How Much Does a Dog Cost


Taking care of a dog involves a lot more than just owning it. You are responsible for a living, breathing being, and this task is both difficult and costly. So, how much does a dog cost? The cost of dog ownership can be quite high but regardless, most dog parents always want to offer the best they can for their pets. After all, you can’t put a price on the affection you’ll get in return for your care. 

Cost of Owning a Dog – Stats & Facts

  • Dog food for an entire year is estimated between $250 and $750, depending on the dog size and food quality.
  • A single session of dog grooming is priced in the range of $30 to $90.
  • The costs of owning a dog over its entire lifetime may get up to $20,000.
  • Microchipping is a one-time fee of approximately $50.
  • The upfront cost of a service dog starts from $15,000 and may get to as high as $30,000.

Average Price of a Dog

The first thing to budget for when considering getting one or more canine friends is, well… the cost of dogs themselves. So, how much does a dog cost if you get them from a pet store? That would be about $500 or so. The average dog price for the larger and more expensive breeds, however, might run to thousands of dollars. German Shepherds, Bernese mountain dogs, Chow-Chows, and Rottweiler, are among those with the highest price tags. In contrast, the cheapest dog breeds are the American Foxhound, Black and Tan Coonhound, and Rat Terrier.


Annual Cost of Having a Dog

To create the right budget, plan ahead. Below you will find a breakdown of the most significant costs involved in taking care of a doggy and an estimate of the monthly expenses for a dog.

Initial Dog Expenses

Depending on how you go about with it, adopting a dog might be totally free if it’s a rescue or stray dog. Either way, the average cost of owning a dog per year will be higher for a new pet since it will include initial vaccines and other veterinary procedures, such as tests or treatment in the case of a rescue. These can cost between $50 and $300. 

You will also need to consider the startup supplies like bowls, a collar, and leash, toys, bed, etc. Depending on how much you want to spoil the little puppy, add another $50 to $300 to your spending list. Licensing costs $10 to $20 while microchipping is another $50.

One more thing that every pet owner must consider is spaying/neutering the animal. While opinions on whether you should do it and when vary, if you decide to go with it, it will add another $300 or so to the cost of a dog.


Dog Food Cost

You can’t consider the average yearly cost of owning a dog without budgeting for its proper nourishment. The price of feeding a pup varies drastically, depending on the type of dog, size, preferences, and the food you provide. In general, the average dog food cost per month ranges between $20 and $60. However, you should also keep in mind that special foods like veterinary therapeutic diets or special-order raw food, for example, may bring up the cost of dog food by $100 or more per month.

To budget the annual cost of owning a dog correctly, you must think in perspective. As such, expect the dog food cost per year to get from about $250 all the way up to $700 if you go fancy. Also, consider that one bag of dry food will last approximately two weeks. Sometimes it can be a good idea to stack up, reducing the dog food cost per month. Bulk-buying dog food, however, should be done only after you are sure that your dog will eat it and it won’t upset their stomach. 

(The Spruce Pets, Pallaby)

Dog Health Insurance Costs

As a canine owner, you should consider pet insurance, especially if your pet is purebred since they are more vulnerable. Dog health insurance covers unfortunate accidents and illnesses (digestion problems, allergies, infections, cancer) that may arise. We recommend that you budget accordingly and expect to add between $10 and $100 to the monthly cost of owning a dog due to the price of premiums for pets. The average cost of dog insurance depends on its breed, age, history, and which pet insurance company and plan you choose. 


Dog Grooming Costs

Dog groomers will charge different prices, based on the pet’s size, how much fur it has, and if it requires additional services like teeth cleaning and nail clipping. All things considered, the dog grooming costs average stands between $30 and $90 for each session. Depending on how often you will groom your dog, add between $100 and $1,000 to the average annual cost of owning a dog.  

(The Dirty Dog Pet Services)

Dog Daycare Cost

This is optional, but if you have a busy schedule and feel like your heart shreds every time you shut the door behind you and hear those soul-sinking puppy growls, it is the best option. Dog care costs can get pretty substantial if you go with professional services instead of hiring a relative or a neighbor, thus adding up to the yearly cost of owning a dog. 

