Costs Every Dog Owner Should Budget For

How much does dog maintenance cost? This is a reasonable question to ask when you plan to become a dog owner. And such a question is a very good sign as it indicates that people are analyzing and conducting a thorough investigation on whether they can afford to maintain a dog or not.

So, to what extent will my wallet suffer from owning a dog? What should be taken into account when planning to give shelter to a doggy? Get ready to receive answers to these questions in the following paragraphs.

The Initial Cost

The initial cost of the dog may vary greatly depending on whether you will purchase your puppy from a breeder or adopt through the rescue center. When choosing the first option, make sure to carry out research on how to choose a dog breed according to your budget and lifestyle.

Consider taking an adult dog from the shelter. In many instances, grown-up dogs need less training and have undergone all essential veterinary procedures like vaccinating, spaying, neutering and microchipping. If not, shelter is expected to perform these services for free or at a low fee. What is more, when choosing a friend among the sheltered animals you are making a contribution to saving not one life but a lot more because you are freeing up space for a future pet to be placed there.

You can buy a purebred dog from the shelter for $500, or take an ordinary puppy at a bargain price that covers the basic cost of food and vaccination. Whereas dogs bought from a breeder may cost at least $400 and up to $10000. It is worth considering that purebred dogs have minimalized risk of health or behavior issues, they are usually more loyal, obedient and affable.


The second aspect is nutrition. This factor can largely determine the overall cost of having a dog. And the most important element when it comes down to a puppy's health and comfort. The most imperative thing to bear in your mind is that a dog is a living being and its organism demands the same quality nutrients, vitamins, and minerals as we do. Despite the fact that dogs are domesticated animals and live with their owners, their digestive system hasn't changed. Wild ancestors of dogs would eat raw meat and bones getting all the most urgent components to thrive. Therefore, modern-day dogs have the same urge.

The best option is homemade food. It is not obligatory to waste money on premade processed dog food, dry or wet when you can dedicate time to choose fresh raw meat and serve it with additives (vegetables, oils for supplementation, eggs and so on).

Medical Care

Medical care is another aspect of your dog’s welfare that can significantly affect your pockets. It includes:

  1. Vaccinations: for kennel cough, canine distemper, canine hepatitis, canine parainfluenza, coronavirus, leptospirosis, Lyme disease, parvovirus, and rabies. Each of these costs is $60-70 on average.
  2. Flea treatment. Flea eliminating always causes a whole lot of discomfort both for you and your four-legged buddy. Depending on the fighting tactic you have chosen, the costs can range from $40 to $200.
  3. Heartworm prevention. The prevention's minimal cost is $15, while treatment can rise up to $200.
  4. Spaying is a routine surgery, therefore, it costs around $200.

Pay attention to the fact that dogs of disparate breeds have diversified body structures. To illustrate, the vast majority of flat-faced dogs suffer from respiratory complications.

In addition, taking responsibility for the dog, do not forget that no one is safe from health emergencies.  Some dog breeds, like dachshunds or Labradors, simply love to look for adventures that can end in life-saving surgery. Therefore, set aside $1000-2000 for that unexpected vet bill. But to prevent your hopelessness in such a situation, use pet insurance.

Find out more about dog insurance here.

Toys and Accessories

It's totally irrational to underestimate the role of dog toys. Toys are stimulating dogs mentally and physically. They assist them in fulfilling their basic emotional and physical needs when the owner is absent. In the absence of "job", that is obligations as a companion and a faithful friend, they would desperately look for things to occupy them. Let's agree that a purposefully-bought toy is a better option to chew than your slippers, sofa, pillows, toilet paper rolls.

Educational toys can naturally boost a puppy's ability to learn and, consequently - develop skills. Chewing something keeps pups relaxed and helps cope with stress.

When it comes to dog toys and accessories, it is difficult to calculate related costs, because everyone will have a different approach. Some are minimalists and believe that it’s enough to have only the most necessary things for the dog, while others are compulsively updating their dog's wardrobe every season. Some accessories are enough to buy once and forget about this necessity - a nice leash and a collar can serve you faithfully for years.

Here is the ultimate list of things your dog can be in need of.

  • Dog bed - $40
  • Water bowl $5
  • Fur remover broom $5
  • Dog brush $5
  • Leash $6
  • Dog seat 15$
  • Toy container $14
  • Collar $10
  • Dental chews $33
  • Dog rope $2
  • Plush toy $5
  • Seasonal clothing from $ 20 per unit

Your grooming expenses greatly depend on the dog breed you choose. So if you do not want to spend money on it - bathe your dog at home or choose the breed that requires less grooming maintenance.

Additional Costs

Dog ownership will not turn into a struggle if you devote more attention to dog training. Your reluctance to address the problem can turn into 15 years (in an average) of a misbehaving because the dog simply has no idea about the notion of dog etiquette. Pet ownership will be a joy and take less time, energy and resources as your dog will know how to cope with routine situations.

Exhibitors or dog owners with exceptional skills will confirm the following  -  if you are amateurs in the dog world, it is worth considering the cost of training or dog kindergarten. Behavioral schools also have a fantastic offer - there you may learn how to deal with a fearful or aggressive dog.

What exactly is the offer? If this is your first dog, you should think about dog kindergarten. However, if you want more from the dog, you have specific requirements for the training, you want to get rid of bad habits or strengthen your relationships, you need to find out what dog school near you are offering. The cost of training a dog in a specialized school will vary depending on your location, plus the level of popularity and demand for a specialist who will help you.


To sum up, it all depends on the owner how much to spend on the dog.  Answering the question "how much does it cost to keep a dog" it does not matter whether we have a purebred dog or sheltered mongrel. Each dog deserves the highest level of comfort in life.

In our case, the average cost of keeping a puppy per month is $115-300. Everything above is extra spending that doesn’t have a direct impact on your dog's health. Of course, dog sports, participation in seminars and competitions are fun, but it is a kind of "luxury" and a cost that can be avoided if we can not afford it.

The best advice for anyone who already has a puppy or is just thinking about it - focus primarily on the dog's diet and health. If at some point you have to save a little, it is better to give up training for a while than to look for cheaper, worse quality food or skip a visit to the vet.

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