Is your new dog a money pit?

So you bought your kids a puppy for the holidays. And now, looking at your vet bills, the cost of dog food, and several pairs of chewed shoes, you may be wondering if perhaps you should have just bought them an Xbox.


Maybe you should have. Many pet owners buy a dog without thinking through the financial costs of their prospective pooch. According to, a news and information website for canine lovers, every year about 13 million American households adopt a dog or a puppy and within 12 months half of them have been taken to a shelter.

“I often try and talk people out of getting a pet and (play) devil's advocate,” says Harrison Forbes, the author of “Dog Talk: Lessons Learned from a Life With Dogs,” host of a nationwide radio pet show, and a semi-regular pet expert on television, including “Today.”

“There's an odd peer pressure, especially in the shelter world, that we always need to be pumping up the benefits of pet ownership, and that's great. I'm fully on board. But it's like homeownership. Owning a house and having a dog is the American dream, but you only want to do it if you can afford it. You don't want to have to give either up because you didn't think it through.”

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