Choosing a dog to be your companion takes forethought and financial planning. First, you’ll want a dog that fits in with you and your family temperament-wise, and second, you should know that taking on a dog is a huge responsibility in every capacity.
You need to be physically, mentally, and financially capable of caring for an animal that isn’t always affordable. So, if you’ve had your eye on the Belgian Malinois as a potential new pet you can expect an initial cost of $300 to $2500. In this article we cover the general costs of owning this amazing breed!
Bringing Home a New Belgian Malinois: One-Time Costs
One of the biggest costs will be for the Belgian Malinois (the Mal) themselves, but there are a few other expenses that you should be aware of, mostly things that you’ll need before you bring your new dog home.
You’ll need to stock up on food and water bowls, leash, crate, bedding, etc., and you’ll need to have your dog spayed or neutered.
Finding a purebred dog like the Belgian Malinois for free is unlikely. Someone looking to rehome their dog is a possibility, but most people will still charge a rehoming fee.
The least expensive option is adopting a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization.
When it comes to adoption, you’ll likely bring an adult dog home. The advantage here is that the dog will be in good health, rehabilitated, spayed or neutered, and possibly even trained. The adoption fee goes toward supporting the shelter and the care for the dog.
Bear in mind that a Mal isn’t a common purebred, so finding one at your local shelter might not be in the cards.
Purchasing a Belgian Malinois from a breeder will be expensive, but if you find a reputable breeder, you’ll have a deeper understanding of your dog’s background and medical history. The price of the Mal can be considerably higher if you’re interested in finding a dog that has been trained as a protection dog.
Don’t try to find the cheapest breeder out there, as they are likely unethical, and the dog might have health and behavioral problems.
Initial Setup & Supplies
If you already own dog supplies or someone you know gives them to you, your initial costs will be lower. Otherwise, you will need to stock up on items like ID tags, toys, crate, etc.
List of Belgian Malinois Care Supplies & Costs
|ID Tag and Collar||$20|
|Food and Water Bowls||$10–$30|
How Much Does a Belgian Malinois Cost Per Month?
How much is spent every monthly will depend on your choices and your dog’s health.
The Mal is a healthy breed that isn’t quite as prone to genetic conditions as many other purebreds. That said, like most large breeds, they are susceptible to hip and elbow dysplasia.
How much you ultimately spend on your dog’s healthcare depends on any genetic conditions they have and how well they are taken care of through diet and exercise over the course of their lifetime.
Most dog owners spend more money on dog food than almost anything else. For a large and energetic breed like the Belgian Malinois, you will be spending more on food than if you owned a small breed.
You shouldn’t opt for the cheapest dog food, particularly if you want to keep healthcare costs down. A high-quality diet does wonders for a dog’s overall health.
If you do all your dog’s grooming yourself, you will save money. The equipment that you need, such as dog shampoo and nail clippers or grinders, will require replacing every now and then, of course.
The good news is that Mals are easy to groom. They only need a bath every other month (unless they get spectacularly dirty or smelly) and a quick brushing once a week or so.
Medications & Vet Visits
Your dog will require yearly wellness visits and annual dental cleanings. Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth will help keep them healthy and avoid future expensive treatments.
Unless your Mal has any health issues, your monthly costs for the vet or any medications will be minimal.
Pet insurance is optional, but it can end up saving you a great deal of money. Most pet insurance companies will cover any condition that the Mal is predisposed to, but only if you’ve signed up before there’s any sign of the condition.
Essentially, you’ll need to get insurance when your dog is perfectly healthy. How much you pay will depend on your dog’s age and breed and where you’re located.
Environmental maintenance for dogs is fairly simple; if anything, you just need to stock up on poop bags and a pooper scooper. You should also invest in a nice dog bed, which will occasionally need cleaning.
Entertainment for dogs will include things like chew toys and balls to throw. These will need replacing eventually, though you can also consider saving money and making your own.
You should buy or make more toys than you need so you can rotate them. This can help prevent your Mal from getting bored with their toys and becoming destructive.
You can also subscribe to a monthly dog toy box, which can range from about $20 to $50 each month. This way, you’ll always have new toys to give your Mal.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Belgian Malinois
Many factors impact how much you’ll have to pay monthly for your Mal. If they remain in good health for most of their life, your costs won’t be too high.
The kind of food that you opt for and doing all the grooming yourself will also impact your finances. This is why no two Belgian Malinois owners will have the same monthly costs.
Additional Costs to Factor In
Things like unexpected injuries and illnesses or any other emergency situation need to be considered. Be sure to leave room in your budget for these unpredictable costs.
You should also be prepared for what to do with your Mal when you go on vacation. You’ll need to pay for a pet sitter or board them at a kennel. You can bring them with you, but you’ll need to pay for the travel (particularly if you’re going by plane), and there will likely be an extra fee at the hotel.
Additionally, there’s the potential for unexpected property damage, like when they chew your couch or accidentally knock your phone to the ground.
Owning a Belgian Malinois On a Budget
Once you’ve taken care of the initial expenses for the dog and supplies, with preparation and careful budgeting, it is possible to lower the cost of owning a Mal.
Saving Money on Belgian Malinois Care
You can start by purchasing toys that aren’t incredibly expensive. You shouldn’t get chew toys that are too cheap, as your dog may chew off pieces and swallow them. But getting a tennis ball to throw around or finding a big stick on your walk are inexpensive ways to entertain your dog.
Try to do all their grooming yourself. Brushing their teeth and trimming their nails are not that difficult once you get the hang of it.
Finally, look for deals for dog food online, and consider buying in bulk if you have the room to store it. It can be a big initial expense but ends up being cheaper in the long run.
After you’ve paid for your Belgian Malinois and the supplies that you need at home, you can expect to pay roughly $150 to $700 a month to care for your new dog.
Any additional expenses will depend on your dog’s health, how much work you do yourself (nail trimming, etc.), and the kind of dog food that you buy.
Owning a Belgian Malinois is doable if you’re on a budget, but it’s important to understand that dogs can be expensive to care for—but so worth it!
Featured Image Credit: Piqsels