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American Kennel Club

Don't let puppy love blind you to the expense of a dog

How much is that doggy in the window? More than you may think.

New dog owners can expect to shell out $1,200 to $2,000 in the first year , and as much as $14,500 over their pup's lifetime, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. And that's just for routine costs. Emergencies will happen — and they will be expensive.

Budgeting for the expected costs, and saving for the unexpected, will protect your pet and your pocketbook.

"A good rule of thumb is the bigger the dog, the bigger the budget," says Sarah Javier, president and executive director of the Animal Protective Association of Missouri.

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