How much does a dog cost

How much does a dog cost


Before even considering a puppy, you should take into account the costs of bringing one home. A dog is a lifetime commitment and you’ll be happy to know that he’s taken care of —and not just because you have to. There are lots of upfront costs when you bring home a new puppy, and then ongoing costs for their whole lives. We appreciate the commitment it takes to adopt a pet so we’ve broken down all the costs associated with taking home a new pup.

Short-term costs

  • Adoption fees: You’ll likely have to pay an adoption fee when you adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue group, which can range from $50 to $500. If you don’t want to go through the process of finding a good home for your pet via adoption, consider purchasing him from someone who breeds dogs professionally and sells them as puppies (you will probably pay more than the average person would).
  • Spaying/neutering: Spaying or neutering your dog is one of the best ways to avoid health problems down the road, but it also comes with a cost. It can cost between $50 and $250 depending on where you live and what vet clinic you visit.
  • Vet visits: Your first trip to the vet may come with an additional expense if they find any issues that need treatment or medication before they get better—and even after if they require ongoing care because of chronic conditions like allergies or arthritis. Try getting estimates on these costs ahead of time so you’re prepared for them when they arise; however, there are ways around this by shopping around among vets in your area until someone’s price suits both parties (that is not me advocating against paying full price at all times).

Adoption fee

The adoption fees listed on Petfinder’s website and other similar sites are just a ballpark estimate of how much you can expect to pay, as they vary depending on the organization. Some shelters charge an adoption fee while others do not, so it’s worthwhile to check which ones do before applying. The money collected from these fees is used for various things including spaying/neuting and microchipping animals, as well as covering any medical expenses incurred during their stay at the shelter or rescue agency.

Microchipping fee

Up to $100 (the cost of a dog)

Microchipping is a small, permanent chip implanted under your dog’s skin that contains his/her information. It makes it easier for you and others to identify your pet in case he or she ever gets lost. Microchipping also helps reunite dogs with owners who have been separated for years by adopting an animal from another state or country.

You’ll pay between $10 and $50 for the procedure itself, depending on where you go, what type of veterinarian does it, and whether they charge separately for anesthesia or not.

Spaying or neutering

Spaying and neutering is a crucial step in your dog’s life. It can help prevent unwanted puppies, and it will also help your dog live longer and healthier.

Here are the benefits of spaying or neutering:

  • Your dog will be healthier.
  • Your dog won’t have any surprises when they’re out on a walk with you—in other words, no unexpected litters!

There are also some risks associated with not spaying or neutering your pet:

  • They could develop reproductive cancers later in life.

First vet visit

Make your pet’s first vet visit a memorable one by making sure you have enough money in your wallet. The cost of vaccinations, which are administered during the first visit and last for about a year, can run anywhere from $100 to $190 depending on the type of vaccine. A checkup—which includes an examination by a veterinarian, an initial blood panel and deworming medicine—will typically cost less than that, at roughly $50 to $90.

Food and supplies for a few days

The cost of food, supplies, and other necessities will vary by size and breed. A small dog like a teacup Chihuahua or Pomeranian may only need less than $20 per month to maintain their health—but if you adopt a larger breed like an Irish Wolfhound or Great Dane (or even an American Pit Bull Terrier), keep in mind that these dogs can eat upwards of 40 pounds of food per month at about $4 per pound.

Be sure to budget for any unexpected expenses as well: emergency vet visits, basic training classes and gear (leashes and collars), grooming tools such as brushes and nail trimmers. Don’t forget extras like toys; after all, what’s life without some fun? You may also want to consider bedding for your pup’s crate or kennel when they’re not home with you!


A dog license is an important part of being a responsible pet owner. If you don’t have one, it’s very easy to get into trouble with the authorities and be fined up to $500 in some places.

Some states require that you get your dog’s license before purchasing it; others allow you to buy a license after getting the animal home. In some cases, this will mean paying more than if you’d purchased one at the same time. However, most jurisdictions offer discounts for purchasing multiple licenses at once—which may make sense if your furry friend will be spending lots of time running around outside with other dogs or sniffing everything within reach (and then rolling in it). A few locales even give away free tags at events like county fairs or other public gatherings where residents can meet their neighbors and learn about local laws regarding animal care, safety considerations when walking pets near roadways, etc., so keep an eye out for upcoming community events near where you live!

