Cost of Owning a Dog – Price vs Benefits

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Although there is no exact formula to calculate the cost of owning a dog, there are some common yearly expenses that can be estimated. If you are thinking about getting a puppy, the infographic below is a great place to begin to determine if you can afford a dog. While we argue that you can not put a price tag on the benefits of owning a dog, it still should not be an impulse buy as they take a lot of care.  The love and affection that your dog will show you is priceless.

True Cost of Owning a Dog:


via Golden Meadows Retrievers


Initial Cost of Owning a Dog

Buying or adopting a puppy should not be done absent-mindedly. Owning a dog is a serious commitment – both financially and emotionally.  While the benefits of owning a pup outweigh the costs, it is important to know the true cost of owning a dog. It is going to be an investment of your finances, as well as your time.

The infographic above estimates that the 1st year cost of owning a dog is somewhere between $1,025 to over $4,000, not including emergency care. This price includes one time expenses of adopting or buying the puppy/dog and getting them altered (spayed or neutered).

Annual Cost of Owning a Dog

The 1st year of getting a puppy includes several one time expenses. However, you must remember that there still is a cost of owning a dog per year to keep them healthy and happy.

The most obvious cost of owning a dog is food. The annual cost for food is $75 – $250 depending on the type and amount of food a dog consumes. Then there are routine vet visits and medical expenses, which cost around $210 – $300 a year. This price includes an exam, vaccinations, heartworm preventative, and a monthly topical flea & tick treatment. Next, there is an annual dog license fee of up to $15. Then there are miscellaneous costs for dog gear and supplies (treats, toys, collar, leash, etc) which will vary greatly, but are estimated to be an average of $250 – $400 a year. Lastly, are specialty grooming fees, especially if you have a long-haired breed, which are $250 – $400 a year.


This adds up when you consider that most dogs live somewhere between 10 – 15 years. This equals a lifetime cost of anywhere from $8,500 – $24,500.  If you are not prepared to pay for a dog’s needs and willing to spend a significant amount of time with them, please realize that you are not ready to get a dog yet. There are thousands of dogs left homeless or put to sleep because owners can no longer afford them. Please do not add to those numbers… Know the true cost of owning a dog and caring for a dog before getting a puppy.


Benefits of Owning a Dog

Stay Healthy! – Health Benefits of Dogs

While the costs of owning a dog can be a pretty penny, the benefits of owning a dog often outweigh the price. There are a number of proven health benefits for people that live with dogs, including physical, mental, & emotional improvements. Man’s best friend is known to help lower  blood pressure & cholesterol, reduce stress, boost immunity and reduce allergies. Dog companionship wards off depression, lowers anxiety, lifts our mood & helps ease the sense of loneliness.

Stay Fit! – Exercise with Dogs

Having a dog keeps people active. They get more exercise from walking a dog and playing with them in the yard. Dog owners also have increased activity through feeding, grooming and taking care of them.

Be Happy! – Social Benefits of Owning a Dog

If that is not enough, there are also social benefits of owning a dog. A report showed that people feel more happy after adding a dog to the family. Why? Dogs are great for families. They create a sense of well-being, they bring closeness to the family by doing things together, and provide entertainment for kids & parents alike. In addition, they promote social interactions. Animals serve as social facilitators and ice breakers, making it easier to talk by awing over the dog.

Be Protected!

Lastly, dogs offer protection. Canines have a keen sense of hearing. They know the sound of your vehicle and hear noises that we don’t. Their barking wards off potential thieves. Dogs protect their families.

“When we factor in emotional, physical & social benefits of dog ownership, we believe the true cost of owning a dog is PRICELESS!”



  • Dave says:

    Nice infographic! I’d agree that the price for owning a dog must be considered, but having one in your life can be priceless. I’ve owned a succession of Damlatians but for the past few years have had cats instead. Cats are certainly less bother, but then again I’ve missed out on all those walks (it definitely makes a difference to fitness!)

    Thinking of getting a Husky next, but need to change my work situation first… Cats look after themselves, Dogs don’t!

  • Fernanda says:

    No matter how much I spend on my doggie, it is totally worth it!

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