The 16 Cheapest Dog Breeds to Own


After studying the cost of over 150 breeds in the US, reviewing thousands of puppy ads, and interviewing many pet professionals, I thought it would be interesting to find the least expensive breeds to own based on the monthly expenses that an owner should expect. I considered many expenses, such as the cost of the dog itself, supplies, food and treats, training, grooming, vet, license, and microchip.

Small dogs such as Toy Fox Terriers, Miniature Pinschers, Chinese Cresteds, Manchester Terriers, Italian Greyhounds, and Pugs are the least expensive breeds based on monthly expenses. An owner can expect to spend less than $100 per month on average in essential expenses only for these dogs.

Additionally, costs like insurance ($565 per year on average), spaying or neutering ($100 to $500), dog walking ($15 to $50 per walk), or boarding services ($25 to $85 per day) would increase the cost of ownership as well. It is also essential to know that cost can vary significantly depending on products and services quality and the area you live in.

Below, we detail each breed’s cost based on professional recommendations and estimations from a dog trainer, two licensed veterinarians, a certified groomer, and a dog walker from the US. If you are interested in a specific breed, check the related cost article to learn everything there is to know and find professional tips. You will also find a cost calculator that will enable you to establish a budget based on your needs and preferences.

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Essential costs to consider for a dog

Before going into details about the cost for the 16 cheapest dog breeds, here is a quick explanation of the expenses considered essentials in this article.

Puppy or dog

We have accounted for the cost of acquiring a dog. In the US, a puppy will cost $1,300 on average ($1,100 for the cheapest dog breeds below), and most will fall in the $500 to $2,500 range. It could be much more for quality show purebred dogs with a prestigious bloodline. On the other hand, adoption is much cheaper and generally costs $50 to $500.

If you want to know more about the price of puppies in the US or compare this breed with 150 others, check our puppy prices article based on the analysis of close to 50,000 ads (for 151 different breeds).

Supplies

Any owner will need to purchase dog supplies for their dog. The bigger the dog, the more expensive it gets. We have considered prices for the following items in this research: bowls, leash, collar with ID tag, bed and crate, poop bags and scooper, training pads, odor removal spray, toys, first-aid kit, brush, shampoo, tooth-brushing kit, and toenail clippers. Some owners could need more supplies. Although the initial investment is higher, some items will need to be replenished or replaced, and an owner will have to buy dog supplies every year.

Check our Dog Supplies Guide and get tips to choose the right items for you and your dog (bowls, collar, leash, bed and crate size, etc.). Learn everything about costs, and find the best products available.

Basic training

Every dog would benefit from training. Although some breeds tend to be more docile, each dog is very different, and training needs must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Whether the owner trains the dog himself or hires a professional for group or private lessons, a dog should always be properly socialized, know basic training commands, be potty and crate trained. Positive reinforcement training methods will give the best results.

Medical costs

It is recommended that a puppy goes to the vet at least three times during the first year and an adult dog at least once every year. These appointments are for a physical checkup, necessary vaccines, and any recommended examination or test. Veterinarians like Dr. Brooks, DVM, recommend using heartworm, flea, and tick prevention medication to reduce the risks for the dog to develop a dangerous illness. The smaller the dog, the cheaper it is.

Read our article titled a veterinarian explains medical costs for a dog to learn more and get tips to save on vet expenses.

Food and treats

There are so many types of food, diets, and brands that it can be overwhelming. To establish the costs in this article, we have considered some of the most popular dry food brands as it remains the most common dog food type. In general, bigger dogs will need to eat more, but other factors such as age and activity level will also have an impact.

Treats can easily be more expensive than food if given daily. There are many reasons to give a dog treat: to supplement his diet, stimulate him, help with training, etc.

When it comes to food and treats, prices are all over the place. Some brands are very accessible, while some premium quality products can be considerably more expensive.

Grooming

Short-haired dogs or the ones with a low-maintenance coat could be groomed at home with basic supplies. Visiting a grooming salon could be avoided if the owner is willing to do the essential grooming himself. Brush the dog regularly (ideally daily), cut his nails once every 2 to 6 weeks, brush his teeth at least once a week (ideally more), and bathe him once every one to three months. Clean the eyes with cotton and water and the ears with an ear cleaning solution when necessary. And if needed, remove any extra hair under the paws, around the eyes, and in the ears.

Wire-haired, long-coated, or curly-coated breeds will most likely need to be professionally groomed multiple times every year on top of that as it would be too challenging for most owners to care for their coats.

License and microchip

Licenses are mandatory almost everywhere and usually are between $10 and $20 yearly in the USA, depending on your location. A microchip is also required in most states and usually costs from $25 to $50. Both are useful to identify the dog if he gets lost and make locating you much easier.

