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The Costs Of Owning A Dog - What You Need To Know

by Higooga Team on June 27, 2022
Cost of owning a dog | Higooga Blog

Pets are wonderful companions, but they can also be a significant responsibility. When you have a budget in mind, you might think about initially buying your pet, however there are many associated costs to owning one. You need to come up with a plan on what exactly you'll need to take care of them. From food to medical care, we want to make sure that you're equipped with information on how much these types of things may cost you down the road and throughout the life-span of your pet's life.

In this blog post we’ll discuss the different expenses you can expect as a dog owner and offer tips on keeping your costs down.


Upfront costs

Purchase vs. adopting a dog

Any aspiring dog owner must first decide whether to buy or adopt a dog from a shelter center. If you opt to purchase, it’ll cost you at least $500 for a purebred. On the other end, rescue dogs also need a home and are much more affordable.

Depending on your country, you can easily adopt purebreds from shelters and rescue centers below US$100. In some countries, all you need is a dog license, which could cost you a fee and has to be renewed yearly.

Whether you’re adopting or buying, an adult dog will save you some cash. They might require less medical care initially, as well as trining and immunization. A 6-month-old dog is ideal. However, double-check with the breeder or pet shop if you’re buying. 

If you are tight on budget, adopting is definitely a better option, as it will save you money so you can focus your budget on getting the essential supplies.

Cost of owning a dog | Higooga Blog


The amount of food required by a dog depends on the breed. A dog needs 2 to 3 meals in a day. Some other factors determining the amount of food a dog eats include:

  • Weight
  • Activity levels
  • Age

Depending on the weight, a dog can eat ⅓ of a cup to 4 cups per meal. The same amount applies to the dog’s activity levels. However, aged dogs feed less than adults, as they need less energy.

Considering a six-pound dog with ⅓ of a cup twice a day, you can spend at least US$20 a month on food alone. However, if you opt for larger breeds such as the English Mastiff or the Great Dane, be prepared to spend more on food. 


Spaying and neutering

If you want to reduce your dog’s aggressiveness, spaying or neutering your dog is a must. Also, it helps reduce the chances of your dog getting cancer and minimizes unwanted behavior such as fighting. It will also make your dog more affectionate. 

If you’ve opted to adopt, chances are your dog has been spayed or neutered. Otherwise, it’ll cost you a substantial budget. Check with your local vet for the associated costs and make sure you plan beforehand.


Essential supplies for your dog

The Costs Of Owning A Dog | Higooga Blog

Bed and crate

Your dog needs a comfortable environment to adjust to its new surrounding. A dog crate provides your dog with ample space to live in without competing with others. Also, it creates a comfortable place to sleep if you add a dog bed. To save on the costs, you need to purchase a bed that will last long as your dog grows older. 

Washable bowls

You should get anti-slip bowls for both food and water. With as little as US$5, you can feed your dog comfortably.

Dog tags, leash, and collar

If you are walking your dog on busy roads, you’ll need a leash, collar, and tags. The leash will help you restrain your dog and prevent accidents. Dog tags help you recover your dog if it gets lost. Some countries require every dog to have a tag, so check with your local administrative body to make sure you comply.

Toys and treats

Having toys for your dogs plays an essential role in its life. For instance, they need to bite and chew to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Also, they help in training and bonding with family members. There are plenty of choices for toys, so make sure you find one that clicks with your dog and at a budget you can afford. Replace them regularly to ensure safety.

The Costs Of Owning A Dog | Higooga Blog

Grooming tools

Your pet needs regular grooming to remove dead skin, de-shed and untangle hair. A good, ergonometric pet grooming brush and a pair of good nail clipper will come in handy. 

Medical expenses

As a first-time dog owner, you must know that dogs require medical attention. This starts from the moment you buy or adopt them. Some of the common issues include:

  • Vaccination
  • Unexpected illnesses and injuries
  • Flea and tick medications
  • Heartworm prevention

While these expenses can be a burden, adopting a dog can help you reduce the cost of owning a dog. Rescue dogs come with an up-to-date vaccination record, which is included in their adoption cost.

It's best to consult a veterinarian in advance to understand all the costs involved and what you could do to prevent unwanted problems in the long-run.


Annual expenses

We often think about shelter and food when we think of everyday expenses. But a lot more goes into it.

The Costs Of Owning A Dog | Higooga Blog


If you want your dog to stay healthy and avoid spending too much on fighting parasites and pests, ensure your pet is well-groomed. For instance, dog breeds such as Havanese and Poodle will require regular maintenance to keep a healthy coat. Grooming includes bathing, clipping, and brushing. You can either do it or hire a professional. 

The cost of grooming will also depend on your dog’s breed. For instance, if you opt to do the grooming yourself, you’ll have to spend money on buying;

  • Pet grooming brushes
  • Nail clippers
  • Bathing and grooming tub
  • Dog shampoo
  • Grooming wipes
  • Thinning shears and much more

For professional groomers, it could cost up to US$100 per session. With proper care, your dog will need about 1 session a month.


The only way a dog can learn good behavior is through training. This includes how the dog understands and responds to various commands and other behavior. to suit your lifestyle.

To ensure your dog is well mannered, you’ll have to train it yourself or hire a professional dog trainer. Dog training depends on the age of the dog. Puppies will need to learn basic commands and behavior control, while older dogs need the training to maintain good behavior. 

You’ll need to buy dog toys and treats to train the dog. You’ll also have to spend time walking your dog on a regularly basis.

What is the lifetime cost of owning a dog?

The Costs Of Owning A Dog | Higooga Blog

While we have highlighted the basic expenses of owning a dog, you must consider the lifetime cost of having one. This cost depends entirely on your dog’s health and wellbeing. 

First, you need to have an emergency fund for your dog. Illnesses and injuries always occur unexpectedly and can lead to you spending thousands of dollars. An easier option is to have pet insurance to cover such cases.

Also, if you travel frequently and have to take your dog with you, you may need to use the emergency fund to cover travel costs. Some apartments require a pet deposit and sometimes an additional cleaning fee. If you tend to leave your dog at home when you travel, make sure you have budgeted to pay for a dog sitter or a boarding facility.