The actual dog isn't expensive (you can get one for free at your local animal shelter). Rather, most of the expense will be buying dog food. Ask your vet to recommend a brand.

Vet? What vet? The vet that you're going to take your dog to as soon as you get home from the shelter or breeder, Sherlock. Proper veterinary care is non-negotiable. Things like check-ups, shots, neutering or spaying, flea and tick control, and dental care will keep your dog in good running condition and win you a place in Good Dog Owner Heaven. Once a year is all it takes, assuming your pup isn't playing in the street or smoking a pack a day. But it's still an expense, and you should always have a little backup cash handy in case the dog accidentally swallows your eyelash curler.

Other doggie accoutrements that you'll need to purchase include (for starters):

  • Big, sturdy, stable, unbreakable food dish and water dish
  • Comfortable, strong collar or harness and matching leash
  • Dog bed
  • Grooming supplies
  • Chew toys
  • Current ID tag with address and phone number (really important!)
  • Solid, roomy crate for transport (many dogs also use them as a safe sleeping place in the house)
  • Warm, dry, wind-and-waterproof doghouse (but your dear little pup will be an indoor dog, we hope)
  • Little knitted doggie sweaters are optional in cooler climates.

SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW choose the right dog for you?