Dos and Don'ts of Getting a Family Dog

How Much Is That Doggy in the Window

According to a 2004 American Kennel Club survey, annual dog expenses average about $2,500. Expect to initially shell out:

$150 to $2,000: The initial purchase price can be your lowest or highest cost, depending on whether you go for a shelter dog or a rare purebred.

$160: The amount you're likely to spend on spaying or neutering, essential surgical procedures for puppies.

$630: The average amount dog owners lay out in the first year for vet visits, although this cost can vary depending on where you live.

$350: Expect to pay this much to cover basic supplies for your pup.

$340: Obedience training will probably cost you around this amount.

TOTAL: $1,630 to $3,480

Copyright ? 2006. Reprinted with permission from the March 2006 issue of Parents magazine.

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