Whether you’ve picked up an adorable “free-to-good-home” mutt or a purebred with show champions in her pedigree, you probably already know that the price of the puppy is a drop in the bucket compared with the price of living with and caring for a dog. But how much you spend on your pup depends on the lifestyle and choices you make. Purchasing the puppy is just the start, and being a responsible pet owner to care for the pet can cost more through the first year. One can expect to spend at least $1,000 during the first year of your puppy’s life—many people spend much more—and at least $500 each year after that.
Make a puppy budget, and you can decide where you want to spend more money, where you’d rather see some savings, and which items are non-negotiable. To get you started, and to give you an example of about how much you might spend during your puppy’s life, check out this list. We’ve included ranges plus approximate averages for each category, because products, services, and your individual circumstances will vary.
Cost of the dog: $0 to $2,000 + (average: $500)
Initial vet visits for a new puppy (including physical, vaccines, fecal and deworming): $100 to $500 (average $200)- Depending on if problems exist such as parasites.
Spay/neuter surgery (because you know it’s the right thing to do): $0 to $700 (average about $125 to neuter a male dog, $250 to spay a female dog)
Pet Health Insurance: Inexpensive depending on the insurance carrier, and can be useful for routine, or emergency purposes.
Food: $120 to $500 for the first year, depending on the quality of food you choose and the size of your dog (average $300)
Food and water bowls: $3 to $100, or even more for high-end designer bowls (average $25)
Leash: $5 to $50 (average $20)
Grooming tools and products, including brush, comb, nail clippers, shampoo, and any other tools appropriate for your dog’s individual needs (such as a mat splitter, coat rake, ear cleaner, tear stain remover, or coat conditioner) : $15 to $200 (average $50)
Dog crate, for housetraining, safety, and down time: $20 to $200 (average: $90)
Dog bed (unless your dog sleeps in the crate or with you): $5 to $200 (average $40)
Dog toys and things to chew (save your house!): $20 to $200 (average $40)
Stain and odor remover (yes, you’ll need it): $5 to $50 (average $20)
Replacing shoes or clothing: $20-$300+ (that is why toys are a great thing to have)
Replacing furniture: $100-$1000+ (This is why basic training and toys are a great!)
Books about your breed, dog training, dog sports, or other subjects relevant to you: $10 to $100 (average $50)
Basic training classes, from puppy socialization classes to basic obedience: $50 to $500+ (average $120) Additional classes such as agility or fly ball may also be good. (This is very important since behavioral problems are the number one cause for euthanasia, not kidney disease or cancer.)
Other optional expenses, like pet/child gates, ramps and pet carriers for tiny dogs, cute dog accessories like sweaters, coats and other clothing, gourmet pet treats, dog seatbelts for safe car travel, dog house and life jackets for boating: $50 to $500
Fence: If you don’t have one already, this could cost $1,000+ . Underground fencing may be less expensive.
A furry companions love= PRICELESS
Total first year costs: $408 to $5,910+ (average: $1,760)
(It’s important to realize that emergency visits such as lacerations, trauma, etc. can happen at anytime!)
Remember, your dog is a part of your family, and deserves the best care—not to mention the occasional luxury item, if you’re so inclined. They’re worth every penny.
For additional information on the cost of owning a puppy in their first year, please ask Animal Central or visit these websites:
Dr. George Stroberg, DVM and Staff