The Cost of Dog Parenthood in 2023

The Cost of Dog Parenthood: New Dog Expenses

When you first get a dog, there are a lot of one-time expenses. It can seem daunting at first to purchase everything at once but the good news is that you don’t have to purchase it all at once. The greater news is we’re here to help you break it down.

When it comes to the all up total for these initial costs, most dog parents typically spend between $1,395-$4,270 up front, depending on whether you stick to the basics or splurge on more expensive essentials.

First-Time Dog Expenses

Item From To
Adoption fees $145 $320
Spay or neuter surgery $430 $1,500
Microchip $50 $100
Initial vet exam and vaccinations $430 $645
Collar or harness $15 $135
Leash $15 $85
Food bowls $5 $110
Poop bags $10 $20
Crate $40 $180
Bed $15 $290
Shampoo and brush $25 $50
Stain and odor removers $15 $65
Potty pads $10 $60
Toys $5 $65
Treats $5 $40
Basic veterinary care $130 $430
Pet license $30 $65
Total $1,395 $4,270

Adoption, health checks, and pet licenses

Adoption fees typically range between $145-$320, but can balloon into the thousands if you choose to buy a puppy from a breeder instead. Regardless of where your pup comes from, if they aren’t yet spayed or neutered, that surgery can cost anywhere from $430 to $1,500. However, if you adopt your dog, the adoption fee may cover a spay or neuter.

Vaccinations are especially important for puppies, and typically cost around $430-$645. And don’t forget a pet license and microchip, they can cost $30-$65 and $50-$100 respectively.

New dog supplies for your home

Next up is the essential gear you’ll need to keep your new dog comfortable at home:

  • collar/harness ($15-$135)
  • leash ($15-$85)
  • poop bags ($10-$20)
  • food and water bowls ($5-$110)
  • crate ($40-$180)
  • a dog bed ($14-$290)
  • toys ($5-$65)
  • treats ($5-$40)

At-home grooming and hygiene costs

The average cost of keeping your home and your dog smelling great can vary as well, with dog shampoo and brushes ranging from $25-$50, stain and odor removers $15-$65, and potty pads $10-$60.

Like all things, expenses can range depending on your dog’s breed and size but also your own preferences and lifestyle as a pet parent. Before getting a dog, take a look at the price ranges for each expense and determine your budget and priorities.

The Cost of Dog Parenthood: Annual Essentials

After covering the initial one-time expenses to settle your pup into your home, there are also annual costs to keep in mind. Food, vet visits, and on-going essentials can add up. In Canada, the cost of owning a dog prices out to an average of $460-$3,140 per year.

Cost of Dog Parenthood Per Year

Item From To
Food $215 $1,340
Flea and tick prevention $65 $270
Poop bags $30 $170
Treats $35 $480
Toys $30 $750
Annual check up $85 $130
Total $460 $3,140

Food costs can range widely—anywhere from $215 to $1,340 per year—depending on the brand and how much your dog eats.

Routine vet visits are a must and cost $85-$130 per visit. Flea and tick prevention (average $65-$270) is also an important annual costs to keep in mind.

We can’t forget treats, toys, and poop bags—most pups and their parents would consider these essentials!

The Cost of Pet Parenthood: Surprise Costs

While these expenses may not come up for every pet parent, it’s important to keep surprise costs in mind. Surprise costs are the unexpected but sometimes necessary costs to maintain your pet’s health and wellbeing. The extra costs you might want to consider saving up for can range from $2,060-$5,600 total.

