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CostHelper > Pets & Pet Care  > Owning a Dog

Owning a Dog Cost


How Much Does Owning a Dog Cost?

 
low costEasy to Maintain: $270-$970+average costMedium Annual Cost: $600-$1,600+high costHigh Annual Cost: $1,000-$2,400+
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After a dog is adopted or purchased, there are initial and annual expenses that make up the cost of owning a dog.

Typical costs:

  • Small, short haired breeds cost the least to own. Examples include: small mixed-breed dogs, short-haired Chihuahuas, short-haired dachshunds, fox terriers, pugs and rat terriers. These dogs have the lowest food, grooming and boarding costs, starting at about $270 for basic food, at-home grooming and two weeks of boarding per year. Other costs, including vaccinations, flea and tick control, heartworm preventative and routine veterinary care, start at about $700, not including training, daycare or dog walking.
  • Examples of small dogs that need extensive grooming and mid-to-large sized dogs with short or medium-length coats include: Bichon Frises, toy poodles, Cocker Spaniels, beagles, mid-sized mixed breeds, Golden Retrievers, boxers, American pit bull terriers and Great Danes. The cost of basic food, basic grooming every two months and two weeks of boarding per year starts at about $600 in this category. Other costs, including vaccinations, flea and tick control, heartworm preventative and routine veterinary care, start at about $1,000, not including training, daycare or dog walking.
  • Examples of large dogs with medium-length or long, thick coats that require extensive grooming include: Old English Sheep Dog, Saint Bernard, Standard Poodle, Australian Shepherd, Great Pyrenees, Giant Schnauzers, Newfoundlands and Samoyeds. The cost of basic food, basic grooming every two months and two weeks of boarding per year starts at about $1,000 for dogs in this category. Other costs, including vaccinations, flea and tick control, heartworm preventative and routine veterinary care. start at about $1,400, not including training, daycare or dog walking.
  • PetEducation.com[1] offers a chart on the typical total cost of owning a dog.
Related articles: Dog Food, Dog Teeth Cleaning, Dog Vaccination