Cheapest dog breeds in the US

16 – Pekingese – $100/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $1,800
Average First Year Expenses: $1,505 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $1,030
Average Cost of Ownership: $15,665
Cost of Ownership Range: $6,620 – $26,110
Average Monthly Cost: $100

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 83
Weight: 7 to 14 lb.
Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years
Breed Personality: Affectionate, Loyal, Regal in Manner

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Pekingese or learn Where to Find a Pekingese Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

15 – Schipperke – $100/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $850
Average First Year Expenses: $2,440 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $1,025
Average Cost of Ownership: $15,590
Cost of Ownership Range: $7,420 – $24,075
Average Monthly Cost: $100

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 106
Weight: 10 to 16 lb.
Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years
Breed Personality: Confident, Alert, Curious

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Schipperke or learn Where to Find a Schipperke Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

14 – Beagle – $100/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $550
Average First Year Expenses: $1,595 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $1,120
Average Cost of Ownership: $15,585
Cost of Ownership Range: $7,200 – $24,795
Average Monthly Cost: $100

It is easy to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 7
Weight: 20 to 30 lb.
Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years
Breed Personality: Friendly, Curious, Merry

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Beagle or learn Where to Find a Beagle Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

13 – Chihuahua – $100/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $800
Average First Year Expenses: $2,480 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $1,045
Average Cost of Ownership: $17,910
Cost of Ownership Range: $9,250 – $27,985
Average Monthly Cost: $100

It is very easy to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 35
Weight: 3 to 6 lb.
Life Expectancy: 14 to 16 years
Breed Personality: Charming, Graceful, Sassy

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Chihuahua or learn Where to Find a Chihuahua Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

12 – Parson Russell Terrier – $99/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $1,200
Average First Year Expenses: $2,350 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $1,005
Average Cost of Ownership: $16,615
Cost of Ownership Range: $7,475 – $26,350
Average Monthly Cost: $99

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 118
Weight: 13 to 17 lb.
Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years
Breed Personality: Friendly, Clever, Athletic

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Parson Russell Terrier or learn Where to Find a Parson Russell Terrier Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

11 – Jack Russell Terrier – $99/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $1,000
Average First Year Expenses: $2,585 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $985
Average Cost of Ownership: $15,405
Cost of Ownership Range: $7,370 – $23,895
Average Monthly Cost: $99

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 75
Weight: 9 to 15 lb.
Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years
Breed Personality: Alert, Inquisitive, Lively

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Jack Russell Terrier or learn Where to Find a Jack Russell Terrier Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

10 – Smooth Fox Terrier – $98/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $900
Average First Year Expenses: $2,425 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $1,015
Average Cost of Ownership: $16,520
Cost of Ownership Range: $8,000 – $25,850
Average Monthly Cost: $98

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 122
Weight: 15 to 18 lb.
Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years
Breed Personality: Friendly, Independent, Amusing

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Smooth Fox Terrier or learn Where to Find a Smooth Fox Terrier Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

9 – Papillon – $98/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $1,000
Average First Year Expenses: $2,440 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $1,015
Average Cost of Ownership: $17,650
Cost of Ownership Range: $8,980 – $27,015
Average Monthly Cost: $98

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 53
Weight: 5 to 10 lb.
Life Expectancy: 14 to 16 years
Breed Personality: Friendly, Alert, Happy

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Papillon or learn Where to Find a Papillon Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

8 – American Hairless Terrier – $97/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $1,500
Average First Year Expenses: $2,195 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $980
Average Cost of Ownership: $17,415
Cost of Ownership Range: $8,505 – $26,585
Average Monthly Cost: $97

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 124
Weight: 12 to 16 lb.
Life Expectancy: 14 to 16 years
Breed Personality: Energetic, Alert, Curious

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own an American Hairless Terrier or learn Where to Find an American Hairless Terrier Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

7 – Pug – $96/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $1,175
Average First Year Expenses: $1,580 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $1,035
Average Cost of Ownership: $16,210
Cost of Ownership Range: $7,025 – $26,090
Average Monthly Cost: $96

It is very easy to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 31
Weight: 14 to 18 lb.
Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years
Breed Personality: Charming, Mischievous, Loving

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Pug or learn Where to Find a Pug Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

6 – Italian Greyhound – $96/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $1,600
Average First Year Expenses: $2,120 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $970
Average Cost of Ownership: $17,300
Cost of Ownership Range: $8,430 – $27,685
Average Monthly Cost: $96

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 67
Weight: 7 to 14 lb.
Life Expectancy: 14 to 15 years
Breed Personality: Playful, Alert, Sensitive

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own an Italian Greyhound or learn Where to Find an Italian Greyhound Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

