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Being the owner of a pooch is just like having kids. It can be plain sailing for several days and all of a sudden unexpected bills can hit you. But it is very tricky to put a price tag on your love for dogs but that is a cruel fact.

Owning a dog is a costly affair. Being prepared for foreseeable expenses is one thing but when it is unforeseen it can drain a dog owner. One of the prime examples of it is the expensive treatment when your doggie suffers from pancreatitis. The best thing to do in such a situation is to save funds for such times. We understand that you love dogs but we are showing you a clear picture of the cost implications of dog ownership.

The Initial Costs of Getting a Dog

You can get a dog from any local shelter or rescue group. But if you are planning to adopt the dog from local pet store; it can cost you a dime. Let us look at the initial costs of getting a puppy from local pet store:

Dog Breed Initial Cost
Labrador retriever $ 500 – $ 1,500
German shepherd $ 600 – $ 900
Golden retriever $ 600 – $ 3,600
Bulldog $ 200 – $ 1,000
Beagle $ 300 – $ 500
Yorkshire terrier $ 395 – $ 1,200
Poodle $ 750 – $ 2,000
Boxer $ 625 – $ 2,200
French bulldog $ 1,600 – $ 6,000

The first year of dog ownership is the most expensive. You end up spending on an average $ 2800. Let us look at the basic expenses that you will have to incur:

Food cost

Cost of dog food will depend on the quality that you are feeding. You will spend about $ 50 on a monthly basis on most expensive brands.

Note: This includes dog treats.


A doggie bed will cost approximately $ 30 or more. It is recommended to have two beds as you will need to replace the bed once every year which will increase the expenses to $ 60 to $ 210 per year.


Dog grooming cost varies according to the size and dog breed. Small sized dogs need basic grooming while long-haired dogs need a professional groomer regularly. If you plan to get a few grooming tools it will cost $ 40 per year whereas a trip to professional groomer will cost $ 300 per year.

Leashes and collars

Get at least one leash and one collar with an ID tag so that even if the leash gets misplaced or the collar gets worn out you have couple of them at disposal costing you $ 20 to $ 50 per year.

Dog toys

Dogs love toys and so for your chewing dog get toys so that they do not chew your shoes. It would cost approximately $ 75 per year.

Veterinary care

A veterinarian visit once or twice on a yearly basis will cost $ 1000 per year including:

  • Routine visits charges – around $ 300
  • Heartworm and flea preventative treatments – $ 130
  • An annual fecal exam – $ 30
  • An annual wellness profile – $ 140
  • Professional dental care – $ 495
  • Annual vaccines – $ 120

Additional costs

Apart from these expenses there are other costs of dog ownership:

  • Pet health insurance – approximately $ 700
  • Annual license – $ 20
  • Microchip implantation – Approximately $ 50
  • Dog crate for outdoor trips – $ 30
  • Hiring a professional dog walk – $ 15 per day
  • Enrolling in dog training class – $ 110 for 5 weeks
  • Local kennel or pet sitter charges – $ 40 per day

This is just the cost of the first year of dog ownership and the average lifespan of dogs is approximately 15 years. Hence, take an informed decision by considering the financial implications. Take out your calculator and be prepared to incur these expenses if you want a dog.


Jesse McDaniel is an animal activist that raises concerns and spreads awareness regarding pet health issues. She is also a self-proclaimed pet lover who tends to support many pet shelters, assisting them with supplies and medical aid on a regular basis.