Welcome to How to Love Your Dog!

What Dogs Need
Shelter and Weather Needs
Health Care
Time with You



Chihuahua shopping for pet supplies.

  Print this Page, Text Only

What Dogs Cost


 Getting a dog can be expensive. Even if you get your dog free or for a small fee from a shelter, there are still many costs. It's important that you go into dog ownership with as much knowledge as you can so that you are prepared.

dollar bill

On this page is a description of things that could cost you money over the next 10 to 15 years during the life of your new dog.

You should think about the size of your dog when adding up the cost of things, because the larger the dog, the higher the expense - usually. You probably won't need to buy all of these things, but take a look at the possibilities.



dog house Dogs need shelter and comfort. A dog house can cost $60.00 or more.


Dog beds can cost $20.00 or more.

2. New Dog Supplies

• 1 water dish: $7.00

• 1 food dish: $7.00

• leash: $12.00

• collar: $8.00

ID tag: $5.00

toys: $8.00 up

• brush: $8.00

• crate:$30.00 up

• baby gate: $20.00 up


dog dish

3. Dog Food

Don't forget about treats for snacks and training.

You may also want to buy extra vitamins.
For one month:

There are many kinds of dog foods. Start by buying puppy food and move into adult food. You can buy dry, canned or packaged. Cost for one month: $10.00 - $40.00 or more depending on size of dog.



paw prints

4. New Dog Check-up

 Your new dog needs a check-up from the veterinarian. Basic appointments run from $30.00 to $44.00.

Young pups and adults need shots to protect them from illness. Shots can run $15.00 and higher


  New Puppy Checkup
Need a sweater for your pup?
Dish out at least $10.00

paw prints


Standard Poodle sitting with new collar and license.

5. Update Collar and License

You will need to buy another collar for your puppy after a couple of months, because most likely he will be growing.

Be sure you can always fit at least two fingers between the collar and the dog's skin. If you can't, the collar is too tight and you will need to buy a bigger one. Cost of larger collar: $10.00

It will probably be time to get your dog licensed, also. Cost for one year: $15.00 and up depending on your city. The fee is usually greatly reduced if the dog has been spayed or neutered.


Dogs have been wearing collars ever since Egyptian times! We have seen dogs with collars in art that dates back to ancient times.

Fido's Fabulous Dog Facts


   6. Grooming

Your dog will need regular grooming. You can do it yourself if you have an easy-care kind of dog. You will need to buy shampoo and if your dog has fleas or a skin problem, you'll need special shampoos. Cost of shampoo: $10.00

If you have a breed that needs special trimming, you will have to take it to a dog groomer. Depending on the size and condition of the dog, it can cost anywhere from $15.00 to $60.00 or higher.

Collie getting a bath.


Obedience Training Class

7. Obedience Training

To be a responsible dog owner, you should train your dog. If you need help doing this, you might call an obedience club in your area or look in the phone book for private classes.

The cost can be anywhere from $25.00 for a year of classes through a club to $150.00 for 8 weeks of private training.


8. Veterinary Expenses and Maintenance


Veterinarian examining young puppy.

You will need to see your vet at least once a year to get check-ups and necessary shots. Cost each year: $50.00 and up.

Getting check-ups throughout your dog's life will keep him healthy. If your vet knows your dog, he will be better able to spot differences in his behavior, which can signal illness.

As your dog approaches old age, it's especially important that he gets check-up to keep him feeling young and healthy.


Unfortunately, most dogs get sick at some point during their lifetime. They could get something as simple as an upset stomach or as serious as cancer.

Will your family be prepared for the vet bills? We don't always want to think about these things, but they do happen and they do cost money. Cost during regular vet hours: $50.00 and up. Twenty-four hours in an emergency clinic: $1,000.00.

Some dogs become ill.



You should have your female dog spayed or your male dog neutered to prevent unwanted pregnancies. For more about this, see Too Many Dogs.

If needed, call the local humane society or animal control. They can give you phone numbers for low-cost spay/neuter clinics. Cost of surgery: $100.00 or more.


After many years of eating food, your dog may need his teeth cleaned. Sometimes this involves anesthetic and can cost as much as $200.00. You can help prevent this procedure by regularly brushing your dog's teeth and feeding them with bones that help clean tartar. 



 9. Vacations

If your family ever needs to go away, you may need to pay for boarding or for someone to come to your house to take care of your dog.
Cost of boarding per night:
$15.00 and up.
Cost for a pet sitter at home:
$20.00 and up


Family discussing cost of owning a dog.

As you can see, owning a dog costs money. Sit down with your parents and be honest about your family's ability to pay for a dog's needs. If everyone knows what to expect, there should be no surprises.


 Hey Kids!

Want to have some fun and really impress your parents? Click on the dollar bill for a math project you won't believe. Figure out how much it might cost to own a dog for it's entire lifetime!


dollar bill



A student once calculated that the cost of owning a neutered Rottweiler that lived 14 years would be: $9,091.39

Fido's Fabulous Dog Facts



Here are some books that will help you and your parents
consider all the costs of dog ownership:





Print this Page, Text Only



 Continue on
Bailey's tour!

Click here!

Tell a friend
about this site!

Cody's Tour
Kelly's Tour
Trouper's Tour
Your New Dog
Well-Behaved Dog
Special Topics
A New Dog
Your Best Friend
Too Many Dogs
I'll Love You Forever
Training Basics
Following the Rules
What Dogs Cost
Obedience Lessons
Keeping Safe
What Dogs Need
Behavior Problems
Older Dogs
Puppy Basics
Learning Tricks
Losing Your Dog

Ready for a Dog?
Your Stories
When I Grow Up
Your Dogs
Birthday Page
Book Club
Quiz Yourself
Your Poetry

Search this Site | Site Map

Read our Privacy Policy
How To Love Your Dog...A Kid's Guide to Dog Care
Copyright ©1998 - 2009 by Janet Wall and Rick Wall
May be reproduced for individual or classroom use only.
Photographs, graphics, and backgrounds may not

be reproduced to other websites or for any other purpose.