How much does it cost to be a dog parent?

The Cost of Dog Parenthood in 2023

The Cost of Dog Parenthood: New Dog Expenses

When you first get a dog, there can be a lot of one-time, upfront costs. It can seem daunting at first but you’re not alone. We have checklists to help you figure out essentials and what to expect in terms of cost. By budgeting ahead, you can alleviate financial anxiety and increase your confidence in being a supportive pet parent!

How much you spend depends on whether your dog prefers the basics or if they can puppy-eye you into splurging. According to our research, the all up total of bringing your dog home typically ranges from $1,135 to $5,155 for the first year. This is an increase of about 12% since 2022.

First-Time Dog Expenses

Item From To
Adoption fees $115 $725
Spay or neuter surgery $340 $1,500
Microchip $60 $80
Initial vet exam and vaccinations $340 $510
Collar or harness $5 $115
Leash $10 $55
Food bowls $5 $75
Poop bags $10 $45
Crate $30 $400
Bed $15 $550
Shampoo and brush $15 $40
Stain and odor removers $5 $20
Potty pads $20 $80
Toys $5 $80
Treats $5 $115
Basic veterinary care $110 $340
Pet license $20 $100
Food $25 325
Total $1,135 $5,155

Adoption and breeder fees

When it comes to buying a dog, adoption fees range between $115 and $725. If you want a purebred puppy, however, these cost can balloon beyond $1,000 and up to $4,500. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to do your breed research before you commit! Certain breeds have specific needs and require a more experienced or committed pet parent than others. One Rover editor found out firsthand how differently a puppy vs. an adult dog costs, especially when it comes to training and separation anxiety.

Don’t forget a pet license ($20 to $100) and dog microchip either which typically costs $60-$80 for a dog, depending on where you live.

Vet visits and vaccinations

Regardless of where your pup comes from, you’ll want to get them checked by a vet when you bring them home. One of the most noticeable increases in costs from last year are in this category. “We base our prices off of a yearly fee guide from our vet association,” claims Dr. Rebecca Greenstein. “This year, across the board there’s been a 5-10% increase in every cost.” Here’s how vet visits break down in the first year:

  • The first vet visit, which covers vaccinations can cost anywhere from $340-$510. You may also find low cost pet vaccination programs near you.
  • Spay or neutering can cost anywhere from $340-$1,500. You’ll want to budget for this within the first year, if your pet isn’t spayed or neutered yet. However, if you adopt, the adoption fee may covers a spay or neuter. Tip: You may be able to find low cost spay/neuter clinics near you.
  • Additional vet visits for younger dogs may include a wellness exam and parasite prevention. These can average between $110-$325 for new pet parents.

Your dog’s vet visit may be more than once a year yet too, depending on their age or health conditions they may have. Make sure you’re prepared for other medical expenses your new dog may need. Pet insurance can be a helpful aid in paying for some of these expenses.

New dog supplies

Next up are the essential supplies to keep your new dog comfortable at home. Many of these dog items will vary in cost based on factors like your dog’s size, the type, and where you get it from:

Toys and treats are also an important part of getting your dog to create positive associations with their new home and bond with you.

The cost of keeping your home and your dog smelling great can vary as well. If you need to house-train your pup inside, puppy training pads can cost anywhere from $20-$80. You may skip the potty pads if adopting an adult dog but don’t skimp on grooming tools. Depending on your dog’s fur need, dog shampoo and brushes can cost anywhere from $15-$40 per brush, while stain and odor removers for your carpet cost up to $20 each time.

Like all things, initial expenses can range depending on your dog’s breed and size but also your own preferences and lifestyle as a pet parent. When choosing your dog, don’t forget to do some breed-specific research and take a look at the price ranges for each expense. Maybe you’ll discover that making your own dog toys in order to splurge on treats is the money-saving hack for your budget planning.

The Cost of Dog Parenthood: Annual Essentials

After covering the initial expenses to make your home pup-ready, keep the on-going, annual costs in mind. Our research shows that the average dog parent may spend anywhere from $610-$3,555 per year on their dog—that averages to $40-$290 per month. This is roughly a 15% increase since 2022. One dog parent looked at her dog expenses over the last six years and saw inflation increases across food, vet care, and pet insurance. She also noticed a jump in pet care prices after moving from Colorado to Washington.

