How Much Does it Cost to Have a Dog?



Q: How much does it really cost to have a dog?

A: That ball of fur may be adorable, but having a dog doesn’t come cheap!

Here’s a rundown of what buying and owning a dog can cost.

Start-up costs

Buying a purebred will run you $500-$2K, but a dog from a shelter can cost as little as $50, or up to $200.

You’ll need some doggy gear, including a bed, a collar and leash, a feeding bowl, and some toys. These will run you approximately $50.

Getting your dog trained can cost as little as $25 for a single class, or up to $300 for a full course of training and resource materials.

Getting your dog spayed or neutered can add $20-$300 to your initial costs. Licensing, vaccinations, and a microchip will bring that total up by $110-$360.

Total one-time costs: $255-$3,060

Ongoing costs

Now you’ll need to consider what it costs to care for your pet each month.

Dog food

The cheapest dog food can cost less than a dollar a pound. But if going gourmet, expect to pay up to $1.60/lb.

The size of your dog also plays a role in the total food costs. A 3-pound pup will only need 1⅓ cup of food a day, compared to the 4½ cups of food a 100-pound beast will consume.

Finally, consider your dog’s dietary requirements. A bag of food for dogs with sensitive stomachs is $2.60/lb.

Total monthly cost: $20-80 

Preventative health care and routine wellness visits

All dogs will need some medication to prevent common conditions. Most vets also advise dog owners to bring their pets in for a wellness checkup at least once a year.

Total monthly cost: $20-80

Grooming and bathing 

If you’ll be hiring someone to bathe and groom your doggy, these costs can add another $100 to your monthly dog costs.

Total monthly cost: $0-100

Doggy daycare, boarding, and walking

Doggy daycare averages $40/day, while overnight stays can cost $100 a night.

Professional dog-walking services can charge as much as $30 for every half-hour walk.

Total monthly cost: $0-600

After the initial costs, expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $960 a month in total dog costs.

That furry friend doesn’t come cheap! Make sure you can afford these new expenses before bringing your pet home.