The True Cost of a Dog. Complete Guide with Calculator


Getting a new dog is a fantastic experience. But most people underestimate the expenses necessary to care for their furry friend. After studying the cost of over 150 breeds, reviewing thousands of puppy ads, and interviewing many pet professionals in the US, I thought it would be interesting to share my knowledge.

In this article, you will learn everything you should know about the many expenses to consider when raising a dog: puppy prices, training, food, supplies, preventive healthcare, grooming costs, and more.

Most puppies cost between $500 and $2,500 ($1,300 on average). But it is possible to adopt a dog for $50 to $500. On average, dog owners will spend around $140/month in essential expenses for their pet, which will add up to $21,000 throughout the dog’s lifetime.

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 prices can vary significantly depending on products and services quality and your location.

There is nothing sadder than seeing an abandoned animal, and financial challenges are an important reason why hundreds of thousands of owners rehome their pets each year in the US alone. Keep reading for a detailed breakdown of the expenses, see what applies to you and get opinions from experts. After this reading, you will have an excellent idea of what to expect.

At the very end, we have also added our cost calculator. It will generate an accurate estimation of the overall cost of purchasing and raising a dog according to your situation.

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How much is a puppy?

I have conducted the most extensive research on puppy prices in the US ever made. Over a few months, my team and I have reviewed over 48,000 puppy ads from various sources, including the American Kennel Club, PuppyFind, NextDayPets, and breeders websites.

On average, a puppy will cost $1,300 in the US. Some can be found as low as $50 and others close to $100,000, but in general, 80% of puppies cost between $500 and $2,500. Adoption is much cheaper and generally costs $50 to $500.

RangeAverage Cost
Puppy Cost$500 – $2,500$1,300

If you are actively looking for a dog, we strongly recommend researching and finding a reputable breeder or shelter. This will make a big difference in terms of your dog’s health and well-being. Ideally, think adoption first as thousands of amazing dogs in shelters are looking for a family to love at any given time

WONDERING WHERE TO FIND A PUPPY OR A DOG? Our Guide will help you find a dog near you.

Most common breeds

Here are the prices for some of the most popular puppies. The range represents 80% of the ads found for each one.

BreedPrice Range  Average Price 
Australian Shepherd        $400-1500$800
Beagle $295-1125 $550
Border Collie $300-1000 $700
Boston Terrier $550-1400 $850
Boxer $500-1500 $900
Cavalier King Charles $800-2500 $1500
Chihuahua $375-2420 $800
Cocker Spaniel $500-1500 $800
Dachshund $450-1500 $850
Doberman Pinscher $500-2250 $1000
English Bulldog $1500-4500 $2500
French Bulldog $1800-4500 $2800
German Shepherd $450-1900 $800
German Shorthaired Pointer $500-1000 $800
Golden Retriever $700-2000 $1000
Goldendoodle $1200-3200 $2000
Great Dane $500-1800 $1000
Havanese $650-1800 $1100
Labradoodle $900-2800 $1550
Labrador Retriever $400-1500 $800
Miniature American Shepherd $450-1500 $800
Miniature Schnauzer $600-1800 $950
Pembroke Welsh Corgi $750-1800 $1050
Pomeranian $600-2000 $1200
Pug $600-1900 $1175
Shih Tzu $500-1600 $850
Siberian Husky $400-1200 $650
Standard Poodle $600-2000 $1000
Yorkshire Terrier        $600-2500 $1200

This article is based on information we found while researching and does not guarantee that it will be possible to find a puppy at these prices when the page is read.

If you want to know more about the price of puppies in the US or are curious about other breeds, check our puppy prices article.

Factors affecting the price of puppies and why prices vary for the same breed.

Purebred or mixed. Usually, mixed-breeds are sold at a lower price than purebred dogs.

Bloodline and breeder’s reputation. If the parents are purebred show quality dogs from a reputable breeder, the price will be substantially higher. These breeders also tend to invest more money than others to care for their breeding dogs and puppies.

Registration papers/pedigree. Some breeders are members of kennel clubs, the most famous being the American Kennel Club (AKC). They can also have their breeding dogs and puppies registered, which would also add to their fees.

Health screenings and medical expenses.  Serious breeders will have their breeding dogs and puppies evaluated/tested for different medical conditions. Moreover, some will take their puppies to the vet for an exam, deworming, vaccines, and microchip implantation before selling them. This drives the price higher but also reduces the risk of getting an unhealthy dog.

