Dogs benefit humans’ lives on so many levels; they help improve mental, physical, and emotional health. When humans interact with, touch, and hug a dog, it stimulates the brain’s Oxytocin production, also known as the “love hormone” in both partners. The companionship and bond between a dog and a human are undeniably beautiful, and there is no argument there. Still, it is crucial to understand that having a dog is a huge investment. What is the cost of having a dog?
If you are thinking about purchasing that adorable puppy you have been eyeing for weeks, keep in mind you will need to consider a few things first. You will have to care for your new puppy’s entire life span and the many expenses that come with the new dog.
So, what are the major expenses? How much will the total cost be to own a dog? It will depend heavily on the dog’s breed, size, age, health, services required, where you reside, and your preferences and lifestyle as a dog parent.
If you adopt a new puppy from a rescue group or shelter, you will need to consider the cost to adopt. Most shelters will microchip, provide the initial medical exam and heartworm care, and spay and neuter their animals which can cost you anywhere from $50 to $500 and up. If you purchase a dog from a reputable breeder, depending on the breed, it could cost anywhere from $500 up to $10,000.
Health and Medical
Routine vet visits, including wellness exams, vaccines, lab tests, and dental care, could cost between $700 up to $1,500 a year. This is not including the emergency vet visits and surgeries which could cost between $80 to $5,000. In some emergency surgery cases, the cost could well over exceed $5,000.
The cost of preventive care is much lower in comparison, and it is crucial to keep your dog healthy and avoid any health issues that may require emergency care. One way to reduce the cost of routine checkups and preventive care is to buy pet insurance. Pet insurance plans can cover a portion of the vet bills, making it easier to manage the costs. You can choose a plan that covers basic care services or opt for a more comprehensive plan that covers emergency care and surgeries. It is important to do your research and choose a plan that fits your budget and your dog’s needs.
Grooming costs will vary depending on the size and breed. Breeds like a Beagle, Basenji, Doberman Pinscher and several others will not require much grooming needs. Although it is great that many breeds that don’t need regular visits to the groomer, you will need to factor in the costs for brushes, nail trimming, ear cleaning, dog toothpaste, and shampoo, which could cost anywhere between $500-$1,000 a year. On the other hand, owning a breed such as an Afghan Hound or a Poodle will require extensive grooming time and costs because their hair needs to be maintained and styled often. It could cost between $80-$100 and over, depending on the extra services you might request per grooming visit.
Grooming not only keeps the dog looking good but also helps maintain their overall health and well-being. Regular grooming can help prevent matting, skin irritations, and infections, which can lead to costly medical bills. Additionally, grooming can help detect any lumps or bumps on the dog’s skin, which may require medical attention. Therefore, it’s important to factor in the cost of grooming into the total cost of owning a dog. Moreover, grooming can also be done at home, which can save money in the long run. However, it’s important to ensure that the owner is properly trained to groom the dog and has the necessary tools to do so.
Depending on the dog’s dietary needs, it could cost between $120 to exceeding $1,000 a year. Some dog parents like to feed kibbles or wet food, and others prefer to feed a raw diet. Do you know how much you should feed your dog? Read our article.
Toys and Treats
Toys and treats are essential in a dog’s life and are crucial for training purposes, especially for a young puppy. Depending on the brand, quantity, and quality, toys could cost between $5 to $200. The same goes for treats and could cost between $5 up to $35 for one bag.
Flea and Tick Prevention
You will need to take preventative measures against fleas and ticks on your dog. A three-month supply could cost between $45 to $65.
A dog will need a collar, leash, bed, crate, food, and water bowls.
A collar or a harness could cost between $5 to $50.
A leash could cost between $10 to $150.
Food and water bowls could cost between $5 to $50.
A crate could cost between $30 to $150.
The prices could exceed the ones listed depending on the brand and quality as well.
Dog Walking Services
You may need help from a dog walker to walk your dog on days that you cannot because you are at work or traveling. The cost depends on where you live, but the average price for a walk is $20.
Teaching basic obedience is crucial in a dog’s life, and it will set the dog up for success for their entire life, all the way up to their senior life. You may want to purchase a book, take a virtual private lesson, attend training classes, or use dog training apps like ours, Dogo app! The cost could be between $5 up to $1,000. The price could exceed $1,000 depending on whether you will need to take additional classes or provide advanced training.
You may also need to consider other additional costs:
Pet rent or monthly fees that landlords request,
Car safety tools such as car seats and seatbelts,
Teeth care and dental chews,
Boarding or daycare services,
Cleaning products such as stain and odor removers,
According to an article by Forbes magazine, a dog’s average lifetime cost can range from $17,650 to a staggering $93,520, again depending on the various factors. Small dogs have an average life expectancy of 15 years, medium dogs have an average life expectancy of 13 years, and large dogs have an average life expectancy of 10 years.
Calculate Your Budget Wisely
Having a pet has joyful benefits. However, before getting a puppy, take a moment to ask yourself if you can fully commit to being a responsible dog parent. Keep in mind that you will need to financially budget out how much it will cost you to take care of your loving canine best friend.