5 – Rat Terrier – $96/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $700
Average First Year Expenses: $2,585 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $1,000
Average Cost of Ownership: $17,285
Cost of Ownership Range: $8,605 – $26,815
Average Monthly Cost: $96

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 91
Weight: 10 to 25 lb.
Life Expectancy: 12 to 18 years
Breed Personality: Friendly, Inquisitive, Lovable

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Rat Terrier or learn Where to Find a Rat Terrier Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

4 – Manchester Terrier – $94/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $1,600
Average First Year Expenses: $1,535 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $1,000
Average Cost of Ownership: $18,135
Cost of Ownership Range: $8,660 – $28,600
Average Monthly Cost: $94

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 140
Weight: 12 to 22 lb.
Life Expectancy: 15 to 17 years
Breed Personality: Spirited, Bright, Keenly Observant

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Manchester Terrier or learn Where to Find a Manchester Terrier Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

3 – Chinese Crested – $94/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $1,100
Average First Year Expenses: $1,505 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $1,030
Average Cost of Ownership: $18,055
Cost of Ownership Range: $7,710 – $29,845
Average Monthly Cost: $94

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 80
Weight: 8 to 12 lb.
Life Expectancy: 13 to 18 years
Breed Personality: Affectionate, Alert, Lively

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Chinese Crested or learn Where to Find a Chinese Crested Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

2 – Miniature Pinscher – $93/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $700
Average First Year Expenses: $2,395 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $970
Average Cost of Ownership: $15,705
Cost of Ownership Range: $7,500 – $24,560
Average Monthly Cost: $93

It is hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 74
Weight: 8 to 10 lb.
Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years
Breed Personality: Fearless, Fun-Loving, Proud

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Miniature Pinscher or learn Where to Find a Miniature Pinscher Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

1 – Toy Fox Terrier – $91/month on average

Average Puppy Price: $800
Average First Year Expenses: $2,365 (plus the dog’s cost)
Average Adult Year Expenses: $930
Average Cost of Ownership: $15,255
Cost of Ownership Range: $7,390 – $23,800
Average Monthly Cost: $91

It is very hard to find a puppy
Breed Popularity Ranking: 107
Weight: 3 to 7 lb.
Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years
Breed Personality: Friendly, Alert, Intelligent

Considering this breed? Read our article about The Cost to Own a Toy Fox Terrier or learn Where to Find a Toy Fox Terrier Puppy to Buy or Dog to Adopt.

If you couldn’t find the breed you were looking for in this list, check our breeds page to see more options and get all the information on your favorite dogs.

The total cost of ownership – cheapest breeds

When looking at the total cost of ownership instead of monthly expenses, the result is slightly different. This is mainly because some small breeds tend to have a shorter lifespan than others. Even if they cost a bit more in terms of monthly or yearly expenses, they are cheaper when calculating the total amount spent for the dog throughout his life.

  • 10 – Chinese Shar-Pei: Average Cost of Ownership = $15,930 (Average Life Expectancy = 10 years)
  • 9 – Miniature Pinscher: Average Cost of Ownership = $15,705 (Average Life Expectancy = 14 years)
  • 8 – Pekingese: Average Cost of Ownership = $15,665 (Average Life Expectancy = 13 years)
  • 7 – Schipperke: Average Cost of Ownership = $15,590 (Average Life Expectancy = 13 years)
  • 6 – Beagle: Average Cost of Ownership = $15,585 (Average Life Expectancy = 13 years)
  • 5 – Jack Russell Terrier: Average Cost of Ownership = $14,405 (Average Life Expectancy = 13 years)
  • 4 – Toy Fox Terrier: Average Cost of Ownership = $15,255 (Average Life Expectancy = 14 years)
  • 3 – English Toy Spaniel: Average Cost of Ownership = $14,980 (Average Life Expectancy = 11 years)
  • 2 – Boston Terrier: Average Cost of Ownership = $14,620 (Average Life Expectancy = 12 years)
  • 1 – Japanese Chin: Average Cost of Ownership = $13,965 (Average Life Expectancy = 11 years)

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Additional costs to consider for a dog

Pet insurance

According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, the average premium for accident and illness insurance is close to $49 monthly. This will vary a lot depending on your location, the dog’s breed, and age.

Some medical conditions can be expensive to treat (hundreds or even thousands of dollars). Although purebred dogs may have a higher incidence of some inherited disorders, mixed breed dogs are also likely to develop health conditions, such as cancer and heart disorders. No dog owner should have to make critical decisions about their pets based on their ability to afford care. That’s why pet insurance is more popular every year in the US.

If you wonder whether or not you should get pet insurance, we have a simple step-by-step guide to help you make the decision. This could save you thousands of dollars. Also, be aware that there is an alternative to traditional pet insurance available on the market.