Training and socialization. Some breeders sell their dogs after they are trained and socialized. It will increase the puppy’s price but generate savings as you most probably won’t have to invest in more training and gives a better chance to get a well-behaved dog.

Breed popularity in the buyer’s location. Local supply and demand will have an impact on puppy prices. For example, small dogs tend to be more popular in metropolitan areas where people live in smaller spaces. Some breeds are more in demand in colder climates, others where hunting is popular, etc. It is worth looking for prices in different locations, but it is risky to buy a dog without seeing it before or at least have met with the breeder and visited the kennel.

Age. As most people want to get their puppy as young as possible, prices tend to be lower when the dog gets older. For example, on average, a 6-month-old pup is likely to be less expensive than an 8-week-old one.

Coat color and markings. Coat color trends can change quickly. For any breed, some colors are more popular than others, sometimes temporarily. When the interest for a specific coat color grows, puppies get more expensive as an increase in demand leads to a higher market price. Also, for purebred dogs, only specific colors and color combinations are accepted by kennel clubs. Finally, puppies with rare colors can be very expensive as well.

The cost of supplies for a dog

As you welcome your puppy or adult dog into your home, there are a few supplies you should have on hand to make things much easier for both of you.

A dog owner can expect to spend $150 to $925 in supplies initially and $55 to $410 every year to renew some of them. It varies depending on the dog’s size, product quality, and brands. Buying second-hand items could reduce the amount by half, while high-end products could easily double it.

Supplies CostRangeAverage
Initial Expenses$150 – $925$425
Yearly Expenses$55 – $410$190

After sorting through more than 250 items across the bestseller lists on various marketplaces and stores, including Amazon, Walmart, and PetSmart, we have established a cost range for essential supplies.

Supplies PricesCost RangeAverage
Food & Water Bowls$5 – $40$15
Dog Collars (x2)$5 – $40$20
Leash$5 – $30$15
ID Tag with Phone Number$5 – $20$10
Dog Bed$15 – $110$50
Dog Crate$20 – $165$65
Plastic Poop Bags (around 1,000)$15 – $110$55
Pooper Scooper$10 – $30$20
House Training Pads (around 100)$15 – $45$25
Stains and Odors Removal Spray$5 – $20$10
Toys$15 – $155$60
First-Aid Kit$15 – $50$30
Brush$5 – $45$15
Shampoo$5 – $20$10
Tooth-brushing Kit$5 – $15$10
Toenail Clippers$5 – $30$15

Additional equipment or items may be necessary in some cases, such as clothing, a playpen, fences, anti-chew spray, muzzle, and harness, but are not included in basic expenses. Take that into consideration when budgeting.

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.

Supplies cost by dog’s size

It goes without saying that the bigger the dog is, the more expensive many products get (bed, crates, toys, etc.). The tables below illustrate this cost difference depending on the dog’s size.

Average dog supplies cost for a small dog (up to 25 lb.)

Supplies CostRangeAverage
Initial Expense$150 – $650$345
Yearly Expenses$55 – $260$140

Average dog supplies cost for a medium-sized dog (26 to 55 lb.)

Supplies CostRangeAverage
Initial Expense$185 – $790$410
Yearly Expenses$75 – $330$185

Average dog supplies cost for a large dog (56 to 75 lb.)

Supplies CostRangeAverage
Initial Expense$215 – $855$450
Yearly Expenses$95 – $385$215

Average dog supplies cost for an extra-large dog (over 75 lb.)

Supplies CostRangeAverage
Initial Expense$245 – $925$495
Yearly Expenses$105 – $410$225

Should your dog be professionally trained?

Every dog would benefit from training. Some breeds tend to be more docile, but 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, learn to walk on a leash, be potty trained and crate trained.

Positive reinforcement training methods will give the best results. Make sure you agree with the approach of the trainer you plan on hiring.

Although some dogs could be trained by an experienced owner, group training sessions are usually recommended for any dog and cost around $150 to $200. Many dogs would also benefit from private lessons for better results. Budget $550 to $1,200 for 3 to 9 sessions with a certified trainer.

In fact, according to our dog trainer and animal behaviorist, Alexa Diaz, Ph.D., dogs could be classified into three categories.

Very easy to train: Some dogs could be trained by an experienced dog owner and not need professional training on top of that. They would still benefit from a few group classes for basic obedience and socialization for better results. For example, many Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, Portuguese Water Dogs, Havaneses, Cocker Spaniels would be in this category, according to Dr. Diaz.

