Being a good dog owner involves providing and caring for your pup. This can add some expenses to your budget. The costs of owning a dog are more than paying for its food. But by planning and budgeting for dog-owning, it doesn’t have to be a problem either. Whether you’re looking to plan for these costs or are wondering if you can even afford it, this post will help you assess the costs of owning a dog.

1. Adoption Costs

Here’s where it all starts: the adoption process. There are two options available to adopt a dog and each of them has its own associated costs. You can either choose to adopt a dog from a shelter or buy a dog from a breeder. Needless to say that, generally speaking, buying from a breeder is more expensive than adopting from a shelter. When you decide to buy a purebred dog you can expect to spend anywhere between $500 and $2000 depending on the breed you choose.

If, on the other hand, you want to help dogs in need and fight pet homelessness you can adopt a dog from a shelter. You’re also able to find breed-specific rescue groups in case you still want a purebred. Adopting from a shelter can be free or it can cost a few hundred dollars. 

Cost of the dog adoption process: Free – $2000 one time cost.


2. Dog Supplies

Being a first-time dog owner can get you in some big expenses. You’ll need to buy things like your dog’s bed, food and water bowls, leashes, collars and dog toys. Most of them may be one time purchases depending on the durability of the products you pick. Much like dogs, dog beds also come in various shapes and sizes. Getting a cosy bed for your dog can cost you from $50 to $200 a year. As size and quality go up, so do the prices. But getting a durable dog bed can end up saving you money in the long run as you won’t need to replace it as often.

The costs of a leash and collar also vary according to their size and quality. Dog owners usually spend from $20 to $50 per year on them. Investing in a good quality leash and collar will also help you save money in the long run.

Finally, dog toys are a crucial part of a dog’s healthy mental and physical development. They provide some much-needed mental stimulation and exercise. So choosing the right dog toys is very important. There’s no need to spend a fortune on dog toys but dog owners tend to spend anywhere from $25 to $150 per year on them.

Cost of dog supplies: $95 – $400 per year.

3. Dog Food

The food you pick can have a big impact on your dog’s health and, consequently, on the vet bills you’ll need to pay down the road. By understanding dog nutrition you’ll be able to pick high-quality dog food and healthy treats. The amount you’ll spend on dog food depends on your dog’s size, energy level and the quality of the food you pick. If your dog requires a special diet this can also drive your costs up. Dog owners can expect to spend anywhere from $250 to $700 per year on dog food.

Cost of dog food: $250 to $700 per year.


4. Vet Bills

If you have a young pup, vet bills can easily range from $100 to $300 in the first year. Your pup will need to visit the vet every few weeks in its first 16 weeks of age. And, when the time comes for your dog to be spayed or neutered, this procedure can cost you $150 to $700.

After puppyhood, you’ll still need to pay regular visits to the vet (although not as often) for routine and preventative care. The cost of routine check-ups and keeping vaccinations up to date ranges from $200 to $300 per year. Preventative care in a healthy dog is mostly about deworming. This means to give your dog medication that prevents heartworms, ticks, fleas and other parasites. These treatments can lead you to spend $100 to $500 per year depending on your dog’s size and specific needs.

It’s a great idea to budget for any emergency medical costs. Hopefully, you won’t need to spend anything on those, but a way to protect yourself from unexpected costs is by purcahsing pet insurance. Emergency vet bills can start at $500 and easily escalate to $5000 depending on the emergency. Meanwhile, pet insurances can cost you from $300 to $840 per year.

Cost of first 16 weeks care and spaying or neutering: $250 to $1000 one time cost.

Cost of routine and preventative care: $300 to $800 per year.

Cost of pet insurance: $300 to $840 per year (optional).

Overall costs of owning a dog 

The very basic costs of owning a dog can range anywhere from $645 up to $5800 per year. By now you’ll know what drives these costs up and down. Besides these basic costs, there are extra services you may want or need such as:

  • Dog Grooming
  • Dog Walking
  • Dog Boarding and Sitting
  • Training classes, or courses if you want to DIY your dog training

The need for these extra services depends a lot on your particular case. For example:

Owning a dog isn’t the cheapest thing in the world but what you get out of it makes it all worth it. By being well informed and planning for these costs you’ll have nothing to worry about.