If the one thing that has kept you from experiencing the love and friendship of a dog is wondering how much does owning a dog cost, hopefully this helps. Dogs give us more than love and friendship actually. For some, a dog helps with PTSD, anxiety and more. They can be the perfect companion to overcome many issues. Taking care of a dog does come with responsibilities for their lives, so understanding basically how much it could cost to take care of them is a good start.
Costs will vary depending on your parenting style, and will vary depending on where you live as market prices can be different. These totals represent a basic average to simply give you an idea and help you make financial decisions before committing to dog ownership.
Dog Food Costs
Food and clean water are the basic requirements for any living being. How much dog food your dog needs in a month depends on the size of your dog (the bigger the dog, the more food they will eat), dietary restrictions or any special nutrition requirements.
Most dogs will happily eat anything, however, that is not always healthy for them. Since this article is only about costs, we won’t get into what dog food ingredients, brands and more to avoid at this time. At the least, keep up with our pet food recalls section. Depending on what type of food (we recommend high quality raw food) you choose and the size of your dog, your monthly costs will be approximately $30 to $148 a month.
Total: $30-$148/month (depending on dog size and food quality)
Routine Veterinarian Visits
Most pet parents will agree that taking your dog to the Vet at least once a year is highly recommended. Not only for an annual overall wellness check, but to make sure that their shots are up to date. Most cities require rabies shots for their license (about $20 per year) and the Vet is the only one that can do that. In the event that you need to board your dog for a few days (at a proper dog boarding facility), they will also need proof of various vaccinations. The cost of a routine wellness visit and having a preferred Veterinarian that knows your dogs history is priceless. Visit costs can vary depending on market prices, but a rule of thumb is approximately $85 to $150 per year.
Total: $85-$150/year (depending on market prices and health needs)
Preventive Health Care Products for Dogs
Just like humans, every dog comes with their own needs. And just like humans again, dogs need supplements and other preventive care items too. From simply brushing their teeth regularly to optimizing their overall health and wellness .
If your dog is anxious or suffers from aches and pains, products like dog supplements would be a wellness item you want to provide them. Some pet parents choose dog supplements for the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. It works for cats too!
Costs for these items can vary depending on your dogs size due to the differences in the amount they will consume. At a minimum, lets assume that you will at least brush their teeth with an enzymatic dog toothpaste. Be sure to learn how a dogs digestive system is different when it comes to their mouth and enzymes.
Total: $7-$40/month (depending on dog size and specific health needs)
City License and Why it is Important
At first most people might think why do I need a dog license! Simply put, your license proves ownership and assists animal control departments and shelters to quickly identify your dog and get them back to you safely should they get lost. This also brings up the importance of getting a microchip for your dog. The data from reputable microchips from your Veterinarian end up in a National Database. Imagine if Fido ever got loose. Imagine if there was ever an emergency and your dog fled for his safety.
Without the City License and the Microchip, nobody can call you to return your dog to you.
How Much Dog Grooming And Bathing Cost
If you have a tiny dog, it is quite easy to do this yourself. At a minimum, you have to be a pro when it comes to trimming their nails and brushing their teeth. We suggest to at least get those items done by a proper groomer. When we say proper, we do not mean Petco and the larger chains. We mean specialized smaller independent providers.
To save on expenses you can give your dog a bath in your own home or backyard. If you choose this method, the monthly costs are minimal for good shampoos and soaps. For others that choose the groomer route, we recommend monthly visits. Sure, this might add up, but there is actually a lot that a proper groomer is doing. At a bare minimum, every dog should see a groomer a couple times a year for a sanitary trim, removal of any visual impairments so that they can see properly and more.
Total: $0-$100/month (depending on various specific needs)
Dog Boarding / Doggie Day Care Costs
If you travel a lot or are not at home much, you should consider day care, dog walkers, and boarding into your monthly budget. Professional services are recommended due to their level of responsibility. Sure, you can ask a friend, the kid next door, or others to do these things, but what if something bad happens? That’s where cutting cost will actually cost you more in the long run. Professional Dog walkers can range anywhere from $15 to $35 for a 30-minute walk depending on market prices (where you live). Dog day care can range from $20 to $65 for an all day super playing session at a professional dog day care (which is a great place for your dog to meet friends!). Professional facilities often have camera systems that broadcast their feeds to a website so that you can check in easily. Overnight boarding costs are a bit more with prices ranging from $45 to over $100 per night.
Total: $0-$550/month (depending on where you live, the frequency of use and many more variables)
Dog Specific Household Items And Toys!
When you get a dog, there are several items that you will need to make them comfortable in their new home. At different life stages, they will need different things as well. So, at a minimum they need dishes for their food and water. You will need at least one dog collar (you attach that important city license to it, as well as a tag with their name and your phone number), one dog leash (for walks), and a bed for them to sleep on. There are other items, such as poop bags to pick up after them on walks. And last but not least, they like toys! Toys keep them occupied and they can be fun for them. They also like a variety of toys hence why we will add this to the monthly budget. Getting the bare minimum will likely cost approximately $50 per month.
Total: $25-$50/month (depending on what you buy and how often)
In summary, Dog Costs Per Month:
The Bare Minimum Total: $62-$238/month (depending on what you buy and how often)