Easy to train: Other dogs will do well with a few group classes. They will offer a great opportunity to learn positive leadership training methods, basic obedience, and house manners, socialize the dog with other people and animals, and maybe address simple behavioral problems such as leash pulling, puppy biting, jumping, or barking. For example, many Australian Shepherds, Beagles, Bichons, Boxers, Collies, Malteses, Mastiffs, Pugs, Shih Tzu, and Poodles would fit this description.

Challenging to train: Finally, on top of group training, some dogs will also need private lessons with a certified dog trainer to adjust well to life with their new family. Some of the concepts covered in group training can be reviewed more in-depth with the trainer’s help. And it is also an excellent opportunity to teach crate training, potty training, and address any problematic behavioral issue. For example, many Belgian Malinois, Boston Terriers, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, French Bulldogs, Westies, and Jack Russels would fit in this category, according to Alexa.

Training CostRangeAverage Cost
Very Easy to Train$0 – $200$100
Easy to Train$150 – $200$175
Challenging to Train$700 – $1,400$1,050

A great way to get ready to welcome a dog into your house is by reading a dog training book beforehand. You can find good inexpensive ones online to find out more about dog behavior and the best ways to interact with them.

Get Ready to Become a Dog Parent with a Free Audiobook

It is primordial to be ready to raise a dog and develop an harmonious relationship between your furry friend and family members. I would not wait until I have the dog to start this process. See it as a parenting class.

The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love
Zak George is a fantastic dog trainer and has the most popular training channel on YouTube. I have listened to this audiobook and could not recommend it enough. The great thing is you can listen to it at no cost with a 30-day Amazon Audible free trial. If you already have an account, make it your next pick.

You will learn everything you need to know to raise, train, and care for your dog: from choosing the right puppy, training techniques, picking supplies, finding a vet, selecting the right food, handling behavioral issues, and much more. You can listen and learn so much about raising a dog while going to work, running errands, exercising, etc. This audiobook can definitely make a difference.

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.

Medical costs for a dog

Over the past years, I have had the chance to work with multiple licensed veterinarians. One of them, Leslie Brooks, DVM, was kind enough to share her knowledge and years of experience. This section will cover vet costs for dogs and share estimates to treat some of the most common health problems.

A dog owner can expect preventive healthcare expenses between $315 and $885 for the first year with a puppy and $240 to $1,075 yearly for a dog, depending on its size. Prices will vary depending on location, medical acts performed, and the clinic. Parasite prevention is usually the most expensive part.

This does not include a spay or neuter procedure (usually $100 to $500).

When it comes to preventive care, the dog’s size is the most significant factor. Primarily because parasite prevention medication is based on weight and gets more costly for bigger dogs. The same logic applies when it comes to spaying or neutering procedures.

Medical CostRangeAverage Cost
First Year Vet Cost$315 – $885$600
Spay/Neuter (optional)$50 – $500$275
Gastropexy (optional – for large dogs only)$200 – $400$300
Adult Year Vet Cost$240 – $1,075$660

Preventive care for a puppy

According to Dr. Brooks, DVM, a puppy should go to three vet visits throughout their first year ($65-$170 each time), with the first visit being around 6 to 8 weeks of age. This will include all the essential: physical exam, vaccines, fecal examination to make sure no deworming is needed, and heartworm and flea prevention first doses.

She would also advise purchasing heartworm and flea prevention medication for the rest of the year. They respectively cost $50-$150 and $70-$150 for a puppy, depending on the dog’s weight.

Moreover, your pup may require some additional vaccines that depend mainly on lifestyle and activity. If you go camping or hiking regularly with your dog or if he is generally exposed to wildlife and standing water a lot, a Leptospirosis vaccine ($15-25) can be recommended. If your dog is boarded or kept in a kennel for extended amounts of time, Influenza vaccines may be necessary ($70-$90 including a booster shot). Additionally, if your dog goes camping, hiking, or lives in a wooden area or on a farm, it will be more exposed to ticks, and Lyme shots are strongly recommended ($60-$80 including the booster shot).

The yearly cost would therefore range from $315 to $885.

A neuter (male) or spay (female) procedure generally costs $100 to $500. Spaying is usually more expensive than neutering. Depending on the location, it is possible to find low-cost clinics that will charge as little as $50-$100, even for larger dogs.

