Jessica Galliart's dog 'Tillie' in Pulaski Park on June 28, 2014. ( Lenny Gilmore / RedEye )

Jessica Galliart's dog 'Tillie' in Pulaski Park on June 28, 2014. ( Lenny Gilmore / RedEye ) (June 28, 2014)

Around tax time, a few readers told us they would be spending their refunds on a new pet. I scoffed a bit, wondering if these people knew what they were really getting into and how much a pet really costs. In a totally realistic twist, a few weeks later, I found myself adopting a dog of my own after seriously considering it for the past two or so years. Turns out I had no idea what I was getting myself--and my bank account--into. Here's how my pocketbook fared the first six weeks of dog ownership.


$65 - Adoption fee, Chicago Animal Care and Control (includes vaccinations, spay surgery, microchip, city license)

$250 - Nonrefundable pet deposit to landlord

$18 - Annual Home Again membership fee (microchip tracker)

Household supplies

$40 - Large crate, a deal from a friend

$25 - Crate pad

$40 - Travel, soft-sided crate (for staying with friends)

$12 - Food and water bowls

$9 - Shampoo

$14 - 240 poop bags

$3 - Replacement for box of tissues destroyed

$8 - Replacement for bottle of nail polish chewed up


$9 - Medium collar

$12 - Long leash

$10 - Personalized name tag for collar

$48 - 3 5-pound bags of dry food, easy to carry on public transit

$38 - 1 15-pound bag of dry food, not so easy to carry on public transit

Medical care

$190 - Veterinary office visit, plus antibiotics for treatment of kennel cough (airborne dog cold, basically)

$90 - Veterinary office visit, plus more antibiotics for treatment of inflamed incision from spay surgery

$80 - Veterinary office visit, plus antibiotic eye drops for treatment of conjunctivitis (doggy pink eye)

$15 - Doggy eye wash

$50 - Three-month supply of heartworm medicine

$15 - ACE bandages, for wrapping around torn paw pad

Fun stuff

$30 - Five or so stuffed femur bones and rawhides

$16 - Supply of training treats

$20 - Tennis balls, which get destroyed immediately

$15 - Kong wobbler

$9 - Travel water bottle

$8 - Stuffed, squeaky pheasant toy (her favorite)

$8 - Nylabone, the indestructible chew toy bone


I didn't even know I MADE this much money. This doesn't include everything, and, of course, many of these things probably aren't completely necessary. But, trust me, you're going to want to spoil the hell out of your new best friend and make sure she has everything she wants and needs. All worth it in the end, right? LOOK AT THAT FACE.

Jessica Galliart is RedEye's social media lady.