Basic Costs of Dog Ownership: New Dog Owner Guide Part 3

Last updated on August 11th, 2020 at 02:15 pm

How much does owning a dog costs?

Dogs are the best friends, ready to offer companionship and always willing to protect their family from intruders. However, they can also be expensive and a few points need to be checked before adopting one.  Caring for a dog is more like caring for a toddler, for up to two decades in some cases.

Unpredictable costs are inevitable when caring for a dog. Accidents, health problems or simply old age result in more expensive needs. From managing the usual health conditions to sudden turmoil, pet insurance helps a lot.

“Before you get a dog, you can’t quite imagine what living with one might be like; afterward, you can’t imagine living any other way”- Caroline Knapp

From the time of adoption to their daily need, over a life span of 8-18 years, you should consider the costs. Larger breed dogs have a shorter span of life, but the costs incurred will be more as the vet bills and food costs are higher. The average expense will be $25,000 or $ 2,452 per year.

Cost Calculation for the expenditure of a new dog

  • Initial purchase of a dog: $200 – $ 1,500 average being $592.70
  • Microchip: $50, though ideally it will be done before purchasing

Preventive Healthcare for a new dog

Vaccination is required at 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age and then every 1-3 years depending on the vaccination given

  • Vaccination $ 70- $ 105
  • Worming/heartworm average is $ 7/month for Interceptor
  • Fleas $10 / month on average for Comfortis/Frontline
  • Half-yearly health check at the vet’s: $ 65

Dog equipment for a new dog

Dogs need special care and accessories, both at home and when outside in the yard or while walking.

  • Dog Bed:$20 – $ 200
  • Brush: $ 20
  • Bowls: $ 20
  • Collar, Lead and Tag: $ 50 – $ 100

Grooming expenses for a dog

  • Bath and clip at the groomer every 6-8 weeks, depending on the size, breed and needs of the dog $ 60 – $ 100
  • Shampoo / conditioner: $ 30/year

Food expenses estimation for a dog

  • Basic food $1,213/year
  • Treats: $ 100/year
  • Bones & Dental chews: $ 100/year

Toy expenditure for dogs

  • Puzzles: $50/toy
  • Chew Toys: $30/toy
  • Tennis Balls: $10/year


Training, boarding, daycare and strolling expenses for a dog

  • Puppy school: $100 for a 4 week course
  • Behavior consult: $ 200 – $ 300
  • Training classes, though some are free: $170 for a 4 week training course
  • Boarding costs: $30-$50/day and it’s higher on public holidays
  • Dog Walking: $ 25/hour


Average Veterinary cost for a new dog

Dog care is costly and on average, AVA lists the costs at $450/year including worming and flea medication, while the Bankwest figures quote it to be $350/year. Depending on the breed of the dog, the general expenses incurred for their health maintenance are as below

  • Based on the size of the dog, Desexing: $ 200 for male and $ 350 for a female
  • Ear infection: $ 90
  • Dental clean under anesthesia: $ 400 – $ 900. It includes lower end teeth basic scaling and polishing and upper end for severe diseases requiring surgical extractions
  • Allergies: $150 – $ 200 for initial consultation and treatment
  • Vomiting / diarrhea: $200 – $ 3000 depending on severity
  • Knee Surgery, depending on the breed of dog and surgery performed: $1,500- $ 5,000.

Unprecedented costs can be reduced by taking a pet insurance. Though pet insurance costs $ 150 – $ 600/year depending on the age of pet, policy terms, and chosen excess, it is worth the value as it allows you to provide the best care for your furry family member without worrying about the cost.

“When looking to adopt a new dog, the most important thing to consider is always the energy of the dog and how the dog will fit in with your lifestyle and your family”– Cesar Milan

Owning a pet is costly. The larger the dog, the more expensive it will be to manage him as the food he consumes will be higher, while medical bills, bedding and toys also add to the expenses. The good news is that the emotional and health benefits of having a dog are priceless! People with pets will often have lower blood pressure and kids that grow up with furry friends have been known to experience lower rates of asthma and allergies.

“There is a saying. If you want someone to love you forever, buy a dog, feed it and keep it around”- Dick Dale

Elyce Nicholls
Elyce Nicholls

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