For large, deep-chested dogs, such as Rottweilers, Cane Corsos, Dobermans, German Shepherds, or Golden Retrievers, Dr. Brooks recommends a Gastropexy procedure. It usually costs $200 to $400 when performed at the time of sterilization. It is an efficient way to help prevent Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (or GDV), which is life-threatening and would require expensive surgery to be corrected.

Finally, a DNA test for the MDR1 gene mutation (multiple drug sensitivity screening) could help the following breeds: Collie, Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, Miniature American Shepherd, Bearded Collie. If the dog’s parents haven’t been tested for this, it is valuable information to know before any surgical procedure and prescribing certain medications throughout the dog’s life. The estimated cost would be around $55-$65.

Preventive care for an adult dog

According to veterinarians like Dr. Brooks, an adult dog should be seen by a veterinarian at least once a year for an exam, vaccines, heartworm test, and blood work (for middle-aged and senior dogs) to find potential hidden problems. The visit should cost around $125 to $265, depending on location and the clinic.

Dr. Brooks would also recommend following through with heartworm and flea prevention medication, which usually cost around $50 to $250 and $100 to $400 for the year, respectively.

Lifestyle vaccines, Leptospirosis ($15-$25), Influenza ($35-$45), and Lyme ($30-$40) may also require annual booster shots. Finally, if your dog is regularly in contact with other pets or shows inconsistent stool quality, a fecal examination ($40-$50) could be recommended.

Some common health issues for dogs

On top of preventive care, your dog could need expensive medical treatments and procedures following an illness or condition diagnosis. According to our consulting licensed veterinarian, Dr. Leslie Brooks, DVM, here are the most common medical problems. I have asked her opinion on 151 types of dogs (purebred and mixed-breeds) to establish this list.

The first column is the name of the medical problem. The second column is the percentage of dog breeds for which it is considered a risk. The third column is a cost estimate to treat this problem (can vary depending on many factors).

ConditionBreeds at RiskCost Estimate
Allergies53%$100 – $2,000 per year
Dental disease39%$400 – $800
Patellar luxation39%$300 – $2,000
Cancer29%$500 – $10,000
Hip dysplasia26%$500 – $6,500 per hip
Cranial cruciate ligament injury24%$2,000 – $4,000
Gastric dilatation and volvulus22%$1,500 – $3,000
Mitral valve disease20%$300 – $2,000
Hypothyroidism19%$350 – $800
Cataracts14%$1,500 – $3,000
Epilepsy13%$500 – $2,500
Arthritis13%$50 – $500 per month
Elbow dysplasia11%$2,000 – $3,500

Pet insurance price

According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association’s latest State of the Industry Report, the average annual price is $566 for accident and illness coverage plans or $190 for accident-only policies.

These prices will vary a lot depending on many factors, and you will need to contact insurance companies or brokers to get a more precise estimate.

It is also possible to get complete health coverage with some insurance companies but it gets much more expensive, except for Eusoh (see below).

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.

As mentioned, some medical conditions can be expensive to treat. 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.

When comparing pet insurances, price is a significant factor, but it is also essential to consider:
Deductible type (per incident or per year) and amount
Reimbursements percentage and limits
Services included (emergency visits, hospitalization, surgery, medications, specialists, cancer treatments, pre-existing conditions, etc.)
When coverage will start

The price will vary depending on multiple factors, including the dog’s breed, age, location, and the plan chosen. You can compare pet insurance prices on comparison websites like PetInsuranceReview.

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 wider range of services.
– You can get advice from other Eusoh members.

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

Five simple tips to keep your dog healthy

Here are five simple tips that will help you keep your dog healthy and will hopefully drive your medical costs lower at the same time:

  • Food: Consult your vet about your dog’s diet. As for humans, food is an essential part of health.
  • Exercise: Keep the dog mentally and physically active with daily walks, outdoor time, playtime, and various toys (see my favorite dog toys here).
  • Grooming: Brush your dog’s hair daily (or at least a few times a week). It will help maintain healthy skin and coat. Try to bathe your furry friend once a month and regularly take it to the groomer (or do it yourself). Cut your dog’s nails to make sure they don’t touch the ground when he’s standing up (usually every 2 to 6 weeks). Clean the eyes with cotton and water and the ears with an ear cleaning solution when necessary.
  • Dental health: Try to brush your dog’s teeth at least two or three times a week (ideally once or twice a day) for two minutes at a time with a dog tooth-brush and tooth-paste. Dental hygiene is crucial for dogs, not only to avoid dental problems but for health in general.
  • Vet: Don’t skip the annual visit, even if the dog seems healthy. Some conditions or medical problems aren’t obvious, especially in the early stages, and you wouldn’t want to miss something that would jeopardize your pet’s health and cost you more to treat if you find out about it later.

