Recently I had a great conversation with a client about the price of purchasing a dog (or cat). She told me her mother has a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that she adored. When she was ready to get a dog of her own, she really wanted to get a Cavalier, but the $1200 price tag stopped her. She decided to adopt a rescue dog from the south instead, feeling good about her decision to help a dog in need. I laughed and told her she could have adopted a Cavalier through rescue, but the 80-pound lap dog she brought home was certainly lucky to have been adopted.
Unfortunately, her 80-pound bundle of energy came with many health issues that have resulted in $4,000 of medical care. Luckily, she has been able to provide the care, but now looks back on the purchase price of a dog from a breeder and smiles. Maybe the original cost wasn't so high.
It really doesn't matter how much you pay for a pet or where you obtain the pet. A stray dog or cat could walk into your home and make a wonderful pet with minimal medical issues. A high-priced pet from a highly ranked breeder could have no medical issues or may be fraught with expensive problems. There is no guarantee that paying more up front will result in paying less later on.
When you adopt or purchase a pet, you become responsible for their care, for life. You can't always predict whether that care will involve expensive medical diagnostics and treatments. For many pet owners pet health insurance and medical no-interest, deferred payment credit cards provide a means to care for pets.
Whether you choose to adopt or purchase your next dog or cat, be sure your home is set up to accommodate your new addition. Prepare yourself for a lifetime of love. The love of a pet is a gift. Enjoy that gift.