Commercial facilities will charge you approximately $30 per day, while smaller, in-home doggy daycares cost between $20 and $40 daily. Recurring customers and people who pay in advance for large chunks of time do generally get discounts. Still, daycare is an expensive service that will add up a few thousand dollars to the annual cost of dog ownership. 


Preventive Medical Care

Besides getting insurance for your pup, regular visits to the vet are a good idea, and not just for deworming and flea/tick meds. Check up on the little one and see if everything is going how it’s supposed to. Sure, the cost of owning a dog per year might get a bump due to this, as it will require somewhere around $50 to $100. However, this might actually be cheaper in the long run if you prevent other problems from appearing and address them early. 



Although there’s no telling exactly how much traveling with a dog will cost you, it is something to consider especially if your lifestyle involves frequent travels. The prices will vary a lot if you take your canine companion with you or leave it at home or daycare. 


Again, this is not something that we can pin an exact number to or even a rough estimate, but it is a necessity. Your pet will, most likely, add to the usual cleaning that you had to do, especially if it’s particularly furry or if it’s a chewer. You must add additional cleaning fees to the list of the average cost of owning a dog per month when you consider your options. 

Lifetime Cost of a Dog

In general, although they might get the roughly correct picture of the short-term costs, people tend to miss estimating the total price of owning a pet significantly. If we were to round up the annual cost of a dog and the monthly cost of a dog, considering a lifespan of 12 years, what are the results? The average cost of owning a dog over its lifetime seems to be between $5,000 and $20,000. 


Price of a Dog vs That of a Cat

All things considered, cats require less maintenance, and keeping one is cheaper. The cost of having a dog per year will be significantly higher due to having to buy more food, cleaning more, and higher vet bills. Also, cats don’t usually require walking or dog-care as their canine counterparts do. As such, the cost of owning a cat vs dog battle is won by felines. 

Dog Cost FAQ

How much does it cost to neuter a dog?

Neutering a male dog is cheaper than spaying a female as it is a less complicated surgery. Although it depends on the pet’s breed and age, among some other variables like location and clinic, the procedure should be in the range of $35 to $250.

(Daily Paws)

How much does it cost to spay a dog?

If you plan on spaying your pet, budget adding anywhere from $50 to $500 to the cost of owning a dog. The range is so drastic as there are significant variations depending on the dog breed and your location.

(Daily Paws)

How much does it cost to put a dog down?

Most veterinary procedures are expensive, and this unfortunate one is no different. The euthanization of a dog costs between $150 and $300.

(Heart in Diamond)

How much does it cost to microchip a dog?

As one of the most popular and necessary dog expenses, microchipping is a one-time fee of about $45.


How much does it cost to cremate a dog?

To individually cremate your pet, you must pay between $50 and $150 on average.

(Daily Paws)

How much does it cost to adopt a dog?

Before calculating the average cost of owning a dog, you must consider the price of the pet itself, of course. Of course, it will vary dramatically depending on what breed you get, but don’t expect anything less than $50 to $150 for a purebred. Adopting a rescue, on the other hand, comes without such a hefty price tag. 


How much does it cost to board a dog?

Boarding will add to the expenses of owning a dog with $25 per day, $40 per night, or $150 weekly more to the average monthly cost of owning a dog.


How much does it cost to fly a dog?

Something that doesn’t instantly come to mind when you think of the cost of having a dog are travel expenses. Airlines will charge around $100 to $125 per flight to bring your pet along.

(American Express)

How much does it cost to ship a dog?

The average cost for 300 miles stands between $120 to $250, while long-distance shipments range between $270 to $500.


How much does it cost to clone a dog?

If you thought the average cost of owning a dog is high, wait until you hear this. To clone your pet, you must pay $50,000.


How much does a dog cost per year?

The dog ownership costs for an entire year are about from $380 to $1,170, depending on how much you spoil the pet.