The cost to feed a dog

There are so many types of food, diets, and brands that it can be overwhelming. Kibble, wet food, dehydrated, raw, freeze-dried, grain-free, high or low protein are just of few options. It is a good idea to consult your vet about what food would be the most appropriate for your dog.

For standard quality kibble, a dog owner should budget $50 to $880 for a puppy and $25 to $945 for an adult dog yearly. Costs will vary depending on the dog’s size, but other factors such as age and activity level also matter. It could be more expensive with premium kibble or other types of food.

Dry food cost estimation by dog’s size

To establish the costs, we have considered some of the most popular dry food brands as it remains the most common dog food type. Prices are based on the four popular food brands detailed below.

Average dog food cost for a small dog (up to 25 lb.)

Yearly Food CostRangeAverage
Puppy$50 – $175$115
Adult Dog$25 – $225$125

For example, a French Bulldog puppy will eat around 90 lb. and an adult close to 130 lb. of dry food yearly (it varies for each dog and food brand). Annual expenses should be between $75 and $130 for a puppy and $70 to $225 for an adult dog.

Average dog food cost for a medium-sized dog (26 to 55 lb.)

Yearly Food CostRangeAverage
Puppy$75 – $265$170
Adult Dog$70 – $405$240

For example, an English Bulldog puppy will eat around 140 lb. and an adult close to 230 lb. of dry food yearly (it varies for each dog and food brand). Annual expenses should be between $105 and $220 for a puppy and $115 to $360 for an adult dog. Other types of food and treats would increase the costs.

Average dog food cost for a large dog (56 to 75 lb.)

Yearly Food CostRangeAverage
Puppy$130 – $355$245
Adult Dog$140 – $495$320

For example, a Labrador Retriever puppy will eat around 220 lb. and an adult close to 310 lb. of dry food yearly (it varies for each dog and food brand). Annual expenses should be between $180 and $355 for a puppy and $160 to $495 for an adult dog. Other types of food and treats would increase the costs.

Average dog food cost for an extra-large dog (over 75 lb.)

Yearly Food CostRangeAverage
Puppy$180 – $880$530
Adult Dog$160 – $945$555

For example, a Rottweiler puppy will eat around 400 lb. and an adult close to 430 lb. of dry food yearly (it varies for each dog and food brand). Annual expenses should be between $310 and $615 for a puppy and $205 to $675 for an adult dog. Other types of food and treats would increase the costs.

Popular dog food brands compared

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. Here is a little price comparison for puppy kibble. The last column shows the price per pound of kibble for each brand. As you can see, it varies from 0.72 $/lb. to 3.46$/lb.

Puppy Food BrandsQuantity per BagUnit Price$/lb.
Purina – Puppy Chow36 lb.$27.78 (Walmart)0.77
Purina One – Smart Blend Puppy16.5 lb.$21.98 (Walmart)1.33
Pedigree – Puppy36 lb.$25.83 (Walmart)0.72
Blue Buffalo – Puppy30 lb.$44.08 (Amazon)1.47
Premium Puppy Food BrandsQuantity per BagUnit Price$/lb.
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition – Small Puppy13 lb.$44.99 (PetSmart)3.46
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition – Medium Puppy30 lb.$65.99 (PetSmart)2.20
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition – Large Puppy35 lb.$73.99 (PetSmart)2.11

In the table below, we did the same exercise for adult dry dog food. Adult food is usually slightly cheaper, and for the brands reviewed, prices varied from 0.46$/lb. to 3$/lb.

Adult Food BrandsQuantity per BagUnit Price$/lb.
Purina – Dog Chow50 lb.$22.98 (Walmart)0.46
Purina One – Smart Blend40 lb.$40.36 (Walmart)1.01
Pedigree – Adult50 lb.$25.83 (Walmart)0.52
Blue Buffalo – Adult30 lb.$44.98 (Amazon)1.50
Premium Adult Food BrandsQuantity per BagUnit Price$/lb.
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition – Small Adult14 lb.$41.99 (PetSmart)3.00
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition – Medium Adult30 lb.$64.99 (PetSmart)2.17
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition – Large Adult35 lb.$68.99 (PetSmart)1.97

Generally, it works out cheaper as you get much better deals if you purchase dog food in bulk. Although it is a perishable commodity, it can be stored for long periods, making bulk purchases an efficient option.

