If you're getting a dog now because the shelter is waiving the adoption fee, you are getting one for the wrong reason. The Yellowstone shelter is full, but dogs are a hit on your annual expenses, and if you couldn't afford one with a $50 adoption fee, you really can't once you own it. The average cost of a dog per month, based on your location and the type of breed you have, is $40-$290 per month. According to the latest info available, in Montana, the average cost per year is $1,528. In the U.S., it's between $1,270 and $2,803 per year. This is based on things like food, vet visits with annual shots, check-ups, etc. Food, treats, toys, and kenneling all add expenses, not to mention cleaning supplies.

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Figure that out: if your dog lives 15 years, your outlay will be between $19,000 and $55,000 over its lifetime. A pet is a commitment, just like having kids, and if you can't afford to care for them and give them what they need, don't have one. You may think it's a good deal now, but when you find out it's just too much to handle, they end up back at the shelter one way or another.

If you do get one, give some of the responsibilities to the kids. Teach them early that there have to be some sacrifices made if you want an addition to the family. They may learn a lesson that will help them down the road when they decide to have children.

See you tomorrow at 5.

15 Beautiful Photos of the World's Ugliest Dogs

The Marin-Sonoma County Fair in Petaluma, California holds an annual World's Ugliest Dog Contest where owners showoff their unique looking dogs. The top ugliest dog takes home a cash prize. Here is a look at the 2024 contestants.

Gallery Credit: Rob Carroll

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