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How Much Does a Dog or Puppy Cost? | Pet Guide 101

We all have heard that owning a dog can be pretty expensive. Even after that, people tend to underestimate the cost of owning a dog, and often this poor planning leads to unforeseen disasters. Whenever you wish to adopt a dog, it is always better to first have a breakdown of the expenses; how much is a dog cost? Is it just food that will cost me? What to expect? All these questions and many more should be the starting point of your dog-owning journey. Financially providing the best for your dog is your responsibility. Hence research is highly crucial in this field. The good news is that we might just have done all your work! Continue reading to see how we have broken down the annual cost of owning a dog.

How Much is a Dog Annual Expense?

It’s the question that burns in the minds of dog owners everywhere. How much is a dog annual expense? and costs of owning a dog. There are a lot of factors to consider before you decide to bring a furry friend into your home. But let’s start with an overview of what you can expect to pay for your new best friend.

#1 Dog Medication Cost 

The first thing you should do after adopting a puppy is to vaccinate it. Even if you are adopting an adult dog, running a few rounds to the vet and back is always good. The vaccines and other preventive medication over your puppy’s first visit to the vet will probably land you with a bill of $50-$350. If you have to pay a few bucks here and there for preventative medicine every now and then, like deworming medicine for dogs, it is always better to prepare. A One-time vet visit can run you around $100-$400, depending upon your puppy’s health status.

In terms of medical expenses, the first year can cost you twice the annual amount of the subsequent years. Know that buying a pet is a huge investment. After you are done with the initial vet visits, you should look into sterilising your dog. Dogs can only get sterilized after six to seven months, when they reach sexual maturity. In smaller dogs and other rare cases, dogs reach sexual maturity much faster, so if you are buying or adopting a small dog breed, you might have to sterilise them at the age of four months. The sterilisation can be a huge expense; expect to spend anywhere from around $150 to $800(post-operation care included) for dog sterilization.

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You must also take your dog for wellness checkups at least twice a year. Make sure you are ready to spend $200 to $300 dog medication cost every year. Of course, the cost would increase if your dog needs lab work or follow-ups concerning a health risk. Make sure you keep track of your vet visits as your dog ages since older dogs require more medical attention.

#2 Daily Dog Supplements

Every pet needs several preventive medications to save them from heartworms, fleas, ticks, and parasites. Your vet will guide you the best based on your dog’s health, history, the climate of the area and so on. A balanced diet usually doesn’t require supplements, but your vet may recommend vitamins and other accessories depending on your dog’s health. Usually, vets recommend dog supplements like omega-3, etc., for dogs who need to maintain a good coat. Generally, you will spend around $100 to $500 per year on such items. Cost may vary according to your dog’s needs. 

#3 Dog Accessories 

You need to buy at least one set of a leash and a collar( usually with an id tag). Dog Collars and leashes have a huge range of options; the range varies from very cheap and low quality to extremely high-ended fancy ones. You have a lot to choose from, depending on the pet. You can start with a basic set which will cost around $10-$20, depending on the quality and the size. The higher limit, in this case, is the sky; you can also expect fancy collars and other dog-walking accessories to cost you somewhere around $50-$70. Collars and leashes are usually an investment that would last for several years. Apart from the usual dog leashes and collars, more expenses like beds, toys and so on should be expected. 

Toys are a great way to help stimulate your dog’s brain while also helping them with exercise. You can plan on spending $25 to $150 on an average yearly on toys. If you have a destructive dog, this can reach several hundred dollars higher; again, the sky seems to be the limit for this one.

 When it comes to beds, Since you would not be changing your dog’s bed often, it is only wise to invest in something durable, high quality and easy to clean. Expect to spend somewhere around $150-$200. As for dog toys, there is no definite cost; you could end up paying as little as $10 per year and as much as $150 per year. 

#4 Grooming Cost for Dogs

Dogs with short hair can be easily groomed at home, but if you have a dog jacket thick and long it is hard to deal with when it comes to grooming them at home. If your dog has a long growing coat, you should routinely take it to the groomer otherwise, it can pose a medical problem. Be prepared to throw in anywhere from around $30 to $500 a year. 

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#5 Pet Boarding and Other Related Expenses

Most of us have to travel, and you cannot always take your pet along. Pet boarding is a life-saving solution, but how much would it cost? Pet boarding is cheaper than pet sitters, but it is not very cheap. If you travel once or twice a year, expect to spend $100-$300 dog boarding prices a year. The boarding cost for a day at a usual would be $80 per night. Meanwhile, Pet sitters can charge based on their choice; there is no such estimate for this.

#6 Pet Insurance for Dogs

Pet insurance is a health care policy for your pet; this will reimburse you for conditioned medical expenses. This is important for accidents or surprise illnesses since this will help you in protecting your finances. We discussed earlier how expensive dogs could be, and so can their vet bills. Keeping the expenses in mind, insurance can be a lifesaver. Getting insurance as soon as possible is important because many pet insurance companies don’t cover pre-existing conditions.

According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, the average monthly cost of pet insurance for dogs is $50. Although, in totality, what you pay for your pet’s insurance varies greatly. Your pet’s age, breed, and where you live will majorly dictate the coverage rates. Monthly premiums to be paid can start from as low as $10 and reach as high as $100; typically, it is around $30-$50. 

How Much Does it Cost to Adopt a Dog?

The initial investment should always be considered when adopting a new dog. How much does it cost to adopt a dog is a subjective field as it depends upon many factors like the breed of the dog, where you are adopting the dog from and so on. On average, you’ll be spending anywhere from around $500 to $2000. Spending a little extra money on a quality dog from a reputable breeder and not a “backyard breeder” can go a long way. A healthy pet from a healthily bred lineage can save a lot of money on things like vet visits, maintenance and dog training. Another option is rescue dogs for adoption, where the adoption fees can be anywhere from around $0-$300.

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Usually, the pets from dog shelter adoption are very healthy since they are being taken care of, and if there’s any ailment, the shelter lets you know. Although, at times, it could be the case that you might end up with a dog with an unknown history, and it can cost you extra vet visits. So always be sure of the pet and its history when purchasing from a breeder or adopting one from a shelter/rescue group.

Many breeds, even though they might seem cute, can end up causing problems later. Dogs like pugs develop respiratory issues often due to their peculiarly shaped snouts; just like this, many German Shepherds end up with hip dislocation, and the list goes on and on. Always research before adopting a dog, and especially take care of the lineage it comes from to save money.


To sum up, we land at about $1,500 to $9,900 regarding owning a dog. It is worth mentioning that accidents also happen, so keeping a few hundred here can save you from a lot of trouble as you roll down the road with your furry partner. Make sure you get professional advice, visit local shelters and talk to experienced pet owners about what could be the best for you, your budget and your overall lifestyle. Happy dog-owning!