Dog treats cost

Treats can easily be more expensive than food if given daily. We have estimated the yearly cost of treats by reviewing the price of over 25 best sellers on Walmart, PetSmart, and Amazon. This estimation is based on the premise that the dog gets one big treat every day. If you give your dog a treat every other day, you can divide these amounts by two. If it is once a week, divide them by seven, and so on. Enter the relevant information in the calculator at the end of the article to get your personalized cost estimate.

Treats Yearly CostRangeAverage Cost
Small dog (up to 25 lb.)$40 – $240$150
Medium-sized dog (26 to 55 lb.)$115 – $335$240
Large dog (56 lb. and up)$125 – $715$345

When given daily, dog treats can cost $40 to $715 every year. The price will depend on the dog’s size, the type and brand of treats, and where they are bought. There are many reasons to give a dog treats: to supplement his diet, stimulate him, or help with training, for example.

Dog grooming cost

According to Corryne Smith, our certified dog groomer, the main types of dog coats could be classified into two categories regarding grooming costs.

Hairless, short-coated, and double-coated dogs

Hairless, short-coated, and double-coated dogs 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.

Grooming most hairless, short-coated, or double-coated dog is easy enough that owners should be able to do it. Those who prefer having their dog professionally groomed can expect up to 8 visits to a salon every year. Each session should cost from $25 to $140, depending on the dog and services needed.

For example, Boston Terriers could either be groomed by their owners or be taken to a professional every two months for $30 to $45. The same logic applies to Newfoundlands, but each session would probably cost $60 to $130 because they are so much bigger, and their double-coat will require much more work.

Wire-haired, long-coated, or curly-coated dogs

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

Wire-haired, long-coated, or curly-coated dogs should be professionally groomed 2 to 10 times every year. Most dog owners will not be able to groom the dog themselves. Each visit to a grooming salon should cost from $30 to $200 depending on the dog and services needed.

For example, Goldendoodles should visit the groomer 4 to 10 times a year to care for their beautiful curly coat, each time costing between $55 and $120. For Shih Tzu, 4 to 8 professional grooming sessions a year could be enough to maintain their long coat, and it should cost around $40 to $60 each time.

Dog grooming cost range

Yearly Grooming CostRangeAverage Cost
Hairless, Short-coated, Double-coated (at home)$0$0
Hairless, Short-coated, Double-coated (groomer)$50 – $1,120$585
Wire-haired, Long-coated, Curly-coated (groomer)$60 – $1,200$630

Professional grooming generally includes a bath and shampoo, ear, teeth, and eye cleaning, nail trimming, hair removal if necessary, brushing and styling. Some dogs might also have matted hair to be taken care of or need low-shed treatments.

The price of grooming services varies depending on the dog’s size, coat condition, health and age, behavior, and the services requested.

Essential supplies to groom your dog yourself should cost between $25 and $300, depending on the equipment you require and product quality.

Additional costs to consider

Additional CostsRangeAverage Cost
License$10 – $20$15
Microchip$25 – $50$40
Dog Walking (per day)$15 – $50$30
Dog Boarding (per day)$25 – $85$40

License and microchip

Licenses are mandatory almost everywhere and usually cost between $10 and $20 yearly in the USA, depending on your location. If your dog is not spayed or neutered, this cost could be a little bit higher.

A dog microchip is required in most states and usually costs $25 to $50 on average in the US. It is generally implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades during a medical appointment. Dogs adopted from a shelter or bought from a breeder sometimes already have a microchip.

Both are useful to identify the dog if he gets lost and make locating you much easier.

Dog walking

According to Tamaria Reddick, a well-reputed dog walker, if you cannot take your dog outside during the day, hiring a dog walker is essential to prevent the pet from getting bored and potentially develop behavioral or health issues.

Dog walkers usually charge $15 to $25 for 30 minutes group walks and $20 to $50 for 1-hour long ones. Prices vary mainly depending on location. Private walks are more expensive.

Even a dog with lower energy will need outdoor time and exercise every day to stay mentally and physically stimulated and remain healthy.

You must be aware that those costs add up very quickly if you need a dog walker five days a week all year long. To find a dog walker in your area and validate the price, you can use apps like Rover or Wag. An owner might need to pay for private walks if the dog is not well socialized.

