How Much Will That Dog Really Cost?

Karen Peak
by Karen Peak
View Biography

I read a quote that stated the average dog owner spends about $600 per year on the family pet. I mentioned this figure to my husband and he replied "Yeah, if there is an emergency, I can see that." Being the loving wife I am, I did a quick calculation of what we spend per year, per dog without including emergencies. What I came up with was very close to the $600 estimate. So, I decided to go a bit further and look at numbers. This is what I came up with - the true cost of a dog.

Before I continue I need to mention that some of these prices will vary based on size of the dog and where you get supplies. A smaller dog will eat far less than a larger dog. Some breeds require professional grooming which will add to annual costs. A dog with a health condition may cost more over time than a dog without a health condition. These numbers I came up with are just guides and not set in stone!

Cost of Puppy

Puppies for sale can range from $50 through a shelter upwards to about $750 from a breeder (breeder prices will often range between $500 - $800 on average based on many factors and please know how to tell a reputable breeder over one who is not).

The First Year

  • 9 week puppy shots: $35 - $50 depending on vet
  • 12 week puppy shots: $35 - $50 depending on vet
  • 16 weeks rabies shot: $7 - $40 depending on where you go
  • Heartworm preventative: $40 - $100 per year depending on size of dog & type of preventative
  • Collar: $5 - $20
  • Leash:$5 - $20
  • Toys (puppies and dogs need a variety):$8 - $17
  • Various chews: $2 - $10ea
  • Crate: $25 - $150
  • Food: $15 - $30 (per bag for good, premium food - cost per year will vary based on dog)
  • Puppy Classes: $45 - $125 per session
  • Basic Obedience Classes: $45 - $125 per session
  • Spay/Neuter: $75 - $150 based on gender and size of dog

So depending on your individual expenses, you could easily spend $300 - $900 on your puppy the first year alone. You can easily exceed the cost of the pup you paid for. So, that cheap little pup one had to find is really not a cheap little pup!

As He Grows:

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