How much to keep a dog for the year. Can you Afford It?

How Much Do Dogs Cost?

Initial Outlay:

Doggy related paraphernalia and kit that you may need to buy before your new best friend arrives: Appropriate dog bed, indoor or outdoor kennel, crate, food bowls, toys, collar(s), lead(s) , tags and grooming brushes to name a few and will set you back anywhere between $100-300

Your Dog

How much the dog costs will potentially be your biggest outlay, especially If you want a pure-bred from a reputable breeder ,then expect to pay anywhere in the region of $750-1200.

However should you decide to to do the charitable thing and choose your dog from a rescue-adoption centre, then you may find the dog costs as little as $50-250. Very often adoption shelters will include the cost of vaccination, worming, micro-chipping and neutering as part of the service, a bargain indeed!

One Off Costs

Ongoing Costs  Per Annum

Initial Outlay



Your Dog


Veterinary Services


170-300   Assuming no health problems

Health Insurance




Doggy Daycare

Up to 3000 assuming 1 hour daily walk , 5 days a week

Grooming Services


Training & Obedience


Some training aspects may be ongoing, particularly for behavioural problems




how much do dogs cost?There are numerous ongoing and fixed costs associated with the cost of dog ownership as shown in this simple table.

One thing that is immediately obvious is that there is a huge range between minimum and maximum costs, depending on whether you are investing in a pampered purebred show pooch, or your faithful old motley mutt that you keep for controlling critters .

How Much Does A Dog Cost?-breakdown of annual upkeep

Approximate Costs Of Owning A Dog

In Dollars

Veterinary Services :

As a responsible dog owner you should plan on taking your dog to the vet for a check up at least once or twice a year, so factor in maybe $100-200 annual cost, this would include preventative medications such as routine worming treatments, flea control, heart worm, tick treatments and maybe vitamin or mineral supplements.

A young puppy will need to be vaccinated against all sorts of nasty illnesses such as Distemper, Parvovirus, Hepatitis and Rabies. Vaccinations on your first visit can cost around $100-300, with subsequent annual boosters required at a cost of $70-100, also neutering can cost between $100-200 ( females cost more to neuter as it involves invasive surgery).

The cost of dog ownership can rise dramatically if your dog develops any serious or long term health problems and your veterinary costs are going to be much higher. If you are buying a pure-bred puppy make sure it is properly certified and free of any inherited conditions.

Health Insurance

Dog medical insurance is one cost of dog ownership that I don’t think anyone should ignore and will set you back probably $100-200 per year, this may seem like wasted money' especially if you have a young dog, but believe me accidents or illnesses do happen and the resultant emergency or ongoing veterinary care costs will likely be high.

You can however find cheap dog insurance policies and other ways to make pet care more affordable if you are willing to shop around and use the Internet to do the hard work for you .

It is also a good idea if you can afford it, to actually save some emergency money in case something traumatic does happen to your dog, because veterinary treatment usually has to be paid up front, with you claiming your insurance back later. This is where having a credit card comes in very handy, as it might be worthwhile getting an ‘emergency credit card’ that you only use in the direst  of situations, to pay for unforeseen bills or treatments that you intend to claim back on insurance at a later date.


As a rule of thumb the larger the dog the bigger the food bill! Expect to pay annually any where between $150-250 for basic dry kibble, $200-400 for premium kibble, and $400-1000 for canned /frozen raw food. Overall costs will vary with size, activity level and age of your dog.

Doggy Daycare

If you have to leave your dog home alone regularly for any length of time then part of the cost of dog ownership may be employing a dog walker whilst you are out. Depending on how long they go out for, dog costs may vary between $20-30 per hour long walk.

Professional Grooming And Clipping

Depending on the type of coat your dog has and how serious you are in maintaining your dog up to show standards can greatly influence the cost of owning a dog, setting you back $50-500 per year. Of course you can always do your own grooming, or better still buy a dog that requires very little in the way of upkeep to keep costs down.

Training And Obedience Classes

Training and socializing is another dog cost that any responsible owner must budget for. Basic group classes at your local community centre usually cost between $50-100 for 4-8 weekly 1 hour sessions, private classes with a personal trainer can range between $30-100 per hour for 6-8 hourly lessons whilst dog obedience boarding schools range between $900-2000+ for a 2-4 week training course.

Extra costs might be incurred if your trainer requires you to purchase special training aids such as dog treats or clickers. Of course you can always do your own training at home for free if you feel confident, however there are some great home training programs that can be really helpful, why not check out our online dog training reviews.

This list is by no means exhaustive but it highlights the major and most common costs of owning a dog, the table above illustrates the one off and ongoing dog costs that you will need to budget for.

Why not have a look in more detail at this survey compiled by the AKC in 2004 into the cost of owning a dog.

Affordable pet care need not break the bank, the amazing thing about the cost of owning a dog is that regardless of how much you are able or willing to spend on them they will still love you the same.

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Asking how much do dogs cost? Is a little bit like asking how long is a piece of string, as your monthly or annual outgoings will vary greatly. The cost of owning and raising a dog can indeed be very high for certain breeds, especially ones that require lots of maintenance, sometimes running into thousands of dollars over the course of your dog’s life!  Fortunately though, there is usually a dog out there for everyone's budget that won’t break the bank to look after.  Read on to find out how much your dog costs are likely to be.

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© 2010-2016 Choosing-A-Dog-Made-Easy. All rights Reserved.Not intended to replace professional opinion or recommendation. Always consult your vet for advice about the medical condition of your pet.