $40
- License: $15 (Varies by location.)
- Health Insurance: $225 (The ASPCA recommends insuring your dog.)
- Misc: $35 (For unexpected, non-medical expenses.)
The annual total according to this list by the ASPCA would thus be $580. We disagree with several of their assessments, however.
Let’s start with their “Food” assessment. We know of no truly “premium” dog food, certainly nothing we would recommend, that could feed your cockapoo for $55 per year. You do not want to feed cockapoos, dogs with generally sensitive stomachs, a poor quality food. The food we feed our dog, which is not a particularly expensive brand (yet is quite healthy), costs around $40 per 30 lb bag at the pet supermarket. The bag lasts him 3 months. Thus we would increase the “Food” expense considerably, to $160 annually…closer to the medium dog’s expense, and almost triple the ASPCA’s food cost guideline.
This increase brings the total annual estimate to $685. But we aren’t done yet.
Next, we’ll get into “Health Insurance.” Whether or not having health insurance for your pet makes sense is a very controversial, very subjective issue. This link will bring you to a page examining the subject and the complexity surrounding it. Unless you expect your dog to have regular health issues, or find a great insurer who will cover his pre-existing conditions for an affordable cost, we suggest that most cockapoo owners should instead apply for Care Credit, or have another credit card or rainy day fund set aside for emergency medical expenses.
So that suggestion eliminates the $225 in health insurance premiums for most owners, dropping the cost to $460, but don’t get too excited. We’re about to take that savings away from you by adding in an expense the ASPCA didn’t figure into their equations: grooming.
The dog groomer in our area charges about $35 per groom, and this includes an anal gland expression, ear cleaning, and tooth brushing. Cockapoos should be groomed at least once every six weeks, just to get de-tangled and prevent matting. This will need to be done even more often if you prefer to leave their hair longer or are very particular about their appearance. So let’s average this out to 9 grooming sessions per year, at $35 each: that’s $315.
If you are able to groom your cockapoo yourself, of course, more power (and savings) to you! But this is a high-strung breed, and the job is often best left to the professionals.
So now we have an annual total of $775, just to care and feed for your cockapoo, and to keep her groomed and up-to-date on shots. Add in optional health insurance, and we reach the $1,000 mark. Not cheap, but we never said it would be.
Using these new figures and estimates, we would expect the first year of dog ownership to cost $1135, and subsequent years to cost $775.
So what have we learned here? First, a cockapoo is not a “cheap” pet to keep. They require a lot of care, grooming, and should be fed a higher quality diet than your typical “iron stomach” dog breed. Second, the ASPCA, an organization that is not exactly known for understating the facts, has actually provided a very low estimate of dog ownership expenses. You should expect them to be considerably higher than they have listed, as we have shown.
So please: Do not enter into dog ownership lightly, be aware of the costs before making any decisions.