How much does a service dog cost?

The National Service Animal Registry estimates that, on average, the cost of a service dog is around $15,000-$30,000 upfront. However, it can get to $50,000. This depends on the task it will have to do and what its responsibilities will be.

(Amplify Credit Union)

How much does it cost to buy a dog?

You can expect to pay somewhere around $660. Some breeds, however, cost thousands of dollars, or you might end up paying close to $0 if you adopt a dog from a shelter.


How much does a dog cost per month?

Expect the monthly dog cost to be around $150.


How much does a dog walker cost?

Consider adding about $14 to $20 per session to the cost of owning a dog per month if you plan on using this service.

(The Herald-Times)

How much does it cost to register a dog?

The cost of registering a dog is included in the microchipping price, and it is in the range of $50.

(Paoli Vetcare)

How much does a vet visit cost for a sick dog?

On average, expect to pay $50 for each sick visit to the vet. However, also consider that at times it may go as high as $250 or be free.


How much does it cost to vaccinate a dog?

Another significant but necessary expense that you must add to the cost are the vaccines which are usually priced between $50 and $300.


How much does it cost to train a service dog?

For basic tasks, the price starts at $7,000. The cost of having a dog fully trained can run up to $30,000.

(Speak Dog Tri-Cities)

How much does it cost to sedate a dog for nail trimming?

Depending on the dog size, anesthesia will require between $40 and $180 for small-sized pups and between $50 to $220 for bigger ones.


How much does it cost to train a dog?

Typically, one dog training class is priced at about $30 to $80. 


How much does a rabies shot cost for a dog?

Rabies shots for dogs cost between $15 and $20.

(Southwest Veterinary Clinic)

How much does a dog MRI cost?

Although very helpful in detecting diseases in a non-invasive way, a dog MRI can run up to $2,000 in costs.


How much does a therapy dog cost?

If you plan on getting one, the cost of owning a dog that is used for therapy is between $15,000 and $30,000.


How much does a dog X-ray cost?

Unfortunately, the cost to own a dog may include unfortunate spendings like veterinary procedures. A single X-ray costs about $5-$125. Follow-up X-rays will add another $25 to $75.


How much does a dog blood test cost?

Depending on the type of investigation, allergy testing may be priced anywhere between $200 and $300, while geriatric screening costs between $85 and $110.

(Wellness Pet Food)

How much does an ultrasound cost for a dog?

A general practice vet will charge you about $300, while a specialist requires approximately $450.


How much does it cost to quarantine a dog for 10 days?

An unexpected plus to the cost of owning a dog, quarantine for 10 days can get up to $400.

(Payson Roundup)

How much does a dog license cost?

Licensing fees may vary from state to state. However, most of them charge $20, but the costs are higher if your dog is not spayed or neutered.


How much does a dog sitter cost?

Dog sitters tend to charge, on average, $30 for 30-minute visits during the day and $75 to $85 to watch them overnight.


How much does it cost to bury a dog?

This depends drastically on your preferences and might even be free. If you choose to buy a spot in a pet cemetery, expect to pay a few hundred dollars on it, depending on its size. You can add another few hundred for additional services like headstones and such.

(Pet Insurance)

How much does dog food cost per month?

Anywhere from $20 to $60, depending on the dog size and food quality.

(The Spruce Pets)

What is the cost of owning a dog in NYC?

On average, New Yorkers spend about $2,041 to buy a dog. Then, they pay $9 for licensing and $591 on their first veterinary visits. It’s estimated that it costs $2,351 per year to care for a dog in New York City.


How much does it cost to have a dog in India?

The average monthly maintenance costs of a dog in India are approximately ₹3,500 (around $50) to ₹10,000 (circa $140). Buying a canine meanwhile starts at about ₹4,000-₹600,000 ($55) and can go up to thousands of dollars, depending on the breed.


What is the cost of owning a dog in Toronto?

According to the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, the total cost for 13 years is about at least $28,700.

(Toronto Star)

How much does it cost to have a dog in the UK?