What should be included:
  • Initial costs include adoption fees or the purchase price, spaying or neutering, initial vaccinations and a general health assessment that might include a heartworm test and a fecal check. It also includes purchase of accessories such as a dog crate, a collar, a leash, tags and food bowls. This could cost $150 or more for a dog adopted from a shelter, all the way up to $1,000 or more for a dog purchased from a breeder.
  • Yearly costs include: vaccinations, flea and tick control, heartworm preventative, food, routine veterinary care, grooming, boarding and replacement accessories.
Additional costs:
  • Annual local dog-licensing fees usually range from $5 to $50. It often costs more to license a dog that has not been neutered or spayed.
  • The average dog owner spends $41 per year on toys, according to the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association.
  • If a dog is injured or gets seriously ill or has an emergency outside of normal business hours, extra veterinary care can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. Also, other unexpected costs sometimes come up -- such as replacing items a dog has chewed or soiled and having carpet or furniture cleaned more frequently.
  • For renters, some landlords charge a pet deposit of $100 or more -- and it is sometimes difficult to get back. For homeowners, insurance companies concerned with dog bite liability sometimes charge higher premiums for owners of certain types of dogs. BankRate.com[2] lists 11 breeds that can increase insurance costs in some states.
Discounts:
  • Tip: It is possible to buy prescription medicine online for a discount, but thoroughly check out the company first, and only buy from a business that requires a prescription from a veterinarian who has examined your dog. DrsFosterSmith.com[3] is a licensed veterinary pharmacy. VetCentric.com[4] is another option.
  • To safeguard against a veterinary catastrophe and to even out costs, pet health insurance can sometimes be a wise choice. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offers pet insurance quotes online, as does PetInsurance.com[5] .
Shopping for owning a dog:
  • Doing research before deciding where to get a dog and what kind to get can help a prospective dog owner make a sound choice. DogChannel.com[6] has a list of breed descriptions searchable by size, and gives grooming and exercise requirements for each, along with adoption and purchase information. The site also has an article on making the right dog match for your household[7] .
  • Deciding where to get a dog is also important. Most experts agree that shelters and reputable breeders can be good places to get a dog, while pet stores, where dogs often come from puppy mills, and backyard breeders should be avoided because of he higher chance of health and behavior issues.
  • Once you have a dog, working on disease prevention can save on veterinary costs. It is important to provide clean water, avoid overfeeding, provide regular exercise and keep the teeth clean. DogChannel.com has a guide to weight control[8] , an article on how to catch subtle health issues that might signal a serious problem[9] and ten tips for preventing canine cancer[10] .
  • The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals[11] offers a guide to saving on veterinary costs.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
dogs that eat things
Amount: $5,000.00 per year
Posted by: syD in ocala, FL.Posted: October 19th, 2014 10:10AM
Breed: golden retreiverAge: 3
MY GOLDEN RETREIVER LIKED TO EAT THINGS AND HE ATE UNDERWEAR AND SOCKS WHOLE HE RIPPED HOLES IN THE LAUNDRY HAMPER TO GET TO THEM HE ATE TRASH AND THE ITEMS WOULD GET STUCK IN HIS INTESTINES AND IT PREVENTED HIM FROM EATING HE HAD TO GET INTESTINAL BLOCKAGE SURGERY THREE TIMES. AND NOW HE HAS TO EAT HIS DOG FOOD SOFTENED BY WATER BEFORE HE CAN EAT IT BC OF THE SCAR TISSUE HE COULD DIE FROM FOOD GETTING STUCK IN THE INTESTINES.THERE ARE MANT THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT... NEVER THOUGHT ITS HAPPEN TO ME!
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dod
Amount: $1,500.00 per year
Posted by: zayn in Harrisburg, PA.Posted: January 4th, 2014 08:01PM
Breed: puggle-pug mixed with beagleAge: 4 in human years
It cost $20 for food $15 for treats vet cost don't know exactly how much though $30 for bed and $30 for crate and more.
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reply to faith johnson
Amount: $0.00 per year
Posted by: a user in Flint, MI.Posted: April 8th, 2011 01:04PM
Breed: PitbullAge: 3
i have a pitbull dog and while some insurances do have you pay extra based on breed, or deny you all together; i have my homeowners insurance through StateFarm Insurance and they charged nothing extra and only asked if my dog was trained to protect, or if she has ever bitten anyone; both of which answers are no.
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Real sost
Amount: $500.00 per year
Posted by: Dan Michael in Greeley, CO.Posted: April 4th, 2011 03:04PM
Breed: Golden retrieverAge: Owned for 10 years
Some people figure in things like crates, dog walking, dog sitting and other extravagances, but those are for people who don't actually spend time with their dogs. Well-trained dogs do not need crates, and you should walk your own dog and/or have a yard or not own a dog - since it is unfair for a dog to be gone much of the time. By the way, always adopt an abandoned animal. Although the choice in this survey is "when purchased," I adopted all my dogs.
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homeowners insurance for pit bull owner
Amount: $0.00 per year
Posted by: Faith Johnson in Flint, MI.Posted: March 16th, 2011 09:03AM
Breed: Pit bullAge: 1-2 yrs.
If you own your home in Flint Michigan and own a pit bull or pit bull mix, can your homeowners insurance go up? I am interested in a dog that was found, owner not found.
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Gus
Amount: $1,700.00 per year
Posted by: tyraford101 in Red Deer, Other.Posted: December 18th, 2010 11:12AM
Breed: Pitbull MixAge: 9 months
He had to major vet visits. One for attacking a porcupine and that was a 300 dollar vet visit. The other was parvo and that was an 800 dollar vet visit. He eats food for sensitive stomachs and it is expensive. He is spoiled rotten with treats and toys. I bought him a large crate wire kennel, two leashes (one retractbale and one normal one) a heavy duty collar and a ton of toys to keep him happy! He has issues with his tail...its thin and breaks open when he hits it on things so dressings of gauze and mefix need to be changed daily.
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My experince of owning a dog.
Amount: $1,500.00 per year
Posted by: Jazz in raleigh, NC.Posted: December 15th, 2010 10:12AM
Breed: Jack RussellAge: 6
Owning a dog is alot of work and they require constant walking but I over look all that.I love my Jack Russell alot.Hes my best friend.He is the cutest sweetest most loyal dog.Hes alot of fun.I just want him to be happy and healthy.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.peteducation.com:80/article.cfm?c=2&aid=1543
  2.  www.bankrate.com/finance/insurance/11-dogs-that-could-raise-your-insurance-costs.aspx
  3.  www.drsfostersmith.com/general.cfm?N=3001&gid=195
  4.  www.vetsfirstchoice.com/login/
  5.  /www.petinsurance.com/enroll/Quote1.aspx
  6.  www.dogchannel.com/dog-breeds/dog-breeds.aspx?cm_mmc=Google-_-Keywords-_-dog%20breeds-_-NA
  7.  www.dogchannel.com/ready-for-dogs/dog-evaluation/article_2158.aspx
  8.  www.dogchannel.com/dog-health/article_3374.aspx
  9.  www.dogchannel.com/dog-health/dog-prevention/article_17432.aspx
  10.  www.dogchannel.com/dog-health/article_cancer.aspx
  11.  www.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-care-tips/saving-money-on-vet-care.aspx
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