Yearly Dog Expenses

Item From To
Food $300 $2,340
Flea and tick prevention $55 $215
Poop bags $95 $160
Treats $60 $480
Toys $30 $250
Annual check up $70 $110
Total $610 $3,555

These costs range vary, based on your dog’s age, breed, and lifestyle. For example:

  • Food costs, which can range widely—anywhere from $300-$2,340 per year—depending on the brand and how much your dog eats. Some dog parents opt for fresh dog food instead of dry or canned, often through a home delivery service, which can cost a bit more.
  • Routine vet visits, which are a must, typically run $70-$110 each time. Puppies may need to see a vet more often in the early months to ensure they’re growing healthily.
  • Flea and tick prevention, which averages from $55-$215 per year, is also a critical health cost to keep in mind. Your pet’s weight determines the price for these treatments.

By the first month or two, you’ll probably have used up your initial purchase of treats, toys, and poop bags. And you will probably find yourself constantly buying more of these, even long into your dog’s old age. In fact, most pet parents would consider these on-going essentials!

Depending on your dog’s likes and dislikes, it may be worth considering how these items fit into your annual budget:

  • Treats, which can be a big help in training your dog, cost the typical pet parent anywhere from $60-$480 per year.
  • Toys purchases, which can vary based on quality and quantity, usually land between $30-$250 per year.
  • Poop bags cost about $95-$160 a year for most dog owners. Your dog’s size and your personal preference on factors such as scent, eco-friendliness, or quality also affect these costs.

The Cost of Dog Parenthood: Surprises to Budget For

“Optional” Pet Expenses

Item From To
Emergency vet bills $160 $1,290
Dental cleaning $430 $590
Wellness vet bills $80 $270
Dog boarding $45 $315
Dog walking $20 $140
Grooming $50 $125
Apartment pet deposit $200 $500
Pet insurance $360 $720
Training session $45 $145
Total $1,390 $4,095

While these expenses may not come up for every pet parent, it’s important to keep “optional” costs in mind. Optional costs are items that aren’t generally considered must-haves for your pet, but many do consider these make or break expenses to their pet’s wellbeing. The average range for additional dog costs land between $1,390-$4,095 total.

Health costs: Emergency visits and dental hygiene

Hopefully you’ll never need to make a trip to the emergency vet, but if you do, the typical visit costs between $160-$1,290. Teeth cleaning is another expense not every pet parent opts for, but if you decide to schedule a cleaning be prepared to pay anywhere from $430-$590. If your dog ends up needing to have teeth pulled, this will increase the cost.

Dog enrichment: boarding, training, and day care

Depending on your lifestyle and schedule, you may decide to book pet care for your pup. Dog boarding averages $45 per night and dog walking averages $20 per walk but varies based on where you live and the dates you select.

Dog training is another common additional expense and costs an average of $45-$145 per session. Many people do at-home training themselves to save money and bond with their dog. If you want more structure, but still want an affordable option, virtual dog training is available.

Another unexpected cost is managing dog anxiety. Anxiety remedies can cost anywhere from $10-$500, ranging from distraction toys, pet sitters, to separation training programs. Keep in mind that a dog who needs constant at-home care is often double the cost when it comes to hiring a sitter. This means a vacation can exponentially increase your budget.

Grooming costs

If you have a breed with a coat that requires regular maintenance, like a poodle or Havanese, this is one cost you’ll want to keep in mind: grooming. A typical dog grooming appointment costs between $50-$125, and depending on your dog’s breed, you’ll need multiple per year.

If you’d prefer to not spend money on grooming visits, consider a dog breed with a low-maintenance coat, like a Pit Bull. And who knows! You might want to get matching outfits.

Pet insurance and deposits

Pet insurance, which may help lower your veterinary expenses, is an optional aspect of pet parenthood. Dog owners that do opt in typically pay between $360-$720 annually.

Lastly, if you rent your home, you’ll likely need to put down an additional pet deposit before bringing your dog home. This expense usually adds up to about $200-$500 for the average renter, as a one-time pet deposit. Many buildings also charge an ongoing pet rent.

The Cost of Dog Parenthood: End of Life Considerations

End of Life Considerations

Item From To
Extra supplies like potty pads, ramps and other mobility tools $20 $200
Euthanasia $400 $800
Cremation $100 $400
Special foods $50 $150
Vet visits $100 $1,000
Total $670 $2,550

As pet parents, it sometimes feels impossible to think about what our beloved dog’s end of life might look like, but it’s important to budget for, especially if you have a memorial idea in mind. This is perhaps the time when costs vary the most, depending on your dog’s case and your own preferences. Vet visit costs will vary, but we’ve put together an estimate for some considerations totaling between $670 and $2,550.

Euthanasia is not something most pet parents budget for. But as one dog parent shares, there are ways to make the experience less painful, from in-home options to asking to pre-pay before the service.