To own a dog in the United Kingdom, expect to pay an average of £1,183 per year (or a little over $1,600). Buying a canine friend will cost between £50 to £1,000 depending on the breeder, if it’s a rescue, and its size and breed.

(ThisMoney, MoneyAdvice)

What is the cost of owning a dog in NZ?

The N.Z. Companion Animal Council puts the estimated yearly cost of a dog at NZD1,686 (or about $1,200).

(New Zealand Now)

How much does it cost to have a dog in the Philippines?

Your money requirements for buying a pup from the pet store in the Philippines will vary depending on which breed you get. As such, a Chow-Chow will cost you between PHP15,000 to PHP35,000  (circa $300-$720). Being on the more expensive side, a Tibetan Mastiff is priced at PHP120,000 to PHP300,000 (around $2,500-$6,100).


What is the cost of owning a dog in Germany?

Germany is known to be a dog-friendly country, allowing pets in almost any place except grocery stores. In some parts of the country, owners, however, are required to get liability insurance, with yearly costs ranging from €40 to €70 ($50-$80).

(Mademoiselle In DE, TripSavvy)

How much does it cost to have a dog in Singapore?

Adopting a puppy in Singapore will bring a price tag in the range of $70 to $350. The annual recurring cost shall be about S$3,221.

(SingSaver, ValueChampion)

What is the cost of owning a dog in Vancouver?

It is estimated that the median cost of a dog per year in Vancouver is between $700 and $2,000.


How much does it cost to own a dog in Canada?

Canadians should expect to pay approximately C$3,500 ($2,750) per year on dog-related expenses such as food, insurance, veterinary visits, and dog care.


What is the cost of owning a dog in Switzerland?

The total expenses per year for a canine pet for swiss people are about CHF1,500 ($1,600).


How much does it cost to own a dog in Australia?

To adopt a dog in Australia, expect a bill of $0 to $500. If you are buying it from a breeder, the costs can go up in the thousands. Then, expect another $100 per year to take care of it ($500 in the first year due to the startup costs).


What is the cost of owning a dog in Chicago?

Besides the usual expenses, which are pretty much uniform anywhere in the US, Chicago dog owners must also pay $5 for a dog-park permit. Also, it’s essential to know that the fines can get pretty hefty here: up to $400 for not picking up after your pet.

(Windy City Paws)

How much does having a dog cost in Ireland?

The lifetime cost of having a dog in Ireland ranges between €15,000 and €23,000 ($18,000-$27,000).


What is the cost of owning a dog in D.C.?

The average adoption fee in the area is $383, although purebreds can get up to $2,000. The annual first-year cost of having a dog in D.C. is approximately $3,500.


How much does having a dog cost in Dubai?

Despite being considered one of the least pet-friendly places since dogs are banned from the Dubai Marina and many other public spaces and buildings, canine lovers can still make it work somehow. So, how much does a dog cost in this Gulf state? The adoption fee apart from spaying or neutering and such costs is Dh2,000 (circa $545).

(Friday Magazine, Time Out Dubai)

References: Newsweek, MoneyUnder30, The Spruce Pets, Pallaby, ValuePenguin, The Dirty Dog Pet, Services, Rover, Credit, Daily Paws, Heart in Diamond, Petfinder, Money, Daily Paws, HomeGuide, American Express, uShip, MarketWatch, Amplify Credit Union, Thrillist, The Herald-Times, Paoli Vetcare, PetMD, Speak Dog Tri-Cities, PetHelpful, HomeGuide, Southwest Veterinary Clinic, TrustedPals, Wag!, Wellness Pet Food, PetMD, Payson Roundup, KCRW, Thumbtack, Pet Insurance, Amny, Petriever, Toronto Star, ThisMoney, MoneyAdvice, New Zealand Now, eCompareMo, Mademoiselle In DE, TripSavvy, SingSaver, ValueChampion, Straight, Statista, Moneyland, Moneysmart, Windy City Paws, ISPCA, WTOP, Friday Magazine, Time Out Dubai

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