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Cost of owning a dog: 25 total costs of owning a dog   

Before buying a dog you may be asking yourself, just how much does a dog cost? Below you can see estimates of the cost of owning a dog broken down into all of the different components including some costs you may not have thought about. You can click on each dog cost for more information and even to make purchases. You can also make a customized budget to see what your personal cost of owning a dog would be. Also see our articles on the cost of owning a dog.

Example*: Small female dog purchased at a shelter
 
Cost Name Description Frequency Typical Range Example Cost*
Dog Unless you have a friend giving away free puppies you will usually have to pay something for the dog itself. Rescue shelters are usually inexpensive, followed by pet stores and then breeders being the most expensive. (More info on this Dog cost)

One Time $0 - $1,000 $350
Spay or Neuter If you are not planning on breeding your dog it is a good idea to get the dog fixed. This will ensure you don't have any unexpected puppies and can also reduce the risk of cancer, especially in female dogs. (More info on this Dog cost)

One Time $200 - $500 $350
Gates Many people only allow their dog in certain areas of their house and use gates to block off stairways or rooms. The more areas you need to block off the more gates you will need. (More info on this Dog cost)

One Time $20 - $100 $60
Microchip It is possible to have your vet implant a small electronical chip into your dog which can be used to track the dog should it get lost. It also contains medical information on the dog. (More info on this Dog cost)

One Time $25 - $75 $50
Cage Most people will have a cage for their dog for training and/or transporting. The size of the dog, and therefore the cage is the biggest factor affecting price. You may need to get additional cages as the dog gets larger. (More info on this Dog cost)

One Time $30 - $200 $40
Nail clippers Just like people, dogs needs their nails clipped. To do this yourself you will need dog nail clippers and your vet can show you how to actually do the clipping. Some people prefer not to do this themselves and would then pay a groomer monthly to take care of it. (More info on this Dog cost)

One Time $20 - $40 $25
Bed While dogs will sleep just about anywhere, most people get them a comfy bed to either put in the cage or in their favorite napping spot. Size typically determines the cost. (More info on this Dog cost)

One Time $20 - $50 $20
Leash Its not only a good idea but in most areas it’s the law to have your dog on a leash when outside. There are simple leashes and more advanced retractable types. (More info on this Dog cost)

One Time $10 - $30 $10
Bowls A water bowl and food bowl make dinner time much less messy. Bowls are typically inexpensive. (More info on this Dog cost)

One Time $5 - $20 $10
Car carrier It is safest to have a car carrier for your pet anytime you travel. Basically this is a cage that can fir in your car. Price again depends on the size of your dog. (More info on this Dog cost)

One Time $25 - $100 $0
Food The size of the dog plays the biggest role here as a small dog might eat only a half cup of food a day and a large may eat 4 cups or more. Quality can also affect price. (More info on this Dog cost)

Monthly $20 - $100 $20
On-going medications Heartworm pills are a great example of a medicine that is given monthly. If your dog has other conditions then you may need more pills which can add up. (More info on this Dog cost)

Monthly $10 - $50 $12
Treats Whether its for training or just to reward for good behavior, treats are something every dog should enjoy. Small dogs obviously eat less than bigger dogs. Also, the amount of training you are doing will dictate how many treats you need, just be careful not to overfeed. (More info on this Dog cost)

Monthly $5 - $25 $10
Waste bags It may be a small cost but its an important one. Never leave home without one! (More info on this Dog cost)

Monthly $0 - $5 $0
Pet insurance Similar to health insurance you can get protection from illness and injury for your pets. You pay either a monthly or yearly premium in exchange for coverage of certain issues that can happen over the curse of your pet's life. (More info on this Dog cost)

Yearly $200 - $500 $300
Shots There are several shots that dogs need yearly or every few years. These shots are very important in keeping your dog healthy and are easily administered by your vet during the annual checkup. (More info on this Dog cost)

Yearly $50 - $200 $200
Exams/check ups To ensure the health of your pet it is best to go to the vet once a year for a checkup. This is also a great time for the dog to get yearly shots which are covered as a separate cost. (More info on this Dog cost)

Yearly $30 - $60 $45
Grooming/washing Before you bring a dog home you will want to research the specific breed so that you know what to expect. Some dogs need very little grooming and others will require consistent brushing and haircuts. Proper care will ensure your dog's hair is healthy, eliminate matting, and keep shedding to a minimum. (More info on this Dog cost)

Frequently Recurring $25 - $75 $25
Dog training Getting your dog housebroken along with teaching your dog tricks and how to behave are all important parts of training that take significant time and sometimes money early on. You may decide to read books or use your own expertise for the training, but another option is taking your dog to classes at a local pet store or having a trainer come to your house. (More info on this Dog cost)

Frequently Recurring Varies Greatly $0
Vet bills While we don't like to think about it the unexpected can happen and you may be required to take your dog to the vet for an illness or injury. The cost here can vary greatly depending on what is wrong. A simple check-up might be less than $50 but if blood tests, x-rays, or surgery are needed the costs can go up into the thousands. (More info on this Dog cost)

Infrequently Recurring Varies Greatly $75
Toys Dogs love to play and there is no shortage of things for them to play with. Toys come in all shapes in sizes, some even make noise. Typically a handful of toys is all you need but they will eventually need to be replaced as chewing will take its toll. Some dogs are more aggressive with toys than others. (More info on this Dog cost)

Infrequently Recurring $10 - $50 $25
Cleaning costs Dogs can be messy, especially when they are puppies. There are all kinds of cleaners out there for accidents in the house as well as just to help with the doggy smell. People with allergies may also want additional cleaners that help diminish the proteins that they are allergic too. (More info on this Dog cost)

Infrequently Recurring $10 - $20 $10
Clothes Sometimes you can't resist a little costume for your furry friend. Usually these are pretty inexpensive but can add up if you buy a lot of them. (More info on this Dog cost)

Infrequently Recurring $10 - $25 $10
Collar There are many different types of collars and some owners purchase multiple collars for their various needs. For example, there are pinch collars, choke collars, harnesses, and everyday collars. They each serve their own purpose, so talk with a sales representative at your local pet store if you are unsure of what you need. (More info on this Dog cost)

Infrequently Recurring $5 - $25 $5
Tags There are two types of tags you should have on your dog. First is a tag with your address in case the dog gets lost. These can be ordered online or made at most pet stores. The second tag is a rabies tag showing that your dog has the proper injections and is issued by your vet through your county. (More info on this Dog cost)

Infrequently Recurring $5 - $30 $5
   
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