Cost of owning a dog

What is the real cost of owning a dog? You will probably have heard that dogs are expensive. it´s true that there’s definitely an investment in dog care so it’s important to understand the costs.

The cost of owning a dog is not just about the cost of food. Financially providing for your dogs is a major part of being a responsible dog owner.

The cost of owning a dog is about $1,400 to $4,300 annually. There are many ways to save lots of money though. How much depends on contributing factors including your dog’s size and age, where you live, your lifestyle, and your dog’s individual needs.

Initial Investment

Any new dog or puppy will involve substantial expenses but what is the real cost of owning a dog? If you choose to get a pedigree dog from a breeder, you’ll be able to expect to spend $500-2000. It also involves other non financial costs explained elsewhere on our site.

Adopting from a shelter or rescue centre can cost as little as $50. You´re also likely to get a healthier dog from a reputable shelter or rescue group. If the dogs don’t have a detailed history you may need to spend extra on veterinary care.

Wherever you get your new dog from the first thing you must do is get them to a vet. Including vaccines, preventive medications, and other special treatments, that first visit will likely cost you up to $300. Puppies have to visit the vet every few weeks until about 16 weeks old and every visit can cost $100 to $300 depending on your puppy’s health.

Your next major expense are going to be dog supplies. These include pet food, leashes, beds, collars and toys. You may also want to consider obedience classes. Getting your puppy spayed or neutered within the first year will cost between $150 to $700.

Food and Treats

Food expenses vary depending on the size and breed of your dog and some specific diets or freshly-made special-order food may cost $100 or more a month.


Your dog deserves a comfortable bed and keeping one or two round the house will cost you $50 to $200 a year. Again, prices go up depending on the size of your dog. Getting higher quality and easy-to-clean dog beds will extend their life and save you the cost of buying replacements.

Leashes and Collars

Your dog must have a minimum of one leash and one collar with ID tags. You can spend between $20 to $50 on leashes and collars but a good set should last for years.


Short-haired dogs require very little quite basic grooming compared to longer haired dogs. These longer haired breeds may cost up to $500 a year.

Routine Veterinary Care

Routine veterinary care is essential especially during the first year. Plan on visiting the vet for wellness checkups once or twice a year at a value of about $200 to $300 yearly although costs are going to be higher if your dog develops a problem.

Preventive Medications and Supplements

Your vet will guide you towards the products your dog needs. Vitamins are not essential but a supplement like glucosamine or omega 3 may be beneficial. In general, you’ll probably spend $100 to $500.

Obedience Classes

Whether you’re buying books and watching videos or attending classes, you should budget a minimum of $25 to $300 annually for training needs.

Dog Walking

Depending on your lifestyle, you may need the services of a dog walker. A dog walker costs on average around $20 per walk.

As we are never able to predict the future it is always best to budget for all the above and for any other eventualities. Third-party healthcare financing or health care credit cards are available for helping you to cover any unpredicted costs.