Long-term costs

The initial cost of adoption and fees associated with the adoption should be considered a one-time investment. The true cost of owning a dog is more than just buying food and supplies, or licensing fees. It’s important to consider the long-term costs associated with having a dog in your family.

The average lifespan for dogs is 10 to 13 years, so if you’re looking at this as an investment it’s best to think about what happens after those first few years of ownership—and how much you might have to pay for vet bills or other expenses related to your pet’s health.

To help manage those costs, there are some things you can do now:

Health insurance

  • Pet health insurance is a policy designed to cover the costs of your pet’s routine and emergency medical expenses, as well as some behavioral therapy.
  • It may also cover other services such as prescription drugs, diagnostic testing like blood work or radiographs (x-rays), specialized surgery, hospitalization and hospice care.
  • The cost varies by provider but can be anywhere from $15 to $30 per month for a very basic plan that covers only accidents and illnesses to $100 or more for comprehensive coverage that includes most treatments available at the vet’s office including dental work and wellness visits.

Food and treats

The most important cost associated with your dog is its food. A good rule of thumb is to figure out how much food your dog needs per day and then multiply that by seven (the number of days in a week). This will give you an estimate of the amount of dog food you’ll need to buy each month.

Practically, this can be done by measuring your dogs current diet and coming up with an average daily amount. Then divide it by 24 hours, then multiply that by seven to get a monthly quantity needed per month. For example:

  • A Lab weighing 50 lbs eats 2 cups of dry food per day, for an average daily rate of 3 oz./day (.66 lbs)
  • Dividing this into 24 hours gives us 0.22 lbs/hour which we’ll round up to 0.25 lbs/hour for simplicity’s sake until we get something more exact (and because dogs aren’t machines).
  • Multiplying .25 x 7 days = 1 pound 4 ounces or 2 pounds if compounding weekly instead of daily; which means our dog consumes about 6 pounds worth of kibble every week!

Vet visits, vaccines and medications

While there is no way to avoid vet visits, vaccines and medications entirely, there are a few things you can do to save money.

The first step is to make sure you are taking your dog to the right veterinarian. While this may not seem like a big deal, the cost of a veterinarian can range from $20 per visit at a low-cost clinic on up to $100 or more for an appointment with an expensive private practice. For example, if you bring your dog in for annual shots and checkups at a cheap clinic, it could cost you as little as $50—but if your dog needs extensive surgery later on at an expensive clinic (e.g., due to an injury), those same shots would end up costing over twice as much ($200).

Professional grooming and teeth cleaning

Professional grooming and teeth cleaning are two of the most important parts of taking care of your dog. Grooming keeps your pet looking and feeling good, while regular teeth cleaning is an essential part of keeping them healthy. Both professional grooming and professional teeth cleaning can be costly, but there are options if you want to save money on these services.

You can groom your own dog at home or get someone else to do it for you; just make sure they’re experienced with giving baths, cutting nails and trimming fur. The same goes for teeth cleaning! If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, find a vet who specializes in small animals—they’ll be able to tell you which toothpaste works best on your dog’s pearly whites (and probably give them some tips on brushing).

Pet sitter or kennel fees when you travel without your dog

There are several ways to leave your dog when you travel. If you have a friend or family member who is willing to care for your dog while you’re away, this can be a great option. Pet sitters who specialize in dog care also make an excellent choice if they offer the same level of services as someone from your own circle, but at a lower cost. Another option is boarding your dog at a kennel, which usually offers all-day playtime and regular walks, as well as other activities tailored to specific breeds’ needs. Or maybe there’s another way: perhaps instead of leaving them home alone all day while you’re at work and then returning late at night (or having them stay inside while their walker comes by), it would be better for everyone if they came along on vacation with you!

Don’t get a dog if you don’t want to pay for all of this.

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If you’ve made it through this list and still think that you can afford owning a dog, then it’s time for you to get started on your new life with four-legged friend!

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