What’s The Cost Of Owning A Dog?

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Initial Investment Of Adopting A Dog

According to the Animal Humane Society, the cost of owning a dog from a local shelter is around $118 to $667. However, this rough approximation of the adoption fee still depends on various factors like the breed, age, and size of the new dog.

Additional fees may include the dog’s vaccination, deworming, medications, physical and behavioral examinations, heartworm tests, flea or tick treatments, neutering and spaying procedures, and an administrative fee. Some pet fees may also include microchips, so it is important that you ask your local shelter ahead of time to know everything that is included with the adoption fees since it varies from one shelter to another.

Apart from the dog’s breed, dog’s size, and the dog’s age, initial expenses also vary depending on where you live and the time of the year when you decided to acquire the new pup. You should expect that fees will be more expensive when residing in a location with a higher-than-average cost of living since it is more expensive for shelters in the locale to take care of the animals. However, you might want to consider rescheduling your adoption for the holiday season because many shelters offer reduced fees or give free adoption at the end of the year.

On the other hand, if you wish to purchase a purebred dog from a pet store or from a local breeder, you should expect a cost anywhere from $300 to $4,000 depending on the breed that you have chosen. The total costs include the hours that the breeder has taken care of the pup. It also includes the veterinary costs, food, and vaccinations. The expensive cost is also linked to the rarity and the pureness of the dog that you have chosen. You should budget around $500 per year in most cases for ongoing costs as well. Finally, you need to take into account the one-time costs for a collar, leash, and crates.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), you will spend money around $1,500 to $2,000 for the first year of your dog ownership. [1]

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Preparing Your Home Supplies

When you bring your new dog home, you need to take note of the following startup supplies that you need to purchase for your new friend.

  • Dog bed
  • Leash
  • Collar
  • Crate
  • Food bowls
  • Toys
  • Dog training equipment
  • Pet food
  • Grooming supplies

You should take note that you may occasionally replace these items over the years as they may wear out or your dog gets older and larger. These supply costs are accompanied by the annual cost that you are obliged to give your pup as responsible pet owners. These annual expenses may include vet bills, veterinary medicine, professional grooming, as well as training classes.

Quality Dog Food For My Pooch

Taking Care Of Your Dog

Food And Treats

It is a huge responsibility of pet parents to provide the best food for their pup. It is considered one of the largest recurring expenses you have over the course of your pet’s life. Quality dog treats and foods are available at a wide range of prices. Depending on how generous you are to your pup and how determined you are to maintain a healthy dog, the annual costs for dog foods can range from $212 to $400 which also depends on whether you have a large dog or a smaller breed. Essentially, what your dog eats can be a strong indicator of the health status of your furry friend.


Grooming can also take up a huge portion of your dog’s yearly costs, depending on the breed of your dog. Some specific breeds need to have professional cleaning on a regular basis and some larger dogs need to have their nails trimmed and have a regular bath to keep a hygienic and healthy dog.

Regular Veterinary Care

Regular veterinary care is important in keeping your pets in great shape. Vet visits may cost around $200 to $300 annually. Lab works are charge separate and can add up to $100 to $300 to your expenses. As part of preventive health care, vet appointments should not be canceled.

Other veterinary care that your dog needs are dental cleaning and tooth extraction. Dental cleaning ranges from $300 to $800 a year while extraction ranges from $800 to $3000 a year, depending on the severity of your dog’s dental problem.

Lastly, your vet may require your dog to be neutered or spayed. Unspayed or neutered dogs are usually from breeders and pet stores so as the owner, you are held responsible for having your dog undergo the operation. Generally, this costs around $190 to $220.

Preventive Medications And Supplements

Dogs need preventive medications against common parasites like fleas, heartworms, and ticks. Your Dog’s veterinarian is well knowledgeable about the medications and is capable of giving your dog the best products based on its needs. Generally, dogs do not need supplements if you give your dog a balanced diet but sometimes, your vet may require you to give your pup supplements like omega 3 or glucosamine. On average, you may spend around $100 to $500 per annum for medications and supplements, depending on your dog’s size, age, and breed.

Dog Walking Our New Friend

Additional Expenses To Consider

Obedience Classes Or Training Resources

Going to obedience school is important for the first two years of your dog but the training is important to be ongoing throughout your dog’s life. Enrolling your dog for training classes and buying training resources like videos and books will cost you around $25 to $300. Pro-tip: Group classes are cheaper than private lessons, and it is recommended that all dog owners at least enroll in a puppy class for socialization.

