So, you think you are ready to add a precious pooch to your humble abode? Perhaps your heart is, but is your wallet? Let’s take a look at all of the possible expenses that come with dog ownership.

According to USA Today, in the first year of dog ownership, you can expect to spend anywhere between $1314 for smaller dogs up to $1843 for larger breeds. Think about one-time expenses that include spaying, neutering, initial medical fees, spaying, neutering and a crate for the dog.

The ASPCA estimates that after the first year, the dog’s annual cost can range anywhere from $580 for small dog up to $875 for larger breeds, due to how much food that larger dogs eat. Other situations can be factored in such as pet sitting, dog training, teeth cleaning, and emergency vet bills.

According to experts, unexpected vet bills are the most common and most costly variables that drain the wallet of dog owners.

There are specific breeds that are predisposed to having more emergencies than others. According to a study, the dogs needing the most emergency care included Bernese Mountain Dogs, Rottweilers, English Cocker Spaniels, Newfoundlands and Doberman Pinschers.

According to veterinarian and assistant professor at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, adopting a mixed-breed dog can limit medical costs. She also recommends buying pet insurance, which the ASPCA estimates costing about $225 per year.

Here are some recommendations on how to cut costs of pet care per year:

  • Schedule regular checkups: Preventing illness is much less costly then trying to treat it after it has already developed.
  • Keep their teeth brushed: When a dog has dental disease, this can lead to complications with a dog’s heart and kidneys. Keeping their teeth brushed is a simple way to keep bacteria at bay.
  • Keep fleas and ticks under control: When there is a flea infestation, everything from lingering skin irritation to a life-threatening illness can happen.

Here are some things that you can expect to spend money on when it comes to getting a new dog.

Food and Treats

Feeding your dog high-quality dog food and healthy dog treats is very important. You can expect to spend between $20-$60 per month. This varies on the size and energy level of the dog as well as the food quality.


Having toys for your dogs to play with are an important part of your dog’s exercise and mental stimulation. Most people spend between $25-$150 per year on dog toys. Keep in mind that if your dog is very destructive, this number can go up much higher.


Every dog needs a cozy bed to lay on. Having one or two laying around the house will cost you around $50-$200 a year. It is best to get a durable, high-quality and easy-to clean dog bed will save you money in the long run.


How much you will spend on dog grooming depends largely on the type of hair and coat that he has. Dogs that have a smooth coat or short hair only require basic grooming, while dogs with long hair need to visit the groomer regularly. Between the price of grooming tools and having to visit the groomer, you can expect to spend around $30-$500 per year.

Routine Veterinary Care

You can expect to have to go to the vet for wellness checkups once or twice a year at a cost of about $200-$300 per year. Add on annual lab work at about $100-$300 yearly. Yearly dental cleanings are $300-$800.

Supplements and Preventative Medications

Preventative medications are needed to prevent parasites, heartworms, fleas and ticks. You will spend between $100-$500 per year for these types of medications.

Other Expenses

Some dog owners may want to put their dogs into obedience training classes. Others may want to take their dogs to pet sitters or boarding when they go out of town. Life is full of unexpected surprises. The same can be true with your pet’s health. The best way to stay prepared for emergencies is to set money aside for unexpected occurrences.