Don’t underestimate the cost of dog walking and dog sitting!

Rover: Best Dog Walking App
If you need a walker or sitter every week, this could become your most significant dog expense. We are talking hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year. Create a free account and check the rates in your area to make sure to consider this expense before getting your dog.

Rover is by far the most popular way to find a dog walker or a dog sitter near you. You can compare the prices and services, see reviews from previous customers, book and pay for your services through the app.

Traveling

It is highly inadvisable to leave a dog alone, particularly if you are traveling over days or weeks. In the case that you must leave your dog somewhere, dog boarding services are generally a good solution.

A dog owner should budget $25 to $85 per day for dog boarding services. Prices vary depending on location, time of the year, and service level, among other things.

During particularly busy stretches of the year, such as the holidays, be sure to book dog boarding or sitting services in advance, as you are likely to get much better prices. Affordable alternatives include looking to see if any friends/family would be open to hosting your dog, as these prices can add up very quickly.

Finally, you might be able to take your dog with you, as many airlines and train companies offer special provisions to help move your pets. You will have to submit a formal request ahead of time, though, so make sure to plan your trips early. Moreover, the cost varies drastically, as it depends on several variables.

A note on emotional support dogs and service dogs

Any dog can become an emotional support dog as long as the owner gets a prescription from a licensed mental health professional. Emotional support dogs are not considered service dogs under the Americans With Disabilities Act and do not cost more than any other dog.

A service dog is trained to assist people with disabilities. According to the National Service Animal Registry, a trained service dog can cost between $15,000 and $50,000. The alternative would be to train a dog yourself, which could easily cost $150 to $250 per hour of training and take up to two years.

How much does it cost to own a dog?

Cost of the first year with your puppy

A dog owner will usually spend between $1,000 and $9,000 during the first year to cover essential expenses like buying the dog, supplies, training, preventive care, food, grooming, license, and microchip. This amount will vary depending on many factors, including location, breed, dog’s size, and coat.

Most of these expenses will before or shortly after welcoming the dog.

First-Year CostsRange
Puppy$500 – $2,500
Supplies$150 – $925
Training$0 – $1,400
Medical$315 – $885
Food$50 – $880
Treats$0 – $715
Grooming$0 – $1,200
License$10 – $20
Microchip$25 – $50
First Year Total$1,050 – $8,575
Estimated Monthly Budget$85 – $715

Cost of every adult year with your dog

A dog owner will usually spend between $330 and $4,365 every year for an adult dog to cover essential expenses like supplies, preventive care, food, grooming, and a dog license. This amount will vary depending on many factors, including location, dog’s size, and coat type.

Adult Year CostsRange
Supplies$55 – $410
Medical$240 – $1,075
Food & Treats$25 – $945
Grooming$0 – $715
License$10 – $20
Adult Year Total$330 – $4,365
Estimated Monthly Budget$25 – $365

Cost of ownership of a dog

It will cost $6,620 to $53,985 to own a dog in the US when considering essential expenses. The average cost of ownership is $21,200. The budget will vary depending on many factors, including the dog’s size, coat, and temperament, the owner’s location, and the quality of products or services purchased.

Total Cost of OwnershipRangeAverage Cost
Dog$6,620 – $53,985$21,200

In general large breeds tend to have a shorter life expectancy than smaller ones. Some large breeds could live for 6 to 10 years only, while other small ones could last 15 to 19 years. On average, a dog will live for around 13 years.

You might also need to consider some of the additional costs listed below. Dog walking can be especially expensive. For example, if you hire a dog walker five days a week for 50 weeks during the year, you will probably pay between $3,750 and $12,500 yearly for the service.

Optional CostsRangeAverage Cost
Spay/Neuter$50 – $500$275
Gastropexy (large dogs only)$200 – $400$300
Insurance$350 – $780$565
Dog Walking (per walk)$15 – $50$30
Dog Boarding (per day)$25 – $85$40

Finally, other aspects will also significantly impact your expenses: buying an expensive puppy, feeding your dog premium quality food and treats, using high-end products and services, and even more importantly, the dog’s health.

50 popular breeds compared

In the table below, you will find the average cost of over 50 popular breeds based on professional recommendations and estimations from a dog trainer, two licensed veterinarians, and a certified groomer from the US. These numbers cover the dog’s price, supplies, training, preventive medical expenses, food and treats, grooming, plus the cost for the license and microchip.

As explained earlier, pet insurance, spaying or neutering (or any other medical procedures and treatments), dog walking, or boarding services would increase these amounts.