Additional Expenses

Item From To
Emergency vet bills $215 $1,615
Dental cleaning $540 $755
Wellness vet bills $305 $665
Dog boarding $50 $350
Dog walking $25 $175
Grooming $50 $200
Apartment pet deposit $500 $1,000
Pet insurance $300 $540
Training session $75 $300
Total $2,060 $5,600

They break down into:

  • Emergency vet: Hopefully you’ll never need to make a trip, but if your dog swallows something they’re not supposed to or is acting out of character and in pain, these visits could cost an average of $215-$1,615.
  • Dental health: 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 $540-$755.
  • Dog care and training: Until your pup is an adult, you may decide to book pet care so you can have some time back for yourself. Dog boarding averages $50 per night and dog walking averages $25 per walk. Dog training is another common additional expense and costs an average of $75-$300 per session.
  • Separation anxiety essentials: Anxious pups may have a harder time learning how to be alone. If you have an anxious dog, you may want to consider budgeting for additional toys, supplements, and training to help your family member feel more confident alone.
  • Grooming appointments: If you have a breed with a coat that requires regular maintenance, this is one cost you’ll want to keep in mind: grooming. A typical dog grooming appointment costs between $50-$200.
  • Pet insurance: Pet insurance can help reduce the cost of your vet bills, like the sudden trip to the emergency vet. Depending on your dog’s breed, age, and health, pet insurance can cost anywhere between $300-$540.
  • Pet deposit: Some renters may also have an additional expense. A pet deposit in Canada can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000.

The Cost of Pet Parenthood: End of Life

End of Life Considerations

Item From To
Extra supplies like potty pads and dog ramps $20 $65
Euthanasia $400 $800
Cremation $100 $400
Special foods $50 $150
Vet visits and medical costs $100 $1,000
Total $670 $2,415

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. 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 $2,415.

Pet Parents Would Rather Give These Things Up Than Their Pets

A bar chart with green bars and a dog to show things dog parents 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? Half (50%) of pet parents say they’d give up their morning latte forever and over a third (38%) would skip social outings for a year.

Even more shockingly, 30% of pet parents say they’d rather never buy new clothes again than give up their pets. Another 20% would give up traveling for the next ten years, 41% would skip eating out for a year, and 10% 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

A cost factor you may not have considered? Your dog’s breed.

We spoke to Dr. Rebecca Greenstein, B.Sc., D.V.M., for a few insights on how your dog’s breed plays into your veterinary costs:

“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 on their dogs, by breed

Compared to 2022, pet care costs are definitely on the rise—and it’s especially apparent for the top ten most popular breeds of the year.

A graphic showing which of the most popular dog breeds in Canada are the most expensive. The French bulldog is the most expensive dog breed in Canada, according to pet parents.

On the low end, the majority of Australian Shepherd, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, mixed breed, and Labrador Retriever parents spend between $50-$99 per month on their dogs. Poodle parents say they spend a bit more, $100-$149 on their pups.

French Bulldogs take the top spot for costs in 2023, averaging pet parents over $150 per month. This personality-packed breed is playful and compact, and it appears their doting parents spare no expense when it comes to spoiling them.

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

An infographic with expert tips on ways to save money as a dog owner.

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.

If your dog tends to over-lick their paws or another part of their body, veterinary expert Dr. Rebecca Greenstein of Rover’s Pet People Panel recommends putting them in a cone for a few days to prevent continued licking and costly infections. Be sure to get them checked out by a vet as well to tackle the root cause of the licking and stop it in its tracks.

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. 

Does your dog love plush toys? Stop buying new and 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 problems.

Additional Resources

Socializing Your Rescue Dog

Bringing a new dog home can be like introducing a kid to a new park. You’ll need to teach them how to play nice, aka be polite to your family and other pets. Read our guide to socializing your rescue dog.

How to Bond with Your Dog

A little love can go a long way to nurturing a calm, confident dog. Make your home your dog’s new safe space by building positive associations when you bring them home. Here are tips and tricks to foster a stronger bond with your new pup.

Five Basics for New Puppy Parents

Patience is a virtue when it comes to puppy parenting. Besides getting all your doggy gear ready, you’ll also want to put together a training plan. Read up on our top tips for new puppy parents.

Methodology:  A Rover survey of 720 Canadian pet parents conducted in February 2023 via Pollfish.

Sources: Rebecca Greenstein, B.Sc., D.V.M., The Pet People,, Pet Valu, Homes Alive,,, Nicole Ellis, Rover

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