Dog Daycare Or Dog Walking

If your dog requires you to work for hours or expect you to go travel from one place to another, you might want to add the costs for a dog walker and dog daycare. Although this expense is optional, you might find it more of a necessity when you have a hectic schedule at work and can no longer allot a sum of your time for your pets. The average cost of professional dog walking is $20 and can cost you roughly $400 a month.

Pet Insurance

According to the ASPCA, the yearly cost of pet insurance is around an approximate amount of $225. Although optional, many owners see pet insurance as something that is worth it, most especially in the early years of their pups or with breeds that are proven to be prone to specific health issues and need frequent wellness checkups.

Pet Sitters Or Boarding

Traveling often without the company of your pup may require you to allot a budget for dog boarding or pet sitting. The most important thing to look for in a boarding facility is a good reputation. Decent boarding facilities cost an average of $20 to $50 a night. It is important to take note that some facilities offer additional services such as playtime, dog walking, and the like. However, this may incur additional payment on top of the basic costs.

Hiring a pet sitter can also be a good option because bringing your pup to a boarding facility may be stressful for them. A pet sitter has the same rate as a boarding facility without the anxiety of meeting other pets.

Part Of Dog Ownership Is To Ensure My Dog Eats Well

How To Budget For Pet Expenses

Pet ownership requires extra expenses if you want to give what is best for your pup. To manage these pet expenses, most dog owners use two different ways.

Pet Sinking Fund

This is a way to set aside extra money each month that is intended for annual pet expenses. For instance, you have a yearly cost of $2,400 for your dog’s needs like pet care, vet visits, and etc. In the sinking fund, you should save $200 every month intended for the expense of your dog on a regular basis.

Pet Emergency Fund

Pet emergency fund works to save money and budget it for the regular expenses of your pet. You may incorporate this with the pet sinking fund and this is intended for unexpected costs like vet costs that come with a very hefty price. With the emergency fund, you would no longer worry about not being able to pay for an emergency vet visit for immediate medical care for your pet.

Professional Grooming For My New Furry Friend

Tips For First Time Dog Owner

Do Your Research

As a pet owner, it is impossible for you to accurately know how much cost should you allot for your pet, the next best thing to asking how much dog owners spend for their dog is simply to research the needed information by yourself. You can start researching things like “adoption costs in your local shelter”, “grooming and local vet cost for your breed of choice”, “daily rate of local doggie daycare”,” health issues common in your dog breed of choice”, and “ideal dog food brands for your dog and how much it costs”.

Look For A Vet Ahead Of Time

It is important that you find a vet ahead of time as vet care is one of the most important parts of being a pet parent. In this way, you can immediately bring your new dog to the vet, the moment you adopt them and start creating a relationship with the vet you trust.

Prepare Your Home

Adopting a new pet will definitely make changes in your house household. In relation to this, you may want to consider buying items intended for protecting your home, together with the items that your dog needs. You may buy dog gates that are effective in limiting your dog’s access to areas that are off-limits.

Consider A Microchip

In contrast to the general belief that microchips are unnecessary costs and would only add up to your dog’s other expenses, it is highly suggested that you give your pup the microchip. This would greatly help you and your pet reunite, in any case, that your pet gets lost in the park or in the neighborhood. Providing your dog a microchip that costs relatively higher than collars is just a small one, compared to the added security it provides.

Visiting A Vet To Avoid Health Issues

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average monthly cost of owning a dog?

The monthly average cost of owning a dog may range from $125 to $824. But for you to know the exact cost of your dog, you need to take into account the things that your dog needs like the food, annual medical exams, medications and supplements, training classes, and the like.

How much should you budget for a dog?

You should budget around $1500 to $9,900 a year for a dog. This rough estimation may still vary depending on the size, age, and breed of your dog. It isn’t advisable that you give your dog-cheap product just to cut your losses as in the long run, this may lead to further medical issues that will require your dog to see the vet which causes your expenses to skyrocket.

Is owning a dog worth it?

Yes, owning a dog is worth it, especially when you are a 100% dog person. Sharing a home with a dog brings so much joy inside the household. However, you must take note the dog ownership requires time, money, effort, and responsibility but it can be very gratifying.


Owning a dog requires you to be a responsible fur parent. Hence, before adopting your first dog, be sure to research all important information about the dog you are planning to adopt as well as all the needs of a dog that you need to provide. In essence, you need to make sure that you are financially capable of raising your own fur baby.