Community coverage VS Insurance

Eusoh: Better than Pet Insurance for Complete Health Coverage
Eusoh is a community-based pet insurance alternative in which members share the cost of their veterinary expenses. You get reimbursed for your pet’s medical, wellness, illness, routine care expenses but never pay more than $65/month ($40 on average).

For complete health coverage at a low cost, Eusoh is the best option. On average, members save around 50% when compared to traditional pet insurance. I love the idea of not having to worry about being able to afford medical care for my furry companion. Dogs are family, after all!

– There is no premium, so you don’t overpay for care in your monthly contributions. Any unused contributions are rolled over entirely as a credit.
– You can easily know in advance what will be reimbursed and by how much (usually 80%), and you can submit expenses easily from your smartphone.
– You can choose the veterinarian or healthcare provider you want and are covered for a broader range of services.
– You can get advice from other Eusoh members.

Spaying or neutering

Most specialists recommend that every dog should be spayed or neutered. It remains the owner’s decision in most cases, but know that the procedure could cost $100 to $500 depending on the clinic and the dog’s size.

Dog walking

If you cannot take your dog outside during the day, a dog walker is essential to prevent the dog from getting bored and potentially develop behavioral or health issues. Dog walking usually costs $15 to $25 for a 30-minute walk and $20 to $50 for a one-hour walk. You must be aware that those costs add up very quickly if you need a dog walker five days a week all year long.

Dog boarding

If you are traveling and cannot leave your dog in the care of a family member or friend, dog boarding will usually cost between $25 and $85 per day. It could be more expensive depending on the time of the year.

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If you want to know whether to train your dog yourself or hire a professional and learn about the cost of training classes and supplies, check our article written with a certified dog trainer.

Conclusion

Five of the cheapest dog breeds anyone could own are Toy Fox Terriers, Miniature Pinschers, Chinese Cresteds, Manchester Terriers, and Pugs. On average, these dogs should cost $100 or less per month in essential expenses.

It is not surprising to see that miniature dog breeds dominate this ranking. The smaller the dog, the less expensive almost everything is in general. Small dogs tend to eat less, need less expensive parasite prevention medication, need smaller products, cost less than a bigger dog with the same coat type to groom, etc. Some larger breeds (but still small dogs), like the Beagle, appear as well because they are very low-maintenance, especially when it comes to grooming, and puppies are usually affordable.

WONDERING HOW AND WHERE TO FIND A PUPPY TO BUY OR A DOG TO ADOPT? Our Guide will help you find a dog near you. We share the 26 best places to find your perfect pet.

Summary for the most popular dog breeds

An Italian Greyhound puppy is likely to cost between $1,200-$3,000, with the average price being $1,600. First-year expenses are around $2,120 and will be about $970/year after that. Through the dog’s lifetime, the average cost of owning an Italian Greyhound is $17,300.

A Pug puppy is likely to cost between $600-$1,900, with the average price being $1,175. First-year expenses are around $1,580 and will be about $1,035/year after that. Through the dog’s lifetime, the average cost of owning a Pug is $16,210.

A Papillon puppy is likely to cost between $500-$1,900, with the average price being $1,000. First-year expenses are around $2,440 and will be about $1,015/year after that. Through the dog’s lifetime, the average cost of owning a Papillon Dog is $17,650.

A Jack Russell Terrier puppy is likely to cost between $500-$1,500, with the average price being $1,000. First-year expenses are around $2,585 and will be about $985/year after that. Through the dog’s lifetime, the average cost of owning a Jack Russell Terrier is $15,405.

A Chihuahua puppy is likely to cost between $375-$2,420, with the average price being $800. First-year expenses are around $2,480 and will be about $1,045/year after that. Through the dog’s lifetime, the average cost of owning a Chihuahua is $17,960.

A Beagle puppy is likely to cost between $295-$1,125, with the average price being $550. First-year expenses are around $1,595 and will be about $1,120/year after that. Through the dog’s lifetime, the average cost of owning a Beagle is $15,585.

A Pekingese puppy is likely to cost between $800-$3,745, with the average price being $1,800. First-year expenses are around $1,505 and will be about $1,030/year after that. Through the dog’s lifetime, the average cost of owning a Pekingese is $15,665.

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This article is original content from PetBudget.

Johann Chapuis

Johann Chapuis has assembled a fantastic team of licensed veterinarians, animal behaviorists, dog trainers, groomers, and walkers to write every article and offer the most accurate content on petbudget.com. Being a pet lover and owner himself, Johann is sharing his experiences and his financial aptitude cultivated during his MBA with a specialization in finance and the numerous years he spent working as a business manager and entrepreneur.

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