Dog with toy in mouth.

How Much Does it Cost to Own A Dog?

There is indeed no actual price to man’s best friend, but there are some expenses that come with owning a dog. Many factors go into how much it costs to own a dog. The average yearly cost of a single dog household can range from $1,500 upwards to almost $10,000

Before you get a new best friend for your house, you should take a look at some of the costs that go into owning a dog long before you pick one up. Many dogs can live upwards of 10 years, and owning a pet should always be a lifelong commitment. 

Initial Investment

Going to pick out your new best friend is perhaps the best feeling ever. But there are pros and cons to going to a rescue or picking out a puppy from a breeder. There’s also a price difference. 


These dogs will typically come with a higher price tag, but you can get more bang for your buck at a professional breeder. They are reputable and often have a list of accomplishments that their dogs have won. Many believe in breed standards, and that will usually result in healthier puppies. 

These purebred dogs often run anywhere from $500 to $2000, depending on the breed and titles that the parents have. Many will come with the first shots, and some breeders offer spaying or neutering options for your pup. However, there will be additional vet visits as your puppy matures

Rescues or Shelters

Shelters can be a fantastic resource to buy a dog for your family. They all already have been spayed or neutered, so you won’t have to worry about that medical bill. Most of them come with shots as well. They are also overall a lot cheaper than buying a puppy. Some adult dogs can be as cheap as $50

If you still want a specific breed, there are a few options. First is you might run across one in a local shelter. Many purebred dogs end up there. Or you can find breed-specific rescue. Places like The Greyhound project help place retired racing hounds with families.


Buying a dog is a one-time cost. However, every single month there will be things that must be purchased to keep your dog happy and healthy. 

Dog bowl with kibble next to paws.

Food and Treats

Pet nutrition is vital so to make sure you are feeding your dog the healthiest food you can afford. Don’t try and get by with the cheap stuff. Some of those foods contain low-quality ingredients, and some even include sawdust! Yuck. While treats aren’t a must, your dog will always be happy to have one. 

Food and treats can run between $20 and $150 per month for your dog. Smaller dogs will need less food in comparison to more giant breeds of dogs that won’t last a week on a small bag. High-energy working dogs will also need better quality food for their demanding bodies. So if you want to participate in Flyball, expect to splurge. 

Adding a delicious treat to your dog’s favorite toy is a great way to keep them busy. Try Runball Treats today.

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Having toys for your dog to play with is essential to their mental health. There’s also a lot of pretty neat stuff that toy companies are making. Depending on the destruction level of your dog, you might be spending quite a bit of extra money on toys if you have a power chewer on your hands. Expect to spend between $20 and $200 a year, depending on your dog. Some dogs aren’t chewers, so toys will last longer. 

Related: 20 Best toys for small and large dogs


While the dog itself and food can make up the majority of the cost of owning a dog, many other things keep your dog happy.


If your dog doesn’t destroy them, you’ll need a place for your dog to feel safe. You can pick up various sized beds for your dog, and they can range from $20 to over $200. While you may be tempted to get a cheap one, it’s not recommended. Maybe while your pup is still growing, but you’ll want to invest in a durable bed. If it’s easy to clean, that’s even better.

Leashes and Collars

Similar to a bed, investing in quality products can help these items last throughout your dog's life. While you may need to adjust the size if you get a puppy, a good collar and leather leash can last your dog's lifetime. Expect to spend at least $30-$60 on a leather leash. Nylon is cheaper, but it can hurt your hands and wear out quickly. And a collar can run between $15 and $60

Pro Tip: To make sure the collar isn’t too tight, make sure you can fit two fingers between the collar and your dog's neck. 

 Dog sitting next to person outside.


The list keeps growing. Here are some things that your dog may need. Depending on the breed and age, these prices can vary but should be thought about before getting a dog.

  • Grooming. Some dogs are okay with regular brushing. Others need professional trimming.
  • Routine Veterinary Care. Every year your dog will need shots. They should go in more often but expect to spend a few hundred dollars. 
  • Medications and supplements. Every dog will need the essential flea and tick medication and heartworm preventative. Some dogs also benefit from CBD or other supplements like glucosamine.
  • Training classes. While you may luck out with a rescue dog, many dogs need some form of training. 
  • Dog walker. If you work a lot or don’t have kids to do it, you may need to pay someone to burn off your dog's extra energy.
  • Boarding. If you ever plan on traveling, you’ll need someone to watch your dog while you are away.

Related: Why does my dog bring me toys?


While buying a dog is exciting, be sure to consider the long-term expenses of owning a dog. Also, be sure to prepare for emergencies. There are a lot of different factors that go into the cost of owning a dog, but the love and loyalty they give us is priceless.

Want a fun and long-lasting toy for you and your dog to enjoy? Runball is the ultimate dog toy.