Pet Parents Would Rather Give These Things Up Than Their Pets

A green bar chart with a dog showing things that dog owners would rather give up than their dog.

It’s no secret that pet parents have become increasingly dedicated to their furry family members—but what lengths would they go to in order to keep their pets around? Nearly half (42%) of pet parents say they’d give up their morning latte forever and over a third (33%) would skip social outings for a year.

Even more shockingly, 29% of pet parents say they’d rather never buy new clothes again than give up their pets. Another 22% would give up traveling for the next ten years, 20% would cut cable or streaming services for the rest of their life, and 14% of pet parents would rather go without seeing their significant other in person for six months. Now that’s dedication!

Your Dog’s Breed Could Determine How Much You Spend

Dr. Rebecca Greenstein, B.Sc., D.V.M., shared a few insights about how breed can play into variation in veterinary costs, specifically:

“Breed factors [into the cost of dog parenthood] on a number of levels,” she said. “At its very simplest, it could be about size, and size is a huge governing factor in costs. Medicines are dosed based on body weight, for example.”

She also mentioned that a dog’s demeanor can be partially determined by their breed. Are they mischievous and more likely to ingest something they shouldn’t? Are they really playful and active, potentially more likely to get injured? Ultimately, Dr. Greenstein said that accidents can ultimately happen to anyone, and every dog needs basic vet care.

How much pet parents spend, by dog breed

In our survey, pet parents reported how much they spend monthly on their dog. We took a look at the 10 most popular dog breeds to see how costs compared and discovered some surprises.

A breakdown of how much each of the 10 most popular dog breeds in the US cost, reported by dog owners.

Compared to 2022, pet care costs are definitely on the rise—and it’s especially apparent for most popular breeds. On average, the majority of Chihuahua, Beagle, mixed breed, Labrador Retriever, and Dachshund parents are spending between $50-$99 a month on their dogs in 2023, compared to less than $100 last year for this same group. 

Goldendoodles take the top spot for costs in 2023, averaging pet parents $100-$149 per month. This spirited breed has become increasingly popular, and it appears their doting parents spare no expense when it comes to spoiling these hybrid pups.

With Higher Costs in 2023, Here Are Some Ways to Save

A graphic of ways for dog owners to save money

With costs rising, pet parents are looking for ways to save money and we have a few ideas to get them started. First on our list: Don’t try new foods and treats or new intense activities right before the weekend. Why? Well, most vet offices are closed on weekends which means if something happens, you’ll have to foot the bill for an expensive pet emergency room visit.

Another money saving tip is to stop buying training treats and just use your dog’s kibble as small rewards. It’s a lot cheaper and, depending on how much you train, you can easily adjust your dog’s meals to make up for the extra nibbles. We also recommend checking out your local Buy Nothing group, usually located on Facebook. These are online groups where neighbors give away things they no longer want or need for free to their neighbors—and this can often include great pet products and sometimes even food.

Does your dog love plush toys? Try picking some up secondhand at thrift stores, consignment stores, or online marketplaces like OfferUp. Just be sure to wash them before playtime begins!

Lastly, you can actually save money by investing in pet insurance. This usually works best if you sign up your pet right when you get them and before they grow older or develop health issues.

Additional Resources

A dog with a bowl of food.

How to Adopt the Right Dog for You

Now you know you’ve got the dimes to spoil that dog, let’s take a look at what it takes to find your newest best friend. It’s more than just how they look. From being realistic about your lifestyle fit to choosing the right rescue shelter, our guide to adopting a dog has you covered.

A corgi puppy playing with a toy

How I Spent $12,058 During My Samoyed Puppy’s First 12 Months

If you’re unexperienced with your dog’s breed—or are a first time dog parent of a high-needs breed—you may also want to pad your budget a little more than normal. Our own editorial manager at Rover discovered she spent over $12,000 in 2022, thanks to an unlucky combination of inexperience, inflation, and separation anxiety.

A Yorkie inside a shopping bag

Shop the Rover Store

Head the Rover Store for some of the best pet parent garb and show off how much you love your dog. The store now includes pillows, mugs, tote bags, desk decor and more. Check out our new Rover Gear collection with a leash and harness.

Shop the store.

Methodology: A Rover survey of 1,500 US pet parents conducted in March 2023 via Pollfish.

Sources: Rebecca Greenstein, B.Sc., D.V.M., The Pet People, Chewy, Petco, Animal Humane Society,, Zillow, Nicole Ellis, GoodPup, Thumbtack, Seattle Humane Society, Rover

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