cost of owning a dog

Must Read Before Getting A Dog! Lets Talk About The Cost Of Ownership


If you’ve decided to get a dog, congratulations! There are many benefits of owning a dog, but there are also many responsibilities involved.

One of the biggest considerations to think about is the cost of owning a dog. Responsible pet owners need to think carefully about whether they can add another mouth to feed into their budget.

Read on to learn about the costs associated with owning and caring for a dog.

The True Cost of Owning a Dog

Unfortunately, 5% of dogs are abandoned because the cost of care is too high. These dogs end up in shelters, and if they’re not adopted, they get put down. That’s why it’s so important to see whether a dog will fit into your budget before you add one to the family.

Here are some things that contribute to the cost of owning a dog:

Getting the Dog

If you adopt from the pound, you can expect to pay between $50 and $250 for processing and any vaccinations that are included. On the other hand, if you go to a breeder, you may pay more than $2500.


Spaying or neutering is important to protect your dog and your community. Your dog will have a reduced risk of some types of cancers, and will likely be better behaved. The cost of spaying and neutering usually depends on the size of the dog, although you can expect to pay anywhere from $190-$250.


Most people will budget for food when they get a dog. However, the type of food you choose will greatly impact how much you spend. Some dogs need to have better quality food if they have allergies or if they’re just fussy.

Dog food will usually cost between $75 and $250 a year.

Vet Visits

In order to keep your dog healthy, you’ll need to ensure that they’re going to the vet regularly. These include vaccinations, yearly exams, and of course, the first check-up when you get the dog.

If you live in a big city you can expect to pay more for vet visits. And just like spaying and neutering, prices typically increase depending on the size of your dog. You should budget between $210 and $300 for routine vet visits.

Emergency Vet Visits

This is something that many potential dog owners fail to consider when they’re thinking about the cost of owning a dog.

Dogs get sick and hurt- it’s just part of life. They may get into your secret stash of chocolate, swallow something they shouldn’t, or suddenly get sick.

You should have a savings account for your dog, so you don’t need to worry if you have to suddenly rush them to the vet.

Emergency surgery can cost more than $5000, and cancer care is usually around $3500. This is a lot of money, and unfortunately, many people fail to take unforeseen events into consideration.


Just like people, dogs need to be groomed for hygiene purposes. You’ll need to ensure that they receive:

  • Dental care
  • Nail trims
  • Baths
  • Brushing
  • Coat trims

The cost will depend on both the size of your dog and the type of coat that they have.

It’s not just about keeping them attractive- by keeping them well-groomed you’ll help prevent ticks, fleas, and other skin irritants. You’ll also protect your couch from fur and keep them comfortable in the summer.

Grooming will usually set you back between $250 and $400 a year.

Supplies and Toys

Of course, the cost of owning a dog will also include all of the toys and supplies they need to keep happy and healthy.

This will include treat, toys, collars, and leashes. Dogs that like to chew (especially puppies) will go through toys quickly, although toys are a better option than replacing your shoes.

Expect to spend between $250 and $400 on supplies and toys for your dog.

As you can see, the costs of owning a dog are not insignificant. In fact, you can expect to spend between $1000 and $4000, not including any emergency vet visits.

How you can Manage the Cost of Owning a Dog

While these numbers can be confronting, there are also many ways that you can reduce the cost of dog ownership.

First, it’s a good idea to save up before you get your dog. You’ll want to have enough money for their first year of life and all of the expenses associated with getting your new dog home.

Here are some more tips that can help reduce the cost of owning a dog:

Choose Wisely

If you have your heart set on a certain type of dog, you have two choices:


If you choose a purebred dog, the best way to reduce the cost of ownership is to pay more upfront. You can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $1000.

This is because you’re looking for a well-bred dog with healthy parents and grandparents. This will reduce the likelihood of you spending thousands of dollars down the line if it has problems like allergies, bad hips, or even a bad attitude.


Many people believe that there are already enough dogs in the world, and it’s cruel to adopt from a breeder when there are so many dogs in shelters.

Shelter dogs are a much better choice compared to paying $100 for a poorly bred dog at a puppy mill. Cross-breed or mixed dogs are a great way to limit your medical costs. As long as you’re not choosing a mix where both breeds have known issues.

One of the reasons so many purebred dogs have health problems is because of inbreeding. By choosing a mixed breed from a shelter, you’ll be less likely to deal with these issues.

Take Insurance

It’s a good idea to buy insurance to cover your dog in the event that they need an emergency vet visit. This will give you peace of mind, as you’ll know that you can always give your dog the best care if he or she needs it.

Be Proactive

There are many things you can do to keep your dog healthy, which will reduce vet bills. These include:

  • Regular exercise
  • Not overfeeding
  • Regular grooming and flea checks
  • Brushing their teeth
  • Regular vet checkups

If you have any questions about the cost of owning a dog, get in touch. We’d love to hear from you and give you some more advice about what you can expect if you welcome a new dog into your home.

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