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The Cost of Dog Parenthood in 2022

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 $1,050 to $4,480 for the first year.

First-Time Dog Expenses

Item From To
Adoption fees $100 $700
Spay or neuter surgery $320 $800
Microchip $80 $80
Initial vet exam and vaccinations $320 $480
Collar or harness $10 $150
Leash $10 $60
Food bowls $10 $120
Poop bags $10 $70
Crate $10 $330
Bed $10 $630
Shampoo and brush $10 $60
Stain and odor removers $10 $30
Potty pads $10 $200
Toys $10 $290
Treats $10 $60
Basic veterinary care $100 $320
Pet license $20 $100
Total $1,050 $4,480

Adoption and breeder fees

When it comes to buying a dog, adoption fees range between $100 and $700. If you want a purebred puppy, however, these cost can balloon beyond $1,000 and up to $4,000.

Don’t forget a pet license ($20 to $100) and microchip either which typically costs $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. Here’s how vet visits break down in the first year:

  • The first vet visit, which covers vaccinations can cost anywhere from $320-$480.
  • Spay or neutering can cost anywhere from $320-$800. 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.
  • Additional vet visits for younger dogs may include a wellness exam and parasite prevention. These can average between $100-$320 for new pet parents.

Your dog’s 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.

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 $10-$200. 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 $10-$60, while stain and odor removers for your carpet cost up to $30.

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 $480-$3,470 per year on their dog—that averages to $40-$290 per month.

Yearly Dog Expenses

Item From To
Food $210 $2,340
Flea and tick prevention $50 $200
Poop bags $80 $230
Treats $60 $270
Toys $10 $330
Annual check up $70 $100
Total $480 $3,470

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

  • Food costs, which can range widely—anywhere from $210-$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-$100 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, averages from $50-$200 per year, is also a critical health cost to keep in mind. These treatments are priced by your pet’s weight.

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-$270 per year.
  • Toys purchases, which can vary based on quality and quantity, usually land between $10-$330 per year.
  • Poop bags cost about $80-$230 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 $150 $1,200
Dental cleaning $400 $550
Wellness vet bills $80 $250
Dog boarding $40 $280
Dog walking $20 $140
Grooming $20 $150
Apartment pet deposit $100 $500
Pet insurance $360 $720
Training session $40 $250
Total $1,210 $4,040

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 $1,210-$4,040 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 $150-$1,200. 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 $400-$550.

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 $40 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 $40-$250 per session. Many people do at-home training themselves to save money and bond with their dog.

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.

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 $20-$150, 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 $100-$500 for the average renter, as a one-time pet deposit.

Costs Claw Their Way Up Due to Inflation

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While the national conversation on rising costs and inflation has focused on things like groceries, pet parents say that pet-related costs aren’t exempt. The majority, 71%, of pet parents have witnessed the cost of pet food and treats, toys, and even vet visits go up along with their grocery bills. Another 73% of pet parents are concerned about these costs continuing to rise as they try to raise happy, healthy pets.

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 10 of the popular dog breeds to see how costs compared and discovered some surprises.

A cost breakdown of expenses by dog breed

The pet parents paying the least on average (under $100 a month) have mixed breed dogs, Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, or Beagles. The smaller breeds definitely make sense, but mixed breeds are a mixed bag when it comes to size (and bigger dogs eat more food), so the cost similarities surprised us. Labrador Retrievers are also on the lower end, coming in at $50-$99 per month.

In the middle range in terms of cost are Pit Bulls, Australian Shepherds, Goldendoodles, and German Shepherds at $100-$149 a month. These pups are a bit bigger and would require more food than most of the previous breeds, not to mention grooming needs.

Our heaviest hitter on this list of popular breeds is actually the Golden Retriever, costing dog parents $100 on the low end to over $150 a month.

Some Save Money by Adopting Dogs Instead of Having Kids

A graphic showing that 1 in 10 pet parents opted to get a dog instead of having a kid, due to costs.

Having kids is a big, often exciting, life-altering decision—but it isn’t cheap. So much so, that 1 in 10 US pet parents delayed having a child or opted not to have one at all and brought home a dog instead due to the potential lower cost. That’s true of nearly a quarter (23%) of Gen Z pet parents and 22% of Millennial pet parents.

When It Comes to Costs, We’re All In This Together

A graphic showing a dog and a globe.

While you may expect pet-related costs to vary widely depending on where you live, our research shows that isn’t necessarily the case. Urban, rural, and suburban pet parents are all equally likely to spend between $100-$149 per month. If you’re spending more or less, it probably has more to do with your dog’s breed, unique needs, or your own personal tastes or lifestyle.

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

Benefits of Working from Home with a Pet

Being at home all day while teaching your pet that being alone is OK—maybe even fun—is the newest challenge pet parents face. Get our tips on maintaining that work-life balance while reaping the benefits of working from home with a pet. Plus, check out our team’s favorite products for keeping your pets quiet or busy while you’re in a meeting.

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.

Shop the store.

Methodology: A January 2022 survey of over 1,000 US dog parents via the Rover pet parent base.

Sources: Animal Humane Society, Dr. Rebecca Greenstein, Chewy, Petco, Nicole Ellis and Apartments.com.

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