How much does a dog cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a dog cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a dog cost?

$50 – $2,000+ cost for dog only
$120 – $350 average cost per month

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$50 – $2,000+ cost for dog only

$120 – $350 average cost per month


Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Kristen Cramer
Written by
Kristen Cramer
Edited by
Jennifer Carlson
Fact-checked by
Tara Farmer

Average cost of owning a dog

Dogs make wonderful companions, offering loyalty, fun, and unconditional love, and many of us consider them part of the family. However, people often underestimate the costs involved in owning a dog.

Dog prices range from $50 to $600 in adoption fees or up to $2,500+ if you purchase a purebred pup. The average cost of owning a dog is $120 to $350 per month, depending on the breed, size, and age, the food and supplies you choose, and which professional services you use.

Dog cost calculator
Expense Average cost
Dog purchase price or adoption fee $500 – $2,500 (purchase price) or
$50 – $600 (adoption fee)
Routine vet visits $50 – $250 each
Vaccinations $75 – $400+ (first year)
$35 – $365+ (each year afterward)
Spay / neuter surgery $250 – $650 (spay)
$200 – $500 (neuter)
Food $25 – $120 per month
Treats $10 – $30 per month
Toys $25 – $100 per year
Grooming supplies $30 – $80 per year
Poop bags & dispenser $30 – $85 per year
Flea, tick, & heartworm prevention $120 – $400 per year
Dog license $15 – $30 per year
Food & water bowls $10 – $80
Collar & leash $20 – $120
Dog bed $20 – $250
Crate $100 – $280
Microchip $20 – $60
End of life care $150 – $700

Dog purchase price or adoption fee

Dog prices vary significantly depending on the breed and whether you purchase a puppy from a breeder or adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue group. Purebred dogs cost $500 to $2,500 on average, depending on the breed. Highly sought-after purebred dogs with a desirable pedigree sell for $3,500+.

In comparison, the average cost to adopt a dog is $150 to $600 for a puppy and $50 to $450 for an adult dog. The adoption fee typically includes vaccinations and sometimes also includes a microchip and spay or neuter surgery.

Medical / veterinary costs

Veterinary costs for a dog can quickly add up, especially if you don't have pet insurance. A routine annual vet visit costs $50 to $250, not including any diagnostic testing or treatments.

Dog vaccinations cost $75 to $400+ in the first year and $35 to $365+ each year afterward. All dogs need a set of core vaccines for rabies, canine distemper, parvovirus, infectious hepatitis, and parainfluenza. Your dog may also need additional non-core vaccines, depending on their lifestyle and activities.

Keep these other medical costs in mind when budgeting for your new dog:

Food & treats

The average cost for dog food ranges from $25 to $125 per month, depending on the brand and type of food. Store-brand kibble is the least expensive type, while wet dog food is slightly more expensive. The cost to feed your dog a raw food diet can reach $300+ per month.

Treats cost $10 to $30 per month, depending on the type.

Supplies & toys

Before you bring your new dog home, make sure you have these important supplies, which total about $180 to $760 in upfront costs:

  • Food and water bowls

  • Collar and leash

  • ID tags

  • Dog bed

  • Dog crate or carrier

  • Poop bags and dispenser

  • Enzymatic cleaning products

Dog toys add another $25 to $100 per year, depending on the type of toys and how durable they are.

Grooming

Professional dog grooming costs $40 to $75+ per visit. Some breeds require minimal grooming while others need regular visits. Your dog will likely need baths and grooming at home between visits to the groomer. The cost of supplies like shampoo and brushes or combs ranges from $30 to $80 per year.

Additional costs

In addition to the necessities, you may also want to take advantage of other professional services like dog training or boarding, which come with extra costs:

Additional costs of owning a dog
Service Average cost
Dog training cost $30 – $80 per class (group training)
$45 – $120 per hour (private training)
Dog walking cost $10 ­– $35 per walk
Doggy daycare cost $20 – $25 per half day
$30 – $50 per full day
Dog boarding cost $25 – $85 per night
Pet sitting cost $10 – $35 per visit
$30 – $100 per day

If you rent an apartment or house, your landlord may require you to pay a pet deposit of $200 to $500. Some landlords charge an additional $10 to $50 per month for "pet rent" instead of a deposit.

End of life care

When your dog is suffering and you make the difficult decision that it's time to let them go, there are other costs to consider. Dog euthanasia costs $150 to $400+ at a vet's office or $320 to $700 for in-home euthanasia, including cremation.

If your pet passes away at home, the cost of dog cremation alone is $40 to $450, depending on if you opt for private or communal cremation. An urn or box to hold your beloved pet's ashes costs $50 to $350.

Get free estimates from vets near you.

What affects the cost of owning a dog?

The following factors impact the monthly and lifetime costs of owning a dog:

  • Dog size: Larger dogs eat more food and require higher doses of preventative treatments for fleas, ticks, and heartworms, resulting in higher costs.

  • Dog breed: Some breeds are more prone to health issues, resulting in higher vet costs and potentially costly surgery or treatment.

  • Your lifestyle: Your costs will depend on how much you handle yourself instead of paying a professional dog walker, taking the dog to a groomer, or taking your dog to doggy daycare while you're at work. These services provide convenience but at a cost.

  • Additional costs: Optional services like dog training and pet insurance add to your costs but can save you money in the long run. A well-trained dog is less likely to destroy pillows, furniture, shoes, and other items around the house.

  • Unexpected costs: You may find yourself paying for home repairs if the dog ruins walls, doors, or carpeting.

A happy Golden Retriever dog leaning out a car window
A happy Golden Retriever dog leaning out a car window

Should I get a dog?

Whether or not you should get a dog depends on your lifestyle, schedule, home environment, and budget. A dog is a significant investment in time, money, and love. You'll need to devote time every day to caring for your dog over its lifetime, which can reach 15+ years depending on the breed.

Ask yourself these questions before bringing a dog home:

  • How will a dog fit into your current lifestyle?

  • How much time can you devote to a dog?

  • Can you afford the ongoing costs of owning a dog?

  • Can you afford the extra cost if your dog needs emergency surgery or treatment?

  • Which breed of dog is best suited for your home, family, and lifestyle?

  • How often do you travel, and who will care for the dog while you're away?

  • How important is having a perfectly clean house to you?

  • How will you train your dog?

What type of dog should I get?

Most importantly, choose a dog suited for your current lifestyle, not just based on how it looks or whether the breed is trendy right now. Keep these details in mind:

  • Puppies typically require more frequent care than adult dogs and they come with extra upfront costs for vaccinations and spaying or neutering.

  • High-energy breeds require much more activity, while other breeds are more laid back.

  • Large breed dogs not only take up more space but require more food, higher-dose preventative meds that cost more, and a larger bed and crate.

  • If you live in an apartment or your home is part of an HOA, there may be restrictions on the breeds allowed.

FAQs about owning a dog

Do you need a license to own a dog?

Most cities and states require you to get your dog licensed within 30 to 90 days of adoption or purchase, and you must renew the license every year. Check your local regulations for specific details.

What are the biggest expenses of owning a dog?

Dog food and veterinary care are typically the biggest expenses of owning a dog. However, costs depend greatly on your lifestyle and the dog's breed. Doggy daycare costs can add up if your dog spends every weekday there. Prevention treatments for fleas, ticks, and heartworms can also be expensive, especially for large dogs.


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