The cost of dog ownership

Image result for havanese puppy

Over the last year or so, I have been thinking about getting a dog. I took the first step in contacting a reputable breeder in my province. I will not be going through the “rescue road”, in case you are wondering.

I am only interested in a specific breed and I actually did contact several shelters and other rescue organizations. None of them has the breed I want. But this not the point here.

Let’s chat about the financial cost of owning a dog. Many people completely underestimate these or do not really budget for them.

adoption or breeder costs

The SPCA and other rescue organizations will charge you a fee. In BC, it can go up to $ 500.00, depending on the dog and the organization.

If you decide to use a breeder, fees will easily go from $ 1 000.00 to $ 5 000.00, depending on the breed and the breeder.

material costs

Your dog will need a bed, a food bowl, a few toys, a collar/harness, a leash, a crate, poop bags. You should budget $ 200.00 to $ 300.00 for these items. They will need replacing at some point.

Depending on your house, you could need additional supplies like gates.


Dry food is cheaper than wet food. It is mostly because you can preserve it for longer and it usually lasts longer.

A 5 lbs bag costs between $ 15.00 to $75.00. If your dog has allergies , lean toward the $ 75.00 price. Same if your pet is big.

Puppy dry food will cost between $ 10.00 to $25.00 for a 5 lbs bag.

Treats will also add up. A bag of high quality treats can cost up to $15.00!


Your dog will need regular check-ups, vaccinations, worm and flea treatments at the very least. If you have a puppy, you will need to have them neutered. This alone can cost up to $ 500.00.

None of the above is covered by pet health insurance. All breeds are also prone to one health issue or another. Some breeds are predisposed to more issues. Some surgeries can cost over $ 5 000.00.

The cost of insurance varies depending on the insurer and the dog, but usually goes from $ 30.00 to $ 60.00/month for basic coverage, i.e. $ 360.00 to 720.00 per year.


It all depends on the breed. A large dog with long, shedding hair will cost $60.00 to groom. You may have to do it on a monthly basis. A smaller dog with short hair will cost half of this and may only need it every 2 to 3 months.

daycare and boarding

Chances are you won’t be able to bring your pet to work with you. You need to make arrangements, as your dog needs to exercise and walk at least 3 times a day, rain or shine.

A dog walker charges $ 25.00 to $ 30.00 for an hour walk. You might be better off leaving your pet at daycare. Most daycare centers charge $ 20.00 to $ 25.00 per day. A lot have extended hours.

Same if you are going on vacation and can’t take your pet with you. Kennels can charge up to $ 50.00 per day, depending on the dog size.

A lot of people do not realize how expansive this is. Leaving your dog at home or in the back yard is not the best.


If you have a puppy, taking an obedience class will be most helpful. This costs on average $150.00.

If you dog has behavioral problems, you may need more sessions.

final word 

There is a lot of variables in estimating dog costs, mostly the breed, the age and where you live.

Having a dog will cost on average $ 100.00 to $ 300.00 per month in BC. Beyond wanting a pet, you need to insure you can actually afford one. Most dogs have a lifespan of 12 to 14 years…..

1 Comment

  1. Hello there! This article couldn’t be written any better! Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he’ll have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!


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