The columns respectively represent:

  • the average cost of a puppy from a breeder (adoption would be $50 to $500)
  • the average expenses to expect during the first year (excluding the cost of the dog)
  • the average expenses to expect for every adult year after that
  • the total amount that would be spent for the dogs over the years (based on the average lifespan of each breed)
  • a monthly estimate of the expenses.
Breed Puppy 1st Year Adult Year Lifetime Monthly
Australian Shepherd $800 $1,925 $1,545$22,810$136
Basset Hound $800 $1,850 $1,470$20,290$130
Beagle $550 $1,595 $1,120$15,585$100
Belgian Malinois $1,000 $3,125 $1,695$27,855$155
Bernese Mountain Dog $1,200 $2,380 $1,980$19,420$180
Bichon Frise $920 $1,820 $1,270$20,520$114
Border Collie $700 $1,800 $1,395$20,635$123
Boston Terrier $850 $2,605 $1,015$14,620$102
Boxer $900 $2,045 $1,665$19,595$148
Brittany $750 $2,915 $1,400$20,465$131
Cane Corso Italiano $1,500 $3,000 $1,910$23,600$179
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel $1,500 $1,565 $1,095$17,300$103
Chihuahua $800 $2,480 $1,045$17,910$100
Cockapoo $2,000 $1,695 $1,230$19,685$117
Cocker Spaniel $800 $1,730 $1,330$17,160$119
Collie $800 $2,265 $1,865$25,445$163
Dachshund $850 $2,630 $1,105$17,845$106
Doberman Pinscher $1,000 $3,225 $1,750$21,725$165
English Bulldog $2,500 $2,675 $1,370$16,135$149
English Springer Spaniel $850 $1,945 $1,515$20,975$134
French Bulldog $2,800 $2,595 $1,090$16,295$123
German Shepherd Dog $800 $3,015 $1,765$17,935$166
German Shorthaired Pointer $800 $2,900 $1,615$19,850$150
Golden Retriever $1,000 $2,270 $1,945$22,720$172
Goldendoodle $2,000 $3,675 $2,250$32,675$209
Great Dane $1,000 $2,415 $2,075$20,015$185
Havanese $1,100 $1,665 $1,190$19,425$108
Labradoodle $1,550 $3,145 $2,065$29,475$189
Labrador Retriever $800 $2,190 $1,890$21,890$166
Maltese $1,200 $1,780 $1,230$18,970$113
Maltipoo $2,000 $2,615 $1,200$17,815$124
Mastiff $1,200 $2,680 $2,240$19,560$204
Miniature American Shepherd $800 $2,480 $1,320$19,120$123
Miniature Schnauzer $950 $2,590 $1,170$18,750$112
Newfoundland $1,200 $2,730 $2,305$24,675$206
Pembroke Welsh Corgi $1,050 $2,660 $1,135$17,330$111
Pomeranian $1,200 $1,645 $1,160$17,925$107
Pug $1,175 $1,580 $1,035$16,210 $96
Rhodesian Ridgeback $1,250 $3,225 $1,775$22,225$168
Rottweiler $1,150 $3,240 $1,920$21,670$181
Shetland Sheepdog $900 $1,595 $1,155$16,355$105
Shiba Inu $1,000 $2,625 $1,080$18,745$104
Shih Tzu $850 $1,720 $1,180$17,910$107
Siberian Husky $650 $2,925 $1,505$21,635$139
Standard Poodle $1,000 $2,300 $1,920$28,260$168
Vizsla $1,100 $2,885 $1,455$21,445$137
Weimaraner $700 $2,975 $1,730$22,705$158
West Highland White Terrier $1,000 $2,755 $1,170$18,965$113
Yorkipoo $1,600 $2,595 $1,170$18,235$117
Yorkshire Terrier $1,200 $2,655 $1,230$18,615$119

If the breeds you are interested in isn’t in the table, or if you want more information, visit our All Breeds page.

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This guide explains all the essential expenses that are necessary to ensure your dog’s well-being. Make sure to take these considerations seriously before adopting or purchasing a pet, as they are imperative to your dog leading a healthy, happy, and comfortable life in your home. Moreover, the dog should not be a financial burden on you or your family, so make sure to carefully read through each section to understand better the costs that come with owning one. The figures provided in this article are for informational purposes only. A dog owner should always find the actual prices applicable to his situation before making any decision.

References and Resources

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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