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How Much Do Dogs Cost? Upfront, Ongoing & Average Price per Year

Dogs are one of the most popular pets in the world and it’s easy to see why. They are loyal, affectionate and make great companions. However, many people fail to consider the cost of owning a dog before bringing one home.

When purchasing a dog, there are several things you can expect. First, you will need to research different breeds and decide which type of dog will best suit your lifestyle and living situation. You may then need to find a reputable breeder or pet store and schedule a visit to see the puppies or dogs available. When you visit, you should expect to see clean and healthy conditions, as well as documentation of the dog’s health history, including vaccinations and other medical treatments. You may also need to sign a contract and pay a deposit to reserve the dog. Depending on the breed & age of the dog, you can expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Finally, after purchasing the dog, you will need to provide ongoing care and attention, including food, grooming, exercise & healthcare expenses.

Upfront Costs of Buying a Dog 

ItemCost Range
Adoption fees$50-$300
Purchase price$500-$25,000
Initial vet visit$70-$150
Spaying or neutering$150-$800
Training classes$70-$150/session
Crate or carrier$30-$300
Toys and other accessories$5-$600

Are Some Dogs More Expensive Than Others?

Yes, some dogs are more expensive to own than others. Breeds that are more expensive to buy or adopt include popular breeds like French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs & Pomeranians. These dogs are in high demand and can cost thousands of dollars to purchase. However, it’s important to note that expensive dogs may also come with higher healthcare costs due to breed-specific health problems.

Most Expensive Dogs?

The most expensive dog breeds in the world include the Tibetan Mastiff, Samoyed and Chow Chow. These breeds are known for their beauty, size and rarity, which drives up the price. For example, a Tibetan Mastiff can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000 or more.

Cheapest Way to Buy a Dog?

The cheapest way to get a dog is to adopt it from a shelter or rescue organisation. Adoption fees typically range from $50 to $300 and many shelters include basic healthcare services like spaying/neutering and vaccinations. Adopting a senior dog is also a great option, as they are often overlooked but make excellent companions.

Ongoing Costs of Owning a Dog

Food: The cost of dog food can vary widely depending on the brand and quality. Expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $60 per month for a small to medium-sized dog and up to $100 or more per month for a larger dog.

Treats: Treats are a great way to reward your dog and reinforce good behaviour. Depending on the type and brand, treats can cost anywhere from a few dollars to $20 or more per bag.

Grooming: Grooming needs vary depending on the breed, but all dogs need regular brushing and nail trims. Professional grooming can cost anywhere from $30 to $100 or more per session.

Training: Ongoing training and socialization classes are important for keeping your dog well-behaved and happy. Costs can vary depending on the type of training but expect to pay around $50 to $100 per session.

Pet Insurance: The cost of pet insurance can vary depending on factors such as the breed of the dog, age, location and the level of coverage selected. On average, pet insurance for a dog can cost anywhere from $30 to $50 per month for basic coverage and up to $100 or more per month for more comprehensive coverage. Some plans may also require a deductible or co-payment, which can further impact the overall cost. It’s important to shop around and compare different plans and providers to find the best coverage at a price that fits your budget.

Healthcare: Dogs need regular check-ups and preventative care, which can include vaccinations, heartworm prevention and flea/tick prevention. The cost of healthcare can vary widely depending on your location and the specific services your dog needs.

Toys and other supplies: Dogs need toys to keep them entertained and mentally stimulated and may require other supplies like collars, leashes and bedding. Costs can vary widely depending on the quality and quantity of items purchased.

Other Factors that Affect the Cost of Owning a Dog

Size and breed: Larger dogs generally require more food and supplies, which can increase the cost of ownership. Some breeds also have higher healthcare costs due to breed-specific health problems.

Age: Older dogs may require more frequent healthcare services, such as dental cleanings or arthritis treatments, which can increase the cost of ownership.

Health conditions: Dogs with chronic health conditions may require ongoing medical care and medication, which can be expensive.

Activity level: More active dogs may require more food and toys and may be more prone to injuries or accidents.

Location: The cost of living in your area can affect the cost of pet ownership, as veterinary services and supplies may be more expensive in certain regions.

How to Reduce the Cost of Owning a Dog?

Comparison shopping for supplies & services: Shop around to find the best deals on food, toys & grooming services. Look for coupons or discounts to save money.

Doing some grooming tasks at home: Learn how to brush your dog’s fur and trim their nails at home, rather than paying for professional grooming.

Feeding a high-quality diet: Feeding your dog a high-quality diet can help prevent health problems and reduce the need for expensive healthcare services.

Staying up-to-date on preventive healthcare: Regular check-ups and preventative care can help catch health problems early, which can reduce the cost of treatment in the long run.

So How Much Is It Actually Going to Cost?

Upfront costs for a dog can range from adoption fees of $50-$300 to purchase prices that are more than $10,000. Ongoing costs of owning a dog can include food, healthcare, grooming, training, toys and other supplies, which usually add up to somewhere around $1,000 – $3,000 per year.

In addition, factors such as age, health conditions and activity level can affect the cost of ownership. Despite the costs, many people find that the benefits of owning a dog, such as companionship, mental & physical health benefits and improved quality of life, make it a worthwhile investment. Importantly make sure that before you make the purchase you understand the full costs that can be associated with owning a dog.

Cost Information by Breed

Are you trying to find out how much a particular breed will cost? See below for detailed pricing information on all of the most popular breeds.

How Much Do Dogs Cost? Upfront, Ongoing & Average Price per Year