Guide Dogs NSW/ACT provide all their services free of change to their clients, this includes Guide Dogs. This is an incredibly generous gift when you consider it costs $30 000 to train one Guide Dog.
When I got Wiley I was given him, plus the training (and ongoing support) his equipment and a starter kit which incuded brushes, collar, bell, nylabone etc.
All ongoing costs are covered by the Guide Dog owner, this includes food, grooming costs, treats, toys, medications and vet fees. Although we are fortunate as the companies who provide HeartGuard and Frontline give Guide Dog clients a supply of their products for free.
I spend far more on Wiley than he really needs. I buy him a rather expensive imported grain free food as I find he does better when there is no wheat in his diet.
I also purchase treats and chews that are all natural, have no preservatives and are grain or at least corn and wheat free. These are also reasonably expensive.
I have a mobile dog wash come and give Wiley a hydro bath, this costs $40 per visit. I also bought him a really nice brush and buy wipes, ear wash, cotton buds, poo bags etc whenever I need them.
I also like to give Wiley supplements such as fish oil and add things like roo meat and sardines to his dry food.
But it is in buying new toys that I really indulge Wiley. As he is very hard on his toys, especially soft toys I have to replace them fairly regularly.
Vet costs can be very expensive and these are not indulgences but necessities. When Wiley had an ear infection I spent several hundred dollars trying to get it fixed. Even if nothing goes wrong he has a vet check every six months, plus he needs vaccinations, worming pills etc
I budget $50 per week for Wiley expenses, plus I have a separate account that I put money into to help cover vet costs. All in all it is a very low price to pay for love, loyalty, companionship and